My old friend Tom Hutton went flying on over the lake yesterday, and took a whole set of pictures for us.
You can still count the open patches of water on Lake of the Woods on your fingers, but let’s go have a look at some of them.
You can click on these pictures to see a larger, zoomable version.
Okay, everybody in town knows there’s open water on Safety Bay.
Here’s a closer look at what’s open in Keewatin Channel and Second Channel.
We’ve covered this key area in more detail with Paul Leischow’s drone panoramas, but here’s an overview that puts it in perspective.
What about further south than this. Is the ice letting go around Town Island yet?
It’s starting to look pretty rotten here, where the current flows into Keewatin Channel. But there’s still a whole lot of snow-covered ice out in the Manitou, and well, everywhere. That’s Shoal Lake way off in the distance.
Now a look at the Barrier Islands, because this is the next closest place to Kenora where we can expect to see open water in the early stages of the thaw.
There’s a fair-sized expanse of water at the Elbow. French Narrows, at the western tip of the Eastern Peninsula has just a tiny patch. You’ll have to zoom in to see it well. It’s just left of centre in this picture.
*Square Island is not square in shape. It is shaped like a carpenter’s square.
How about down at the south end of the lake?
Big Traverse is still ice-covered, but the photo above shows quite a lot of open water along the west side of Falcon Island.
Big Narrows is always worth checking on.
We saw some low-altitude views of this area from Scott Benson yesterday. In some of those pictures, the slanting evening light made some of the ice resemble water. Here’s how it looks from a higher viewpoint, and the daylight makes the extent of the water very clear.
Lastly, as Tom headed back towards the airport, he took a look at Devil’s Gap.
This wasn’t clearly visible in the first photo, but you can see that there’s only small penetration of water into Rat Portage Bay, and everything out towards Bigstone Bay is pretty solid.
Signs of spring: pre-season training for the water-bomber pilots.
You might recall that a recent photo showed no open water on Wabigoon Lake, close to Dryden’s big Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources base. Every spring, tanker crews come to Kenora to train on either Safety Bay or the Winnipeg River.