Thursday, May 2, 2013
The call came at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning; Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol uses a different standard.
The Freshwater Society, which since the 1960s has called when the ice is out for the season, declared the lake ice-free as of about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2. It was the third time in a nearly complete 158-year record that ice-out has occurred on that date. This year’s ice-out is 42 days later than last year, when an unusually warm early spring produced open water on March 21. And the ice-out this year is tied for the third-latest recorded ice-out on the lake. The median date for ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is April 14. Related posts: Ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is a sign of spring that scientists, naturalists and lakeshore residents have been tracking and recording since at least 1855. Freshwater Society founder Dick Gray, who catalogued …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Standards for ice out differ between Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Freshwater Society.
Today, at 4 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office determined the Ice Out is official. The declaration is made when a boat can be piloted on Lake Minnetonka through the "Narrows" around Big Island and back to the Sheriff’s Water Patrol Unit on Lake Minnetonka in Spring Park. The Freshwater Society, the official declarer of ice out on Lake Minnetonka, uses different standards. Freshwater Society founder Dick Gray, who catalogued the early records and has made his own records since 1968, described the standard for determining ice-out in a 2003 column: “when it is possible to travel by small boat from any one shore to any other shore through any passage on the lake.” Click here to see a historical table of official ice out dates, as provided by the …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Contest had been scheduled for April 20 with an April 27 "ice date," but conditions moved the Saturday contest indoors.
This year's abnormally late ice out out on Lake Minnetonka caused local Lions to move their planned crappie contest indoors. The 2013 Lions Crappie Contest had been planned for April 20, pending ice conditions. Lingering ice on Lake Minnetonka forced contest organizers to move the event indoors, but several hundred people still attended the event Saturday at the Bayview Event Center. The North Westonka Lions, Orono Lions, Wayzata Lions, Minnetonka Lions, St. Boni Lions and Hopkins Lions are for the second consecutive year joining forces to conduct the contest. Related posts: All proceeds benefited: Local Lions charities, Camp Needlepoint for Children with Diabetes, Minnesota Deabetes Foundation, Minnesota Lions Vision Foundations, Future …
Friday, April 26, 2013
Data from the spring of 1856 has been temporarily removed from the historical record while climatologists and researchers investigate the accuracy of May 8 ice out date.
The latest “ice out” on Lake Minnetonka was recorded way back in 1856—when it wasn’t until May 8 that observers deemed the majority of Lake Minnetonka navigable. But that unexpectedly changed this week after the Freshwater Society, the official caller of ice out on Lake Minnetonka since the 1960s, removed the 1856 entry from its historical data. “The Minnesota Climatology Working Group this month raised questions about that date because of some old temperature records that show a very warm April that year,” Pat Sweeney, the Freshwater Society’s Communications Director, said. Sweeney went on to say the April of 1856 followed some bitter cold nights earlier in the winter, adding the entry was removed from the record while researchers attempt…
While open water is becoming common in and around most bays, but enough ice still remains around some parts of Lake Minnetonka for ice fishermen to brave a late spring trek to their favorite hole.
Hastened by highs expected to hover around 70 degrees this weekend, the ice on Lake Minnetonka is finally making a steady retreat. Popular restaurants like Maynard's are opening their wharfs and patios for guests anxious to get outside, and charter boats from Al & Alma's, Paradise Cruises and others are in the water preparing for the upcoming season. While open water is becoming common in and around most bays, enough ice still remains around some parts of Lake Minnetonka for ice fishermen to brave a late spring trek to their favorite hole. “I’m planning to ice fish on Carson’s Bay this afternoon,” Doug McDougal said via Lake Minnetonka Patch’s Facebook page. “There’s still plenty of ice in the middle.” Kristine Houtman said this week that…
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Firefighters risked their life earlier this year to save an infant trapped in a vehicle that broke through the ice.
The Mound Fire Department was honored with an Award of Merit last night for their emergency response on Jan. 18, 2013, when a vehicle broke through the ice on Lake Minnetonka. Because an infant was trapped in a car seat, two of the firefighters risked their lives by diving underwater and bringing the victim to the surface. Despite the heroic efforts, the infant did not survive. During that incident, firefighters rescued three other family members from the icy waters. Related posts: The award was during the Hennepin County Sheriff Office's annual promotions and awards ceremony at the Marriot in Brooklyn Park.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
This winter we experienced exceptional early ice season conditions. As the winter progressed abundant snowfall quickly changed the ice fishing landscape. Travel conditions on the lake, as well as the weight of snow on the ice, created serious problems.
By Maj. Roger Tietz, Minnesota DNR Enforcement Division The 2012 ice fishing season is drawing to a close. For those of you who spend time on the ice, there are a few things we can learn from this year’s ice fishing season. These are important lessons, life’s moments that will someday be the “I remember back during the winter of 2012” that will be ever etched in our minds. So, from an avid ice fisherman and a conservation officer for more than 30 years, here are “Lessons learned from the 2012 ice fishing season.” Putting a fish house on the lake requires dedication In Minnesota we enjoy the opportunity to put an ice fishing or spearing shelter on the lake. The law allows us to leave it on the lake unattended. To be clear, I’m not focusing …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.
Thursday, February 21
From Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources (DNR): Minnesota’s ice fishing shelter removal dates are approaching, and dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off Lake Minnetonka no later than midnight on March 4. Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadlines. Those not removing shelters will be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or destroy it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier, if ice conditions warrant. For border waters, the shelter removal deadlines are: Minnesota-Iowa, Feb. 20; Minnesota-Wisconsin, March 1; Minnesota-North Dakota and South Dakota, March 5; Minnesota-Canada, …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
City of Minnetonka says launch and marina have been closed since early December and that city ordinance prohibits any vehicle or foot traffic from using the main access at Grays Bay during the winter.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect that the main access to Grays Bay has been locked and gated since December and any vehicle or foot traffic using the main launch is in violation of city ordinance. Lake Minnetonka Patch apologizes for any confusion our original post may have caused. The Grays Bay Public Access—one of Lake Minnetonka's most popular launches—is officially closed for the season. The City of Minnetonka says the access technically closed in early December, as it does every winter, and the launch's main entrance is gated and locked with a large sign posting "closed for the season." While regular foot and vehicle traffic has been observed using the launch this winter, city officials say such activity violates …
Monday, February 11, 2013
The grandson and grandmother passed away after going through the ice in Lake Minnetonka Feb. 2. A memorial service is Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.
Ten days after the deaths of Harland Dietrich and Mary Ann Haram, friends and family are preparing for a memorial service. Maple Grove residents Harland Dietrich, 31,and Mary Ann Haram, 87, were identified as the drowning victims in a Feb. 2 Lake Minnetonka accident. A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 at the Champlin American Legion, located at 12450 Business Park Boulevard N. in Champlin. “Grandmother and Grandson had a very unique bond and will be greatly missed by all who knew them,” according to an obituary notice on StarTribune.com. Friends of Dietrich have taken to Facebook to share memories, memorial and benefit information by creating a “In Loving Memory of Harland Dietrich” page. Allan Martin …