This winters unseasonably warm weather continues to give ice fisherman headaches. General ice thickness on Lake Waconia has started to diminish. Until recently we have been maintaining average thicknesses measuring 12 1/2"-15" of ice. About a week ago we had some good cold temperatures, but essentially didn't make any ice.
This week temps have been warm, but not warm enough to melt the little snow we have on the lake. The snow remains, and there is no water on the ice in most areas, but we are still losing ice thickness. Lake water temperatures are most likely the culprit. In the last 5 or 6 days we have lost about 1/2"-1" of ice, giving us a current average thickness of 11"-14 1/2" with 12"-13" being very common now. Jim, Ben and Jimmy have drilled hundreds of holes in the last couple days, to provide these numbers.
Most of the spots that had thinner ice continue to be the areas that are in shallower water and have thicker weeds. When water is 13' deep or more we were generally finding the thicker ice numbers. This was not a rule, but was definitely a trend.
With the consistently warmer air and lake water temps, the ice is also losing freeboard in areas. The ice has lost some of it's buoyancy and is flexing more under load. Several fisherman that have permanent houses on the lake have been reporting flooding around their houses. We will continue to monitor the thickness, especially now with the even stranger conditions we have been witnessing.
Thanks for reading, and be safe.
In Towne Marina Staff