We spent a full day on the ice today (12/17) to get you the current conditions across the lake. Not surprisingly, the warm weekend of 50 degrees and rain did affect the thickness of the ice. In a lot of areas we lost between 1 to 2 inches of ice from our previous report last week. Despite the warm-up, we are still very happy with the condition of the ice. We felt comfortable on 4-wheelers while doing this ice check. We drilled hundreds of holes today, but keep in mind, we cannot cover 3000 acres in it’s entirety. That is why we always recommend checking ice yourself if you’re going to an area away from the larger groups.
Here’s what we found where we checked…
-Waconia Bay is now around 8 to 10 inches, with 6 to 7 in the old goose hole.
-“Under the Wires” was mostly 6 to 8 inches, but we found as little as 4 to 5 inches a little further north.
-Center Reef was a lot of 7 to 8 inches, with as little as 6 and as much as 11 inches.
-Pillsbury Reef had 8 to 11 inches.
-North Center and Nelson’s Flats was generally 7 to 9 inches.
-North Reef had the largest area of variance. We found as little as 4.25 inches on top of the reef, and several holes between 5 to 6, with some as much as 8 to 9 inches.
-Kegs Reef varied quite a bit too. We found as little as 5.5 inches, but up to 9 as well.
-Anderson’s Reef was mostly 6 to 8 inches of ice.
-Cemetery Reef had the majority of ice between 6 to 7 inches, but as much as 9.
-The southeast side of the island had a large area of 5 to 6 inches, but the east side of the island had 7 to 9 inches.
-The walleye hole between the marinas had 7.5 to 9.5 inches.
We also went looking for a couple of the springs that have been active in recent history. We did find the main one that has been the largest over the years, and it was mildly active. It’s located in the deep water between Cemetery and Anderson’s Reefs and is now marked with lath board and flagging tape. Thankfully it’s much smaller than the past, but we will be keeping an eye on it. We are happy it’s not very active, as that may be a sign that some of the other smaller springs that we’ve noticed in previous years might not be an issue this winter.
If you’ve been following our ice updates this winter, you may notice in the above report that most of the areas that froze last, like North, Kegs, Anderson’s and Cemetery, have less ice and are more varied.
So, what does this all mean? This week and weekend, we feel comfortable with anglers getting out on the lake with ATV’s and Snowmobiles and lighter-weight skid and wheel fish houses through our access. We will not be allowing cars, trucks or heavy fish houses through our access until further notice. Don’t forget, our daily access fee is $1 for walking, $2 for ATV or Snowmobiles, and $25 for the winter season.
We look forward to seeing you on the ice!