We know a lot of you will be concerned about the high temps, rain and wind we are predicted to get starting this Friday, and the impact it may have on the ice. As for now, we are leaving the marina houses on the lake and will continue to rent fish houses for this weekend. We will be monitoring conditions closely, and hope that the forecast for rain remains minimal. At the moment we are not concerned about general thickness of the ice being impacted by this weekend’s weather. What we are concerned about is the potential for a normal 8 inch or 10 inch fishing hole or natural drain holes getting larger due to water draining and spiraling down those holes from high winds.
This message is meant to be advisory, rather than panic-inducing. We are advising those of you with permanent fish houses on Lake Waconia and other surrounding lakes to pay close attention to your fish houses, and make preparations to limit possible dangers. For those of you who don’t remember 1986 or the early 2000’s, there were issues with fish houses that had holes enlarge underneath them big enough to sink the fish house. While it’s unclear what exactly we’ll get for weather this weekend, we needed to explain what can happen if measures aren’t taken to prepare your fish house. Keep in mind we are basing our concerns off weather predictions for this weekend. A lot depends on how much water will be on the surface of the ice after Friday’s rain and melted snow. If there is minimal water, our concern level will be greatly diminished. If there is a lot of water after a heavy rain and snow melt, coupled with high winds, we will be on a higher alert.
If you plan to leave your fish house on the lake, we suggest banking it well to limit the amount of gaps for wind flow which can cause spiraling water down your fishing holes. If you move your house off its holes after fishing, be sure to crank it back down on small blocks and again, bank it if possible. DO NOT leave your house cranked up on its wheels anywhere on the ice (even by shore), as wind will whip under the house and potentially cause water to penetrate the ice and create a big hole. Generally, the houses that are elevated on high blocks (with big air gaps) or on their wheels are the ones that had the most problems in the past.
Our goal is to provide the best information we can to make ice use on Lake Waconia as comfortable as possible. We will continue to update here as we know more or if things change. Feel free to stop in for the latest report before traveling on the ice.