We thank everyone for your patience with us while we look forward to getting our ice fishing season underway hopefully sooner than later. We will remain closed at this time while we wait for colder weather to improve Lake Waconia’s ice conditions. We hope to open for the season next weekend if things improve, but we must see a significant change for the better for that to happen. This has been an interesting start to the ice season. Early ice can sometimes be challenging, and this year seems to be one of those years. We were hopeful that with the early November cold, the lake would lock up evenly with consistent thicknesses, but that is just not the case.
The rain and wind over Thanksgiving weekend caused some major open areas scattered throughout the lake. The cold temps this week helped freeze most of those open areas up, but then the snow came. The snow is a problem for a couple of reasons. It hides bad spots and insulates the ice, which makes it more difficult to see ice thickness transitions and also hampers the ice growth. It’s very problematic this year, because where the ice is newly formed, it is dangerously thin and now covered in snow. Unfortunately, some of these newly formed areas are scattered all over the lake.
We have done an ice check this week in front of our marina, to Waconia Bay and out to the “walleye hole” between the marinas. We were out as the snow was falling (earlier this week) and carefully tried to mark as much of the extremely thin areas as we could, but it’s impossible to mark them all. Where the older ice is in Waconia Bay there is as much as 4.5 to 6.5 inches, but also had areas we marked that had been open recently with as little as ½ inch as well. In front of the marina on the way to the “walleye hole” there is mixed chunk ice that is up to 5 to 6.5 inches, but beyond the chunk ice it ranges between 4 or 5 inches with cracks and seeping water. One of those open spots we marked as best as we could from early in the week on the hump north of the “walleye hole” is only ½ inch and hidden by snow. While it’s possible to get out fishing in some of these areas described above, you have to be very diligent.
We haven’t checked ice elsewhere, but know what we saw earlier in the week from land and that was a vast area of open water from Center Reef, over Keg’s and to the east shore that will have a very thin skim of ice on it hidden under snow and will remain unmarked as it’s far too expansive.
Basically, if you’re looking to get ice fishing on Lake Waconia, use extreme caution. We haven’t seen anyone fishing out in front of us as of this writing. Don’t just assume the ice ahead of you is the same thickness as what you might be standing on. Chisel ahead of yourself and trust your instinct if something looks different.
Let’s hope the projected snow this weekend stays away and cold temps help improve conditions. We’ll update sometime next week and hopefully have better news to report!