And then it was gone… Ice Out 2023

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And then it was gone… Ice Out 2023

With no official time posted when I left the house at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning I had to trust the Loons who were cavorting and singing and splashing their way across the bay at the Sea Plane Base on Shagawa Lake. Just next door on the other side of the Peninsula was the only ice I could find on the Lake nearest town. It was in the form of large sheet of ice so black that it looked at first like the color of the dark water with no blue sky to cheer it up.

Shagawa Lake Ely Sea Plane Base
Black Ice — only sheet I could find rotting in the bay in front of Semer’s Park.

Across the land and down the road, down by the Vet Clinic and Trezona Trail, I snapped this picture of Miner’s Lake. Void of ice and ready for fishing this coming Saturday as well.

Miner’s Lake May 8, approx 7:50 a.m.

Continuing on down the road I stopped near the Grand Ely Lodge where the official ice out determination is supposed to take place on Shagawa Lake each year and it was clear to me that it had cleared out, sometime overnight?

When I last checked Sunday morning, Shagawa still had black Ice moving around on much of its surface. It was evident that it would leave soon though. UPDATE: Official Ice Out Time on Shagawa was called at 6:40 a.m. Monday, May 8th just about an hour before I took pictures.

Here’s the other side of Shagawa Lake from Grant McMahon (Hwy 88)

I continued driving around 88 and took a right on the Van Vac road to see how Burntside Lake was looking from the newly remodeled Van Vac Landing. Saturday Eric from Piragis and his dog Wendell were there for a quick swim and the ice was black and rotting and in retreat. This morning it was a little worse for wear and if the wind picks up it doesn’t have too many hours left. This is much the same report we are getting from Fall Lake and Moose Lake. Probably in single digit days, if not hours, left until those 3 are free of ice for 2023.

Ice freeing up Saturday at Van Vac Landing on Burntside @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
This is what black rotting ice looks like (off Van Vac Landing Monday morning May 8 at 8:05 a.m.)

Saturday, Eric and Wendell @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell stopped at some spots that looked nearly free or open and I’ll share those with you below:

Slim Lake Portage @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
Bear Cub on the North Arm Trails @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
Beavers getting busy @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
Mudro Ice going out @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
Mudro Ice going out @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell
Mudro Ice going out @eric_in_ely and @wondrouswendell

Turns out the loons were right! It is time to throw a party. Fishing opener and Mother’s Day Weekend won’t be cancelled (ha, ha). It is a great start to the week and a great beginning to the 2023 canoe trip season. Ely, Minnesota changes quick, sometimes overnight even, and it is a far cry from what we were reporting a week ago with ice conditions.

Stay tuned for more news and we look forward to seeing you in Ely. See ya around the bend!

Tim Stouffer

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