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Thread: MN Ice report 2020 version

  1. #1
    Paul Jackson's Avatar
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    MN Ice report 2020 version

    I thought since conditions have been so variable that I would start a thread and get current conditions out there.....

    McGregor MN area. January 1, 2020

    Ice set up poorly this year with early snow creating a slush layer on top of ice. Ice thickness below the slush is a good 10 inches. Over the New Year break we had some warm temps which actually helped by reducing the snow pack on the lake and allowed the slush layer to start a refreeze from the top down when temps dropped again. What we have now is variable conditions on every lake. Where there is little snow cover we have good ice forming with a couple of solid inches over slush then the 10 inches of good ice. Where there is snow of any depth there is little to no top ice and only slush beneath the snow.

    No one is taking anything on the ice with wheels (trucks, ATV's) and snowmobiles are fine on a trail but draw slush when they are on the virgin snow. I am not operating on the lakes in my 180 until that slush layer freezes up (if it does).

    We need cold and lots of it to get the ice into something you can operate on in this area.

  2. #2
    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    And freezing rain here at Brainerd today!

    Lots of overflow around.

    Last edited by Cubus Maximus; 01-01-2020 at 06:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Paul Jackson's Avatar
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    Looking for updates from this weekend. I don't think there was a bunch of refreezing of the slush layer in northern MN but looking for updates anyways.

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Cross cracks or wet slumped lines 90*; if possible avoid.

    Gary

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    WWhunter's Avatar
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    It's been a week since I was up flying. The wet/dark spots on the ice where quite obvious of overflow and saturated snow. Truck when through the ice down on Ottertail the other day. Ironically, I was told that it was a local fishing guide.....who had just told everyone else that it was not safe to be out on the ice! I was down that way yesterday and it was supposed to have been lifted out that day.

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    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    On the weird side, somebody caught a 30 inch Brown ice fishing on Gull!!

    Likes jrussl, WWhunter, Alanfrease, C130jake liked this post

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    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Wow!!

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    scout88305's Avatar
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    Thank a sheepdog today for they are standing guard!
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    Good times!

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Geeze that's another bad memory I can't unsee. I carried a rope come along winch and 100' of line plus ice screws just for that some years trapping. Now the sled tub and track is full of soon to be solid ice if real cold and weighs a ton.

    Gary

  11. #11
    Paul Jackson's Avatar
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    I am going to go up Sunday in the 180 and see what we have for ice in the McGregor (Aitkin County) MN area. We had some very cold temps this week and I want to see how my fly in landing area on the lake is. I was not confident it would come around but -15 could help make ice out of slush.

    If anyone has any updates on ice let me know. I will post on Sunday night when I get back.

    PJJ

  12. #12
    Paul Jackson's Avatar
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    Made it up and back Sunday 1/12 to check the ice and see where it is at. It appears that we are getting there. I noted that there was a bunch of truck traffic on Mille Lacs and they were putting out Ice Castle sized wheeled houses finally. In the McGregor area I wouldn't be quite so bold, but we are close.

    The spots where there is no snow are 100% frozen now and over 2 feet thick. Where there is snow on the lake we have about 12-18 inches of ice with 4 inches of slush topped by about 4-6 inches of ice. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not getting thru to the slush layer and there was quite a bit of that form of traffic on the lakes in the area. There were a few trucks, but for the most part it was ATV's and portables. My guess is that the remaining slush should freeze out in the coming couple of weeks and we should get good top ice over what slush would remain.

    I would have no problem landing on packed snow from snowmobiles or on Mille Lacs the ice roads the truck are using at this point. I am still a bit paranoid about soft spots under the snow on most of the area lakes. Call me chicken.

    Big difference a couple of cold days can make. It was a slop show a couple weeks back on my lake.
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