Lake Ice Not Safe Despite Early Cold
This has been an unusual November in the Northwest suburbs when it comes to weather. January-like cold has produced some of the lowest temps in three decades on thermometers across Minnesota
On Monday the high was a North Pole-like 18 degrees – the coldest November 11th since 1986. This early winter is even causing some lakes to freeze a few weeks early. But don’t be fooled by the dip in temperature. The ice is definitely not thick enough to go on.
Looks can be deceiving. Despite visible ice and even some trails on places like Eagle Lake in Maple Grove, Minnesota is not yet the land of 10,000 frozen lakes.
“Stay off the ice”
Alan Lange is part of the water patrol unit for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. His message is simple.
“If it looks tempting just stay off,” Lange said. “We need more cold weather.”
The last thing Lange wants to do is bring his air boat onto a frigid lake to rescue someone who has gone through the ice.
“I’ve been involved in some of the ice rescues…” Lange said. “Stay off the ice until lakes are completely capped over. The DNR recommends minimum for walking on is four inches. We’re nowhere near that.”
The Sheriff’s office estimates there is less than two inches of ice on area lakes. However, this early cold snap has ice fishing folks excited. But they need to be smart before going on the ice.
“I know these fisherman want to get out early,” Lange said. “They just need to have some patience. It’ll get there. If they’re out there and they fall in they’re endangering me too and my partner.”
Another reason to stay off the ice is temps will rise to 30 on Wednesday and Saturday’s high could be 40.