As we've discussed in the past, calling the ice-in and ice-out is not a science. There is the technical aspect of the presence or absence of ice. But today is the perfect illustration of the PRACTICAL aspect of calling ice-out.
I can see that there is still some dark ice floating in the north bay and along the north shore, but with the loons back and calling to each other and then a fishing boat motoring from the launch all the way across the lake, it's game over! I call ice-out today, April 14, 2023. Scott Bryan wins! Ed Goff (guessed 4/13) and Norm Kruse (guessed 4/15) just missed out. I suspect that what little ice there is left will be gone by the end of the day.
Star Tribune's Tony Kennedy wrote in an article yesterday about MN lake ice-outs, "Minnesota's long, snowy winter has delayed the onset of spring, but this week's blowtorch of warmth has eased some anxiety felt by anglers and resort owners who count on northern lakes to be open in time for the state fishing opener."
Wow, wasn't it a blowtorch of warmth? That is the perfect description. No question it sped up the Lake Riley ice melt.
The latest ice-out on record was on May 1st, 2018. The earliest was on March 8th, 2000. 1997 is the only other year it went out on April 14th.
Enjoy the lake, everyone!