March 2012 Archives

Awaiting news from Canoe Lake

Well, I haven't heard anything since Monday, so I don't know if the lake froze over again or not. It's been pretty cold at night, and looks like it will be for the next few days at least.

My intrepid reporter, Charlie Plant, left Canoe Lake Monday evening, and I have not heard from anyone who has been on site since then. Gordon over at Algonquin Outfitters seems to be in the same state of limbo, peering through cloud cover in satellite photos while he waits for an on-site report :-)

Anyone got any news?

The ice is out! (for now...)*

I'm making the call for 2012 Canoe Lake ice out on Monday, March 26th... with an asterisk :-)

The aforementioned Charlie Plant sent me a second email and photo from Canoe Lake around noon today, and it's pretty definitive:

"I went down to the camp and was pleased to see that the ice is completely gone from the north end of the lake. From my estimation the ice is gone from 99% of the lake. There is the remainder that blocks our bay in the south and then there is the strange case of the P-Store bay. There is ice in about half of the bay but as the picture shows, there is a rather formidable ice bridge that blocks the entrance to the bay. There is open water behind the bridge but it is large enough that no boats can get through. That means that anyone could get to their place if they left from the camp but no one could get to their cottage if they tried to leave from the P-Store. Thus the lake is completely open but not easily accessible."

Canoe Lake, looking north from near the P-Store point
Monday, March 26th, 2012. Photo by Charlie Plant

From what I see in the photo there is a strong north wind that has pushed the remaining ice into the P-Store bay (and probably into the river down to Bonita as well). This is pretty typical. The important thing is that the vast majority of the lake is visibly open.

So what is the asterisk? Well, it's the forecast. Right now we are looking at -12°C tonight with a wind chill of -17°C, and below zero every night this week. So there is a small possibility that the lake will freeze over again, assuming the wind drops way off over night. And as Charlie pointed out, that could mean two ice-out dates in one year!

I'll have another update tomorrow if I can get another on-site report. For now, all I can say is...!

Could be yet another record!

Wow! I just heard from Charlie Plant who is up on Canoe Lake that he thinks the ice is either already mostly out, or will be by the end of the day today. Here's his note:

"What a beautiful day here on Canoe Lake. It is sunny out but the temperature has plummeted to -10°C. The wind has been blowing like stink for the last 18 hours and it has wreacked havoc with the ice. From what I can tell the ice has gone from 90% of the lake leaving the last of it down in our bay. I'll go over to the P-Store later to see if it is clear yet but I think we may just have a new record here."

Canoe Lake ice, looking west - Monday, March 26th, 2012.
Photo by Charlie Plant

I also got emails from Roy Stewart and Bob Gibson yesterday both saying they thought the ice would go out this week, earlier or later depending on the effect of the very cold temperatures forecast for tonight.

I'm waiting for another report from Charlie, but it's starting to look like we might see a new record with a March ice-out this year.

And I have quickly combed the dates submitted for the ones that fall in the next week and got them posted up on the predictions page. More dates coming.

Still here...

Me, and the ice :-)

Sorry for the radio silence, but real life has conspired to keep me from being able to update the site since I posted and set out the email a week ago.

I've received just shy of 100 emails so far, and while I don't have time right now to post the dates and names, I've scanned through them all and most of the dates this year are in early April, and there is even a significant number in March!

I've hear from a couple of people that the ice on Canoe Lake is already unsafe, and open a little around the shore. I don't think it's going out any time too soon, but it's definitely going to be early.

For some great on the spot reporting please head over to the Algonquin Outfitters Blog.

Hopefully I'll resurface by Wed or Thu this week with dates and some more info.

Welcome to the Canoe Lake ice-out blog for 2012!

It's time!

I just spent a lovely spring day on Queen Street West here in Toronto and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and 18°C temperatures. The forecast is for highs in the teens all week, including 20°C on Wednesday. And even up in Algonquin the forecast is for low teens, and only one night below zero.

I have always said that it is the weather in March that has more to do with ice-out than anything else, and so far it's looking pretty warm. We were up on Canoe Lake three weeks ago and there was about 10" of ice off our dock, which is less than average, and it seemed a little less dense than I'm used to seeing.

It's still too soon to make a call, but it certainly is looking like we may get an earlier-than-average ice-out this year.

More coming soon (including votes page and updated records), in the mean time, feel free to send in your date selections, and any stories or photos you think we might enjoy.

– Jeff


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