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Canoe Lake Ice-Out

Spring 2006 Edition

Waiting for Trippers

 News & Updates                                                                    Page last updated: Thu 20 April 2006 22:00 EDT

THE ICE IS OUT!   [Thursday, April 20th at 10:00 PM]

Congratulations to Willi Powell, a life-long Canoe Laker, who is this year's ice-out winner. And cheers to Susan Kingsley, Jeffrey McMurtrie and Matthew Anderton who also picked April 20th.

My father (John Ridpath, who had Saturday as his pick) was on Canoe Lake all day today and reports that the ice was at least 50% off the lake by early afternoon, and that the warm, sunny day and slight north wind took another 20-30% by the end of the day. I have to confess that I really didn't expect it to go for at least another four or five days.

Thanks to everyone for getting involved in this year's ice-out fun. See you all back here in March 2007!

Journey North Ice-out   [Tuesday, April 18th at 10:30 PM]

While we wait patiently for the ice to go on Canoe Lake, thanks to Harry Roberts for emailing me about his wife's nifty ice-out tracking site called Journey North Ice-out

"Is this spring the warmest in recorded history? Or is it the coolest? We often hear weather announcers discuss these things. How could you compare spring's arrival from year to year? What could you measure? In northern regions of North America, the melting of ice cover on lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans is a welcome sign of spring. This event is known as "ice-out," and ice-out dates are an accurate way to measure spring's pace from year to year.

The idea is to enter the latitude/longitude of your lake, and the reported ice-out date, and then see your report dynamically mapped. I'll be putting in a report for Canoe Lake as soon as the ice goes, and maybe some of you can help out by entering reports for your lakes.

This ice-out site is part of a much larger Journey North site billed as "A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change" and definitely worth a peek.

Polls closed!   [Monday, April 17th at 12:00 AM]

The polls are closed and no new dates will be accepted. Good luck everyone!

Sounds like we're getting close...   [Sunday, April 16th at 1:30 PM]

All signs are pointing to a slightly early ice-out this year--very likely inside the next ten days.

I've received word this weekend from Libby von Neumann who lives on the channal from Canoe-Bonita-Tea Lakes, and from Roy Stewart who can walk in to his place on Canoe Lake. Both of them believe that things are underway now. The channel is open as is much of Bonita Lake; and Roy says that Canoe is opening up along the edges and the main body of ice is starting to turn. Roy things the ice will go out "later this week."

Libby said on Thursday: "There are big open-water holes on the channel as I type, it has been raining and warm. Birds are back in force and there was even a pair of Canadian Geese right out front here the other day on the ice! They were looking around like "where is the water?" and "they said there would be water here!" When the loons come back is when I really know that that is it for winter! I'll let you know when they get here!""

I also received an email last week from Robert Pratten who said: "Ice went out today April 12th/06 on Little Gold Lake in Kawartha Highlands Prov. Park, 6 days earlier than last year. This lake is about 80 km south of Canoe Lake.

Stay tuned to the site this week. I hope to be posting near-daily updates hopefully including on-site reports from Jan Richmond and Al Clare when they arrive for the season.

Finally, my apologies for the lack of updates to the site this past week. Unfortunately I've been quite sick and have spent a fair bit of time in bed recovering. I'm on the mend now and starting to make plans to go up to Canoe Lake this coming weekend.

Right on schedule, this year's ice-out poem from Murray Wolff...   [Sunday, April 9th at 4:30 PM]

The winter is over,
The weather is changing.
The equipment is checked,
It may need repairing.

The ice is still on,
It will move soon,
Within a few weeks,
Before the new moon.

When break up comes,
With the water cold,
The paddles will be dipped,
In the lakes that are old.

We will follow our routes,
The ones we know well,
The secret ones,
The ones we won't tell.

- Murray Wolff (The unofficial ice-out poet)

We have to be patient,
Sit and wait,
To guess, each spring,
The ice-out date.

We may guess right,
We may guess wrong,
It's having fun with nature,
And the rest of the throng.

The day I pick,
For the ice to clear,
Is April twenty seven,
Of this calendar year.

I am saying to all of us,
Forget about the chores.
Have a safe and carefree season,
We appreciate the outdoors.

Canoe Lake on March 26th...   [Thursday, March 30th at 10:30 PM]

Hugh Statten sent along some great shots from a trip up to Canoe Lake just this past Sunday, March 26th.
A little sobering for those of you who think the ice will be out at the end of next week :-)

March on Canoe Lake

The votes are coming in...   [Monday, March 27th at 10:30 PM]

Well, the votes are flowing into the worldwide head office of Electric Penguin, 37 of them so far. And this year it looks like people are expecting an early ice-out with the median vote right now at around April 21st or 22nd vs. April 27th last year. Rob Waywell certainly thinks it will be early: he's picked April 7th which is next Friday.

It has been warmer this March than it was last year, by a few °C at least. But there was a lot of ice on the lake a couple of weeks ago with some reports claiming well over 24", and it's not that much warmer. So I'm sticking with the tried and true 17-year median of April 26th.

Good luck everyone!

This year's ice-out page coming soon...   [Saturday, March 18th at 10:45 AM]

Several people have written to ask if I'll be doing the Canoe Lake Ice-Out site this year. Of course! I'll have the 2006 page up in the next week or so. While you wait, here's what Canoe Lake looked like on Saturday, March 11th, 2006...

March Slush

 Predictions for Spring 2006

Multiple people on the same date are listed in the order in which their choices were received
at the worldwide headquarters of the Outhouse Daily News.

Apr 7 (Fri) Rob Waywell
Apr 8 (Sat) Steve Barrow
Apr 9 (Sun)  
Apr 10 (Mon)  
Apr 11 (Tue)  
Apr 12 (Wed) Ray VanKleef
Apr 13 (Thu) Charles Plant
Apr 14 (Fri) Randy Born
Apr 15 (Sat) Debbie Ridpath Ohi • David DeMara
Apr 16 (Sun) Missy & David Sharp • Steve Bunn • Robert Pratten
Apr 17 (Mon) Brian Parkinson • Duane McPhail • Walter Korynkiewicz
Apr 18 (Tue) Bryan March • Esther Bronson • Christopher White • Ric & Libby von Neumann
Apr 19 (Wed) Alex Statten • The Ottawa Grays • Mark Rubino • Case Ridpath • John Arbour
Al Clare
Apr 20 (Thu) Willi Powell • Susan Kingsley • Jeffrey McMurtrie • Matthew Anderton
Apr 21 (Fri) Laurie March • Simon Nelson • Lynda & Jerry Wilson
Apr 22 (Sat) John Ridpath • Scott Murray • Peter Matthews • Joan Cossette • Jan Richmond
The Brackley/Fortins
Apr 23 (Sun) Hugh Statten • Sue 'Swebbs' Ebbs • Ken Born • Karin McCaskill
Apr 24 (Mon) Russ Matthews • Bobby T & Kristina K • Tony Kennedy • Dean Purcell
Holly Stewart
Apr 25 (Tue) Don Lloyd • Greg Day • Craig White • David Sullivan • Mariane Coulombe
Scott Simmie
Apr 26 (Wed) Jefferson Ridpath • Larkyn Statten • David & Colleen Cairncross • John Rose
Apr 27 (Thu) Susan Day • Derrick Cann • Murray Wolff
Apr 28 (Fri) << Virginia Ridpath • Gaye Clemson & Sons
Apr 29 (Sat) Brittany Venables • Kaarel Truuvert
Apr 30 (Sun) Jill Matthews • Mark Steele • Derek Specht
May 1 (Mon) Harry Binswanger • Sandra Matthews
May 2 (Tue) Scott 'Ice Fox' Dixon (Belfast & Berlin) • Sue Calverley
May 3 (Wed)  

Here's the current distribution of votes for each date...

Graph of Votes

 Current Weather for the Canoe Lake Area

Click the links below to see current five-day forecasts for Algonquin Park and Huntsville
from Environment Canada, and some long term predictions:

 Past Ice-Out Dates

1953! April 14th Graph
1989 May 4th
1990 Apr 29th
1991 Apr 28th
1992 May 8th
1993 Apr 26th
1994 Apr 27th
1995 Apr 15th
1996 May 8th
1997 May 8th
1998 Apr 17th
1999 Apr 20th
2000 Apr 26th
2001 Apr 23rd
2002 Apr 19th
2003 Apr 23rd
2004 Apr 22nd
2005 Apr 28th
2006 Apr 20th
Earliest recorded ice-out date: April 14th in 1953.
Latest recorded ice-out date: May 8th in 1992, 1996, and 1997.

 The Rules

  1. All entries must be received by midnight, Sunday, April 16th, 2006.
    Entries may be submitted by email to Jeff (jwr) at electricpenguin (dot com).
  2. If you know of someone who should be included in this poll but does not have email access,
    feel free to send in their prediction for them.
  3. Entry must include your name and date of your prediction.
  4. You *can* duplicate another person's prediction (see below for a list of predictions so far)
    if you really want to be a joiner, but the first one to pick a date gets all the gloating rights.
  5. You *can* change your prediction up to the deadline.
  6. Ice-out is defined as follows: "At least 50% of the lake is clear of ice, by a majority vote
    of those present."
  7. Winner is the person whose prediction is the closest.
  8. Prize: being able to lord your superior knowledge of the lake over others for
    the rest of the year.

 Previous year's ice-out pages

Ice-out 2005



Ice-out 2004

Ice-out 2003

Ice-out 2002

Ice-out 2001

Ice-out 2000

Ice-out 1999


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