Saturday, May 4, 2013

When will the ice go out in Northwest Ontario?

The sun is making a dent in the ice at Pakwash lake Camp.

This Spring has not been kind to many of us this year. April in Northwestern Ontario has been one of the coldest on record. After having a winter where many communities have had above average snowfall, it would have been nice to have a warm Spring to kind of 'make up for the winter'. The snowmobilers, skiers and snowboarders sure liked the all the snow this past winter. At Mount Evergreen in Kenora, skiers took to the hills for the first time ever in May.  However, winter is gone and now we want some warm weather.

A common question around these parts in April and May is "When will the ice go out?". Many friendly bets are placed as to when the ice will go out on their lakes. With open water walleye opener happening in two weeks and with a lot of ice still on the lakes, locals and visitors are all asking "Will the ice be out for walleye opening on May Long weekend?

Here's a few photos from the beginning of May on lakes in Northwest Ontario.

Mylies Place on Lake of the Woods in the southern area of Sunset Country:

It'll be a while yet before you can use the boat launch at Mylies Place in Morson.

Barker Bay Resort on Lower Manitou Lake on May 2, 2013:

Most of the snow on the ground is gone at Barker Bay Resort

Bonny Bay Camp the morning of May 4, 2013:

Lots of snow and ice left at Bonny Bay Camp on Wabigoon Lake in Dryden.

Nestor Falls is a bit farther north up on Lake of the Woods. You can see from the photos by Nestor Falls Fly-in Outposts and Northwest Flying Inc. that while the ice is starting to open up, there's a lot more to melt.

The eagles, loons, pelicans and other birds are back. Thanks to Nestor Falls Fly-in Outposts for the photo.
Looking out on Kakbikitchiwan Lake from Northwest Flying in Nestor Falls.

Temple Bay Lodge on Eagle Lake near Vermilion Bay is starting to break up around the shore.

Starting to look up on Eagle Lake.

 Gustafson's Resort on Longbow Lake near Kenora posted this photo:

Longbow Lake

Wenasaga Lodge near Ear Falls:

Looking south from Slate cabin. The snow is now all gone on the ice and most of the shoreline.

Even though Fireside Lodge got a bit of snow last night, the lakes around Sioux Lookout are melting and are starting to break up around the shore.

Little Vermilion Bay is slowly starting to melt.

Ghost River Lodges has packed up their yearly rail car and headed out to their boat in camp. They obviously haven't boated in to open up camp this year.

Ghost River Lodge near Sioux Lookout hoping that sunset means sunshine tomorrow.

I see some open water at Agimac River Outfitters near Ignace:

Open water! A week or two of nice temps should really speed things up.

Just how much ice is on Red Lake? Watch Hugh Carlson from Viking Island & Outposts checking the depth of the ice on May 1st. There's at least 16" of solid ice.

For those in Thunder Bay, the weather has been the hardest. They have had many huge snowfalls, with a couple of those being very late in the season. Freezing rain covered the city on May 4th. The following video by Giant FM shows just how much ice they got.

So when will the ice go out of the lakes in Northwest Ontario? It's anybody's guess. All I know if that's it's going to be at least a month later than last year. How's ice the where you're at?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring snow storm wallops the Thunder Bay area

Waist deep snow courtesy of AZ Bikes

The Spring of 2013 is sure to be remembered as 'the winter that never went away'. It is April 20th and usually at this time most of the snow has melted, the ice on the lake is rapidly disappearing and we are enjoying the warm sunshine beating down on us. Surprisingly the one thing that we have had this Spring is sunshine. Unfortunately the couple of cloudy days have brought heavy snowfalls.

That couldn't be more apparent today, as people are digging out from as much as 2 ft of heavy snow. While the storm has passed and the sun is out, there is a large swathe from the Atikokan area through Thunder Bay and along the north shore of Superior that is covered in many inches of heavy, wet snow.  The high winds that were strongly blowing during this latest snowstorm have made drifts so high, many had trouble even opening their house doors.

Take a look at some of the photos of the April 18/19, 2013 snowstorm.

April 19, 2013 snow storm
Michelle Key writes on Magic 99.9 "Trying to get to the front door."

Sarah Luchies writes "Wow! Is it April or December??" on Magic 99.9

Kashabowie Outposts Office - Just a wee bit of snow

John Erickson measures the snow depth in Thunder Bay and shares on CKDR

Photo submitted by Madison Wallace to Magic 99.9

Nearly 2 ft of snow falls on Nolalu. Photo courtesy of Bow Narrows Camp

So as you can see, many will be digging out for a long time. Any other year, it wouldn't matter as much because most of our snow would have been gone and we would have enjoying Spring. Since we haven't had Spring yet, this snow storm seems like Old Man Winter is kicking us when we are down.

How is it where you live? Are you ready for Spring?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Only 75 days to Ontario walleye opener

Lake of the Woods walleye fishing
Nice Lake of the Woods walleye
Each March many people are getting tired of winter and start the countdown to the walleye opening weekend. To many it marks the 'beginning of summer' to some it means having fresh walleye again and to some it means heading up north to their annual Canadian fishing trip.

After being closed for spawning, the walleye season opens up again in Northwest Ontario the 3rd Saturday in May each year. In 2013, that means May 18th is the day many have been dreaming about. While some anglers get fresh walleye by going ice fishing in the winter, those that are unable to make it to Sunset Country in the winter or just prefer to fish in the summer dream of opening day.

Ontario fly-in walleye fishing
Fly-in fishing at McKusker-Keeper Lakes Camp

You can download the 2013 fishing regulations from the Ministry of Natural Resources website. To fish in Ontario, you'll need an outdoors card as well as a fishing license. The Ministry of Natural Resources is encouraging you to buy your Ontario fishing license online before you head out on your fishing trip. You can purchase either a Sport or Conservation license. The conservation license has lower limits. You can download the Ontario fishing regulations as a whole book or just the zone you will be fishing. Be sure to check the exceptions as certain lakes have special limits and slot sizes.

If you haven't booked your 2013 walleye fishing trip yet, you'd better pick a place quick before they fill up. Check out some of the lodges in Ontario with walleye fishing now.

Let the countdown begin!