MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In what officials are calling one of the latest dates ever recorded, Hennepin County declared an official “ice out” on Wednesday.
Usually, the ice out gets called by mid-April at Lake Minnetonka. The declaration gets made whenever a boat can be piloted through the narrows at Big Island and back to the Sheriff’s Water Patrol Unit in Spring Park.
As far as records have been kept, there have only been three instances when the ice out was declared in May. The first was May 2, 1950, and the next was May 1, 1965. This year marks the third time for a May ice out and comes just one year after one of the earliest recorded dates — March 20, 2012.
Despite the declaration, the county sheriff’s office urged everyone to use caution when boating on Lake Minnetonka, as the water remains very cold and many navigational buoys are not yet in place.
Businesses near the lake, on the other hand, say they are ready for spring business. Marinas said they started working around the clock on Monday to get boats in reversed slips. And Lord Fletchers, a restaurant that sits on the lake, said it will host a crappie fishing tournament this weekend…even if it’s chilly out.