MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Fresh Water Society declared an “ice-out” on Lake Minnetonka on Monday.

The official call for the ice-out was made at 5:06 p.m. An ice-out can be declared when a boat can be piloted through all of the lake’s channels and bays without being obstructed by ice.

Lake Minnetonka has 37 bays and is more than 14,500 acres in size. This year’s declaration was highly-anticipated after a warm stretch in early March, but it’s 10 days later than last year. The earliest ice-out recorded on Lake Minnetonka was on March 11 back in 1878.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is reminding boaters to use caution when out on the lake as tere are many navigational buoys that are not yet in place.