The ice on area lakes generally went out on April 1 or 2 across much of west central Minnesota. Cormorant, Sallie and Detroit Lakes, according to the State Climatologist’s office in St. Paul, were considered ice free on April 2. Otter Tail and Battle Lakes also were reported ice free on that date. This was three to four weeks earlier than last year when many of these lakes were ice covered until April 23 or later.
Around Bemidji, both Lake Bemidji and Itasca set records for the earliest ice-out dates with Itasca going ice free on April 3 and Bemidji on April 6. As with all such records, they need to be taken in the context of the length of record, as most lakes only have 50 to 75 years of trustworthy data.
Probably the year with the earliest ice out dates in this area was in 1910 which was by far the warmest March since 1881 and the lakes with records that far back confirm that suspicion.