2014 will be remembered as the second year in a row with a late lake ice out in Minnesota. In general, lakes in 2014 lost their ice about nine days later than the median, but also nine days earlier than in 2013. The first lake to lose its ice was Lake Zumbrota in Goodhue County and the last was Greenwood Lake in Cook County on May 24.
One large lake set a record late ice out and that was Lake of the Woods with an ice out of May 21. The old record was May 16, 1996. It should be noted that Lake of the Woods only has ice out data back to the mid 1980's.
The major contributor to the late ice out in 2014 was persistent cool and cloudy spring weather, especially across northern Minnesota in May. April average statewide temperature was 4.5 degrees below the 1981-2010 normal and the first seventeen days of May were from three to six degrees below normal. This delayed ice out. There were more lakes open for the fishing opener on May 10 than for the opener in 2013, but anglers still ran into ice in far northern Minnesota lakes including Rainy Lake of the Woods and Vermilion.