Minnesota Lake Ice Out Dates

Cold water dangers

30 percent of boating fatalities happen on cold water where the victim is more likely to die by drowning than of hypothermia. Wearing a life jacket, not just bringing it, can save your life.

Ice is never 100% safe

The DNR does not measure ice thickness on Minnesota lakes. Your safety is your responsibility. Check ice thickness at least every 150 feet. Ice out dates should not be used to track ice thickness for recreational use. Ice conditions can change rapidly and should be checked frequently.

Public water access

DNR crews manage 1500 public water accesses. They will install as many docks as possible at ice free waterbodies before the fishing opener.

Definition of Lake Ice Out

The definition of lake ice out can vary from lake to lake. For the citizen observers reporting data, ice out occurs when the lake is completely free of ice. Or, it may be when it is possible to navigate from point A to point B. Ice out may also be when a lake is 90 percent free of ice. Observers use consistent criteria from year to year when reporting lake ice out dates.

Frequency of Updates

The map is not updated in real time. Updates to the lake ice out map are made as information is available.

Become a Citizen Observer

Post the date, lake name and county to the Minnesota DNR Climate Office Facebook page.

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