There’s no disputing it now.
No matter how you calculate it, the ice is officially out on Lake Minnetonka — just four days short of the record.
At 1:30 a.m. Thursday, the Freshwater Society declared ice-out on the lake. It followed the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office’s declaration of ice-out a day earlier at 4 a.m. Wednesday. That’s because the two organizations have different definitions of what qualifies as ice-out — a much-anticipated spring milestone for the popular Twin Cities lake.
For the county, a water patrol boat has to be able to navigate from Spring Park through several channels to Big Island. The Freshwater Society, which has tracked the ice-out for decades, says a small boat has to be able to travel from one shoreline to another.
Either way, it’s the first time in nearly half a century that the ice has gone out on Lake Minnetonka in May. According to the Freshwater Society, this year’s ice-out is 42 days past last year’s unusually early ice-out of March 21 — also a day after when the county declared ice-out. The latest ice-out recorded by the Excelsior nonprofit: May 5, 1857.