Ice-out was declared Thursday morning for Lake Minnetonka, meaning the sprawling body of water in the west metro is fully navigational.
The declaration, made by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the nonprofit Freshwater Society, was issued at 7:30 a.m. and came after the Sheriff’s Office had been on routine patrols monitoring ice thickness.
Ice-out is made when a boat can be piloted through all of the lake’s channels and bays without obstruction by ice. The last remnants of ice can still be found around Crane Island, south of Big Island and around Browns Bay.
Typically on Lake Minnetonka, the declaration comes in mid-April. Last year, it came on May 1. Record-keeping of ice-out dates on the lake began in the late 1880s.
This is the first time that the Sheriff’s Office and the Freshwater Society have shared the declaration honors.
“It’s an effort to be as accurate as we can be,” Freshwater Society spokesman Pat Sweeney said. “It’s a fundamentally subjective issue.”
The east metro’s version of ice-out came Wednesday morning, when White Bear Lake was declared ice-free. Several smaller lakes in the metro area have been ice-free for several days.