Boaters rejoice: All agree on Lake Minnetonka ice-out

  • Updated: May 3, 2013 - 6:49 AM
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Snow fell atop docks and the shoreline at Tonka Bay Marina on Lake Minnetonka in late April.

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.

KELLY SMITH

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