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Green Lake in Spicer, Minn., still waiting on ice-out record

A large section of ice is visible Wednesday on Green Lake. A resident who lives on the east side of the lake commented that the ice has been moving back and forth from the shore toward the middle of the lake the past several days. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

SPICER -- A new record for a late ice-out on Green Lake is sure to be set.

The record to be beat is a May 7 ice-out recorded in 1951.

There was too much ice on the lake Wednesday to qualify for the ranking of ice free, according to those who keep an eye on the matter.

There was still a significant amount of ice on the northeast side of the lake, noted Brad Carlson, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff in Spicer.

Greg Melges, Mel's Sports Shop, Spicer, concurred. He pointed out that while there are areas of open water, it was premature to call the lake ice free.

The accepted definition of ice free has referred to the lake as having open water in all directions, and without large and potentially dangerous blocks of ice floating about either.

Melges has lived on the lake all of his 74 years, and has been helping call the ice-free date for the last 56 years.

The rain falling on Wednesday could hasten the departure of the ice, and could make the lake ice free today, May 9. That would come just in the nick of time for the fishing opener on Saturday.

However, after waiting through a winter this long, Melges knows better than to make any promises.

The ice-out dates have been kept for Kandiyohi County's largest and deepest body of water since 1897. The earliest ice-out was recorded on March 20, 2012.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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