Today’s photo was taken on the North Shore of Devil’s Lake State Park yesterday, April 4th, 2013. As you can see, the ice is starting to pull back but only a bit. To clear out the rest of the ice, we need a continued string of warm days and even some heavy rains will help. It sounds like we’re in for both here in the Baraboo hills over the next week. This year many people are a little surprised that the ice is still hanging around. I’ve heard a few folks suggest that spring is late this year. I was feeling that way too but let’s face it, we were spoiled by last year’s early start! To get a feel for this spring, I went back through my photos over the last few years to see how this spring compared. Here is what I found…
2004 – In 2004 the ice was completely off the lake by April 17th.
2005 – On April 5th, 2005 about half the lake was still covered with ice. The south shore was open, but the north end was still frozen.
2006 – In 2006 the ice was just finally clearing off the lake at the end of MAY! I photos of drift ice piling up on the north shore on May 28th, 2006
2008 – I went paddling on the lake on April 5th 2008. The lake was still 3/4 covered in ice, but there was an opening on the north shore.
2009 – In 2009 I went paddling on the lake on April 15th. The ice was gone and the lake flies were out. Lake flies come out about 2 weeks after the ice clears from the lake.
2010 – In 2010 the ice had only receded 30 yards or so from shore by the end of March. On April 5th, 2010 only about half the lake was clear of ice. The south side was still covered.
2011 – On April 5th 2011, there was open water all around the edges of the lake and the ice in the center was very thin and gave way in just a couple more days. I went kayaking on the lake on April 8th.
In 2012, the ice was off the lake in early March. It was a strange year. But all in all, 2013 looks to be a pretty average year so far. It’s certainly nothing like 2006 when the ice nearly hung on until June!!