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Western Maine lakes iceout

I have a sinking sense that the lakes in western Maine won't be kayakable until June. The area got up to 20" of snow just a few days ago. In the last 30 days the temperature has been below zero on 15 days. Minus twenty last night, minus 13 tonight. Last year the area was kayakable in April. What a sad state of affairs. The paddling season might only be six months long this year. In 2012-13 I paddled 11 months out of 12.


  • Not sad
    its just nature. Embrace it. Enjoy all the seasons and weather.
  • Don't give up hope...temps are beginning
    to fluctuate a little, even up here in Bangor....cold mornings but 20s to 30s, with a day or two weekly skirting low 40s. The constant thing in Maine is change. Moosehead has an average ice-out of around Memorial Day, so I can't see the SW lakes locked up any later...$.01 *Will be interesting though to see when things DO free up...
  • I live in western Maine and
    Can post when my lake ice starts to candle. The sugar season is a flop. Last year ice out April 22. Might be May 1. We'll see
  • How thick is the ice right now?
    It must be thicker than in most years with temperatures like there have been. So even if the temperature starts rising now, there must be a LOT of ice to melt. That's why I'm saying no paddling until June.
  • Don't really know
    Two feet at least
    Lakes have been insulated with snow so if the snow melts (and when) light can get in will determine the date. I doubt ice has been much affected by temps with the snow there.
  • Embrace winter
    -- Last Updated: Mar-21-14 7:02 PM EST --


  • Great video
    How come no hiking poles??
  • I agree
    I haven't done anything remotely resembling an epic trip this winter, but I've gone out in some of our wonderful local marshlands/swamplands using snowshoes quite a bunch of times. Winter hiking is a lot like warm-season boating. Both activities let you see places and seasonal moods that you'd never imagine otherwise. In winter I don't miss boating at all - I'm enjoying the stuff you can only do in winter to much to think about that. And that's without even coming close to high-level adventures!
  • You come deal with my driveway
    I'm a little tired of having to wear crampons to the mailbox sice Dec 24.
    Don't get me started on the Christmas decorations . The extension cord is solidly frozen under feet of snow. At least hiding eggs for Easter will be easy

    Just insert and pat the snow even. Some might get found at the end of May
  • If that is an offer to
    -- Last Updated: Mar-21-14 7:20 AM EST --

    come and take care of my driveway if I do yours we have a deal! But, you should be careful what you wish for.

    Tell me - can we post a link to a youtube video that you can click to view the video? I thought we could do that but now I can't recall how.

  • Posting links
    I'm pretty sure the only problem is the "https" in your link. I bet if you eliminated the "s" (which someone here said stands for "secure connection"), the link will become click-able.
  • Someone else!
    No extension cord but the Christmas decorations that are in planters may be there into April. I lifted the mass yesterday and they are still a frozen block, so I can't separate the save-for-next-year reusable stuff from the balsam cuttings. I did the decorating the second week of December.
  • yes - that did it
    thanks for the tip.
  • In MN
    It's looking like a late season again in MN as well. Last year it was mid to late May on the lakes in the northern half of the state. The St. Croix river was early May as I recall, but it was running to high and fast, between 30k and 35K cfs which is too much for me.
  • Never been to Maine, but...
    I can't imagine anywhere in the world being "the only place you want to paddle". Sounds like you need to schedule a road trip to explore other areas of the US. No matter where you go, you can find some great paddling spots. Just like surfers and their "endless summer" rhetoric and how they travel around following summer. Skiers do it too. That's what I'll be doing when my son gets a little older - old enough to join me.
  • Ice still here in NJ
    All lakes are still frozen, with the exception of Round Valley Reservoir which is frozen in the bays and open deeper waters are ice free. Passaic River has been open from upstream of the Dundee dam. Have tentative plans to go paddling today in the Passaic.
  • Who is this for?
    Can't see anyone above that would be the source of your quote.

    That said, we paddle elsewhere plus Maine, but it is hard to deny the sheer amount of good paddling (all types) to be had in Maine. It just takes a bunch of driving to get to a lot of it.
  • For up to date information
    given by folks actually there, the State maintains an ice out date page.
    Its updated daily as each lake opens. Check for your waterbody here


    Last update was in April.. so you can conclude indeed that currently nothing is open.
  • i hate assuming
    but the original post inferred (unless I misunderstood) that the paddling season would be shortened because of the bitterly cold winter causing a lengthier freeze. All I was saying was to get around that, you have to open your travel options.
  • Makes sense
    I figured that was your assumption. It also makes sense that many people do most of their paddling close to home. I myself paddle several hundred miles a year within 100 miles of home (mostly within 60 miles), and typically am able to take only about four to five days per year of paddling-related vacation time, which perhaps is the reason I don't assume traveling is a logical solution to the "problem" for any certain individual (I put "problem" in quotes because I myself am not bothered by a shortened paddling season at all, as already noted).
  • Hadn't thought of that
    But it could be sheer time and luxury to travel. Much of the best paddling in Maine is a heck of a drive. That means to get out of Maine as well as to get into it. We go to midcoast each year for some amount of time, and it is a once-there-stay-put kind of vacation. I regularly have offers to play (music) back around home while we are there, but it is just too long a haul to come back for a pickup concert.
  • Not disagreeing with the paddling-thing,
    -- Last Updated: Mar-23-14 2:49 PM EST --

    there is a lot of water around, and as GBG mentioned..and I can attest to..."close to home" is at the top of the list, wherever you are, but don't know about the skiing-thing, you don't often see that many good skiers saving up their paychecks to go to Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma...etc...to get their pow fixes...mmulvey.;-) ...although give the climate a little time...farmland needs water..
    *AND after all the driving, Celia, one still has to put up with the stupid fees.

  • Ice out here in central Iowa
    -- Last Updated: Mar-25-14 1:46 AM EST --

    Well at least the ice left our six acre pond yesterday. However the snow is due back tonight and tomorrow. The forecast is from 1-4 inches by Monday afternoon.

    This winter is not leaving without a fight, but it will leave damn it!

  • NW Joisey still solid
    Wallkill River run shut down fer awhile....


  • ...AND having almost announced
    winter dead in a few weeks = will probably guarantee us of 12"+ in a few days...lol..lol.
  • -18 tonight in Rangeley
    That must be some kind of record for March. It's 38 degrees below normal.

    Nighttime temperatures aren't going to be above freezing for another month, according to forecasters. That means there will be thawing on some rare days for the next month and refreezing at night, with no net loss of ice.

    So significant ice loss won't start until May 1. Seems doubtful that it could all melt during the month of May. So I'm revising my ice-out prediction to . . . July 1! Yeah, I'm serious! You are forewarned to find something else to do for the next three months.
  • Moosehead ice out
    I did some math for ice out on Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in Maine. Average iceout in the past 30 years has been May 4th with the latest being May 15th in 1978. 1846 ice out was May 26 which is where Mamorial Day falls this year.
  • Update
    There is some 3-4 feet of ice as of today on Chesuncook and Moosehead.

    You can look at this


    its in Julian days so you have to do some math and do your own estimate
  • Four feet!
    We're doomed. Any mathematicians here?

  • still a lotta good snow out there....
  • Poll?
    Maybe we should start a pole for ice out on one of the big lakes. My guess is May 17.
  • Well there are various effegies
    on poles on floats..Deliberately unbalanced so that when the ice goes out the float falls over and in goes the figure.

    There is one on Moose Pond and another on Crystal Lake around here


    Phone number is still good. Might as well try to make a bit of money.

    Moose is not likely to fall in Moose Pond right now as it did in March 2010

  • His treatment, with respect to the angle
    -- Last Updated: Apr-02-14 12:49 PM EST --

    of the sun's rays(ever increasing) is on par with Oregonian pi = 3.0.... It's not a minor issue imho...perhaps I'm wrong..but I'll bet ya' a lunch @BlackFrog(in Greenville) it'll keep ice-out within a week +/- of 5/31. The ever increasing angle of the sun generating warmth on solid objects is a large part of the puzzle.

  • May first is day 121
  • Snowpack above Milo IS still pretty deep
    ... Think you're closer to reality than I was Waterbird, as you probably suspected. Unless some drastic meltdown occurs we are headed for a 2nd-week+ June iceout on Moosehead imho.
  • Channel 6 last night
    reported the average snowpack state wide was 8.2 inches with a wide range of cover from 0 (south) to 80 inches (north).

    Ice fishermen are expected to be out at least another week or ten days in the south. There were quite a few enjoying the sun yesterday


    We had a nice snow walk in Pownal yesterday.
  • Chesuncook Web Cam
    -- Last Updated: Apr-15-14 8:51 PM EST --


    This thread brings me back to trips in the northwest territories when we had a July 1 put in date and we were all getting panicky and checking the satellite images every day and they showed the lakes we were planning to land on were still full of ice until the morning we all had to fly to Yellowknife. One of the trips involved landing on a small lake that was still 50% iced in.

  • Its starting

    Looks about two weeks later than last year. That link has several webcams in addition to Chesuncook.
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