We seem to have dodged some of the nasty rain conditions that were seen near the coast and south of us. We had a very thin candy coating of ice followed by about 4" of powder. Which did a pretty good job of bringing the land based conditions back into play to some extent. As long as you didn't edge too hard.
We've had a bit of wind the last 24 hours and given how cold it is and how light the snow we got was I thought I might head out and see how things are holding up. In a nutshell, the snow you see in the image about has apparently been blow to someplace else. Someplace where it will likely do no good. Leaving the fields a scoured mix of dirt and ice. Most of the wind has been West and some areas have been sheltered to some extent but most of the wide open ones are bony at the moment. Maybe the Nor'Easter due in this weekend will bring them back into usable shape.
Things are setting up. The shallow bodies of water have locked up and have held up to the winds we've had. The cold temps that are coming in now should help build the ice a bit more although it will be slowed by the snow layer. Deeper lakes are still wide open. Winne is wide open for the most part but Melvin is locked up as are some other bays and coves. Choco has been frozen for a while and there is a trailer/bob house out there now but they are only about 100' out. This trailer is there every year and usually 500' out. Last time we drilled holes the ice was 6" near shore and then tapered rapidly as you ventured further out. Today it was about 4" of glass about 500' out so maybe after tonight it will be usable as long as you stay away from the usual inlets and outlets. Not 100% but a lot closer than 2 weeks ago.
From the pic above you can see we are running into slush in some places. Some of it is being forced through the flexing ice sheets, some is from ice fishermen. Most of it seems to be less than a line length from shore but something you want to be aware of. Especially in these temps. Under the snow it's protected from freezing until you run your skis or board through it and expose it to the cold air. Then it snap freezes and saddle your feet with about 15-20 pounds of ice. Really, really annoying in good conditions and potentially dangerous in bad.
WARNING. No ice is ever 100% safe. We offer condition reports as a service to our students and clients who are familiar with the area and as a source of general condition information to others. These reports are not intended to replace common sense or up to the minute first hand knowledge of a given area. Nor is it a substitute for common sense. When in doubt don't go out.