The video footage that captured glacier-like ice heaves forming on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs may be a hot find online, but it's causing headaches for many who live in the area.
Many people are drawn to Mille Lacs annually for the walleye fishing, but those who tried to attend the fishing opener there this year were only able to admire a wall of seemingly endless ice.
"Last year, we had our shirts off, boat in the water a couple weeks in advance," recalled Brent Rebischke. "It's just unbelievable to come up here and see icebergs."
While most anglers already accepted the lake was covered in a thick layer of ice, they did not expect the powerful northwest winds to push it all up against the south shore in slow motion.
"I've fished on the lake several times on the opener years ago," Ken McBride told FOX 9 News. "This is the first time I've seen ice on this lake."
Darla Johnson shot video of the ice floe inching its way closer to her friend's townhome. By Sunday morning, more than half a dozen units were damaged by its chilly march despite bringing in a bulldozer to try and protect parts of the property by pushing the ice back toward the lake.
While some homes saw broken windows and doors, much of the damage was limited to landscaping, with bushes and trees near the shore ripped out of the ground. A lot of large rocks were also left in back yards, and the resorts and bait shops that count on catching a profit on opening day say the ice shut them out entirely.
Local residents told FOX 9 News the snow that fell in recent weeks slowed down the ice out on Mille Lacs, which usually occurs about a week after Lake Minnetonka sees open water. This year, they estimate they still have at least a week to go.
The ice wasn't the only thing moving at a glacial pace in the area over the weekend either. The late spring has much of the fishing industry waiting to lure customers back.
"Usually, there's 5,000 boats in the lake and now, there's probably 10," said Doug Sandmann. "It's an economic disaster for them for this time of year."
In fact, even those who live on the lakes with open water opted to take a pass on the opener this year because of the high winds.
"The revenue that this weekend brings in for this lake is outstanding. This is the kickoff for the entire fishing season," explained Rebiscke. "With the slot limit changing and now this, I don't know what's going to happen. It's paralyzing."
Mille Lacs isn't the only lake that struggled with a sluggish spring and fishing frustrations. Across the state, nine of the Top 10 walleye lakes were still covered in ice.
Other lakes in Minnesota also saw similar ice heaves wash up on shore. FOX 9 Viewer Sarah Murphy sent in this footage taken on Friday on the shores of Lake Bemidji: http://uploads.myfoxtwincities.com/media/3426655
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?