When will winter lose its icy grip?
Here’s a way to dream about spring: Take a gaze at all of the ice out on the lakes and predict when it will disappear.
And you could pick up a cool prize, too. The annual Echo Press Ice Out Contest is now under way.
Readers are invited to send their best guess as to when the ice will leave Lake L’Homme Dieu. Entry form is on Page C3 in today’s newspaper and will also be available in this weekend’s Lakeland Shopping Guide.
Only one guess is allowed per person.
Whoever nails the right date or comes closest will win a $50 gift certificate from Elden’s Fresh Foods in Alexandria. If more than one person guesses the right date, a drawing will break the tie.
All entries must be received at the newspaper office by noon on Friday, April 4.
Official ice-spotters from the Echo Press will determine when the ice has left the lake.
The Echo Press has been keeping track of the ice-out times dating back to 1867. Lake Osakis was originally the official lake but the site was changed to Lake L’Homme Dieu in 1965.
Last year’s ice-out of May 13 came just two days shy of the latest ever ice-out recorded by the newspaper: May 15, 1878.
The late ice conditions last spring triggered suspense about whether the lakes would be ready for boaters in time for the fishing opener.
The ice has left the lake on May 1 or later just seven times in the last 100 years.
L’HOMME DIEU ICE OUT DATES
1994 April 18
1995 April 26
1996 April 29
1997 April 26
1998 April 7
1999 April 10
2000 March 25
2001 April 26
2002 Apri 16
2003 April 13
2004 April 7
2005 April 11
2006 April 9
2007 April 18
2008 May 2
2009 April 21
2010 April 2
2011 April 22
2012 March 25
2013 May 13