The ice was officially declared out on Lake Auburn Thursday, but if you were planning on launching your craft at the…

Posted by Sun Journal on Friday, April 24, 2015

Some patches of ice could remain on the water, but they should be tucked away in coves along the shore, said Mary Jane Dillingham, water quality manager for the Twin Cities’ water utilities.

“What we don’t want is pockets of ice that shift and then lock boaters in,” she said earlier in the day Thursday. “We want to make sure that it’s going to be safe to navigate before we open it up.”

Dillingham said a crew would put the lake’s dock in the water off Route 4, open the portable toilets and put down buoys Friday morning.

“We try and get the fishermen out there as soon as possible, because they are usually chomping at the bit to get there,” Dillingham said.

It’s be the second year in a row that April 23 was the day the lake’s ice cleared, although the lake iced in two days earlier last winter.

Records kept by the authority show a trend toward fewer days with the lake completely iced over since 1953. In the decade between 1955 and 1965, Lake Auburn was iced over for an average of 127 days, according to Lewiston-Auburn Watershed Protection Commission records.

That number was down to 125 days in the decade between 1965 and 1975, and down again to 115 days between 1975 and 1985.

It has continued down to an average of 98 days between 2005 and the current year.

Dillingham said that’s a climate trend and not limited to Maine.

“Other lakes are experiencing the same thing,” she said. “The (United States Geologic Survey) has done studies on that trend, so it’s not just limited to Lake Auburn.”

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Source: Lake Auburn Wateshed Protection Commission

Here are historic ice-out dates for Lake Auburn, from the USGS:

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