The lake is starting to think it might be Spring and time to melt all the ice. It was warm a few days ago and then got cold. But on the 20th, tomorrow, things are going to change. Temperatures will be in the 50s with the sun, things will start to melt. A foot or more of ice needs to melt before the lake is free of ice so it will be awhile but given the forecast, early ice-out guesses may win the day.
In the Sister Islands, there is often areas that become ice free early. On the 14th of March, an area of open water was on the east side of Loon.
Going west from Stamp Act, another area of open water was along the line that is generally a pressure ridge and the ice is weak in that area. Those areas melt first.
From the air, those two areas of open water can be seen as well as some other open areas around the Sisters. Open water extended from Poplar Island to Wal Island, an island south of Loon.
The big rocks off the south side of Stamp Act also had open water around them. The sun warms the rocks and melt the ice. Also, during the winter as the water level fluctuates, the ice around the rocks is broken up so it is not as thick as on the rest of the lake.
One interesting thing was happening on the rocks that go SW from Loon. As the ice expands and contracts during the winter, it pushes up on shores. In this case, the ice has pushed up sand onto the rocks and also moved large rocks.
Here, the amount of sand is shown as a rather large amount. This motion of ice in the winter is a prime factor in keeping beaches clear and also pushing sand up to keep them “sandy”. It should be noted that if any shore owner moved this amount of sand along their beach without a permit, they would be liable for hefty fines. Also, moving this amount of sand probably wouldn’t make a “lasting” beach. If nature doesn’t have a beach in front of your house, it will take away any sand you put there. Most likely, the “lake” won’t be fined for this moving of sand.
South facing shores were also melting and the next week will cause more of it. The sun bakes the shoreline rocks and they then melt the ice. Below is a picture of the south side of Stamp Act and almost the entire shore has melted ice 5 to 10 yards from shore. Along that shore, you could not get from the island onto the lake ice.
A bird’s eye view of Cate Island indicates that it is basically surrounded by water. It may be possible to get onto the island from the NE from the lake ice but it may be iffy.