Lake Mille Lacs Ice Encroaching on Properties, Fishing Opener

Updated: 05/02/2014 6:27 PM
Created: 05/02/2014 4:13 PM
By: Stephen Tellier

Walls of ice moving off Lake Mille Lacs are causing problems for homeowners living on the lake. Ice has covered roads and pushed through the windows of homes. It's something people have dealt with before, but many are also worried about the lake for the fishing opener, which is only eight days away.

It's one of Mother Nature's most head-scratching habits.

"It's such big hunks that will break off, and then they just move," said Marie Amperson, who owns a cabin right on the lake, north of Garrison.

Huge slabs of ice are migrating from the half-frozen surface of Lake Mille Lacs, and onto its western shore.

"Nature does some strange things," Amperson said.

When temperatures began to rise this year, the winds came in from the east, blowing all the melting ice on the lake up onto the shore -- mountains and mountains of ice. And one of those mountains came within a few feet of Amperson's home.

"Somebody called and told us that some of our property had been damaged," Amperson said. So she rushed up from Richfield earlier this week, but found her cabin unscathed. Her neighbor wasn't as lucky. A giant mound of ice was a very unwelcome visitor at that home.

Few properties have been damaged. But the big concern now is the fishing opener next Saturday.

"There's our dock, and there's no way that we're going to be able to put it out here," Amperson said.

"Mother Nature has been kicking our butt all year anyway," said Linda Eno, the owner of Twin Pines Resort on Lake Mille Lacs. And Mother Nature's latest gifts to the resort are several mini-glaciers, sitting in the worst possible spot.

"We've still got 20 feet right where my dock and my launches are supposed to go," Eno said.

How in the world are those docks going to be ready to go just in seven days? Eno said they'll find a way.

"We are lucky enough to have a back hoe, and we'll have to get out there with one of our machines, and maybe just people with a shovel," Eno said. "A lot of stuff has happened through the years, but we will be ready."

The National Weather Service is predicting ice-out on Lake Mille Lacs sometime in the next week. There are already some areas of open water popping up near that western shore.

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