In some parts of Maine, winter never really arrived this year. Lakes were slow to freeze, snow was reluctant to fall, and thousands of us have been looking at brown grass for weeks.
The bright side, I suppose, is this: If you’re an open-water angler, you’ll likely have plenty of early opportunities to fish your favorite lake or pond sooner than you might have expected.
Proof of that: Yesterday I received a press release from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s Boating Facilities Program. The subject: “Maine Lake Ice Out Dates Updated.”
That’s right. Ice is going out as we speak.
Before I say much more, I’ve got to make an important point: Even if the ice is out, you might not want to head onto your favorite lake in a boat. The water is deadly cold, and even if you’re wearing a life vest — which I’m sure you would — surviving after a dip in a frigid pond is not a sure thing.
But if you’re eager to embrace signs of our impending spring, there is good news awaiting.
Ice went out on Eagle Lake in Bar Harbor on March 1. Gardner Lake in East Machias lost its winter coat on March 2. And the main basin of Sebago Lake in southern Maine never froze at all this winter, according to the state.
Want to check on the status of your own favorite lake or pond in the coming weeks? You can do so here.
Just remember: Be safe out there.