Some Gunflint Trail Lakes Have Open Water

     The Gunflint Trail isn’t normally busy for the Minnesota fishing opener and this year it was even less busy than normal. The solid state of most of the lakes made fishing in a boat a bit of a challenge.  Some anglers were able to find a little bit of open water to do some fishing but for the most part people didn’t go fishing. There’s still ice on many of the lakes in the Boundary Waters so travel this spring has been limited to day trips on creeks and rivers.

     When will the lakes finally be free of ice? Will the ice be off of Saganaga by the Canadian fishing opener this coming weekend? These are great questions many people are asking.  Mark Ceminsky, a Voyageur Crew member, has been out taking photos of the ice out progress the past couple of weeks.  While our little Gull Lake and Seagull River are open up to the narrows on Saganaga Lake there’s still a good 18 inches of ice up by Clark Island. This isn’t solid, good ice but it is ice nonetheless.

     If the sun shines, the wind blows or we get some rain then the ice will deteriorate quickly. If it doesn’t then we may be out of luck. Gunflint is opening up by the Cross River, Round Lake is reportedly ice free with paddlers heading towards Tuscarora, Larch Creek is running and Larch Lake could be ice free. Swamper Lake still has a thin sheet of ice floating on top of it but looks like it will go very soon.  There are some places to paddle if you’re adventurous. Smaller, shallower lakes will be the first to go.

     Right now it’s a waiting game on the Gunflint Trail. Waiting for the ice to melt…

saganaga lake

Looking Toward Saganaga Narrows


Saganaga Lake

Looking at the Saganaga Public Landing


Saganaga Lake

Looking out towards Clark Island on Saganaga Lake