Lake Pepin Ice Surveys Canceled This Year

The St. Paul Engineer District announced that it has canceled the annual Lake Pepin ice surveys this year due to unusually warm weather conditions within the region, resulting in less ice than normal.

Patrick Moes, public affairs specialist for the St. Paul District, noted that since four locks were already going to be closed for repairs until March 15 at the latest, “There was really not a lot of value in putting our guys out there” to measure the ice this year.  “There was a little bit of ice, but hardly any.” To his knowledge, it is the first and only time that the ice surveys have been canceled in 30 years of record-keeping.

He added that ice fishing in the entire region, normally a popular winter activity, has been “devastated” this year due to the warm weather.

Lake Pepin ice thickness measurements typically start in mid-February and are conducted on a weekly basis. Measurements are reported from each mile on the Upper Mississippi River between Miles 765 and 786. Lake Pepin is a naturally occurring lake formed by glacial activity during the last Ice Age, through which the Upper Mississippi River channel flows.

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If conditions change, district staff will re-evaluate the need based on conditions and in coordination with the navigation industry.