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Author Topic: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?  (Read 1937 times)

Offline tear_knee

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Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« on: December 30, 2016, 05:30:50 pm »
Planning on heading up to the Temagami area next week for five days of winter fun. We've planned a little loop starting on Cassels Lake and going through Blueberry and Rabbit.
I've been checking Ottertooth obsessively for ice condition reports, and I'm aware that only part of the Big Lake is ice-covered.
Wondering if anyone has been up there recently and knows conditions for the Cassels/Blueberry/Rabbit area just east of the town of Temagami... I've been checking out ice fishing forums for details but everyone seems focused on Lake Temag itself and not the smaller water bodies. Also, I'm no angler, so would feel weird joining an ice fishing forum.

Offline gnatwest

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 09:16:42 am »
Considering the smaller kawarthas are all frozen I would think further north smaller will be ok.

Offline kinguq

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 01:42:56 pm »
Hi TearKnee,

Here in North Bay, Trout lake has been frozen for just over 2 weeks. This lake tends to be one of the later ones to freeze up in the district as it is very deep. I had a look at it this morning and could not see any snowmobile tracks on it, however we have had a lot of snow so they may have been obscured. The ice seemed OK, white ice under the snow from the thaw/refreeze last week. I did not test the thickness as I was not carrying an axe at the time!

With the recent snow you should expect slush, but that is almost a given this time of year.

Cassels and Rabbit have cottages as I am sure you know so there will be snowmobile traffic, which can be good or bad depending on your point of view. Blueberry is nice, so is Sunrise if you are going that way.

I enjoy your trip reports on your blog!

Daniel.

Offline tear_knee

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 11:56:03 am »
Thanks for the info, kinguq.
We called Doug at Northland Paradise Lodge for information about ice conditions, and he told us of some places to avoid on Cassels (like where the Net Creek enters the lake). He actually called us again this morning to warn us about cold temperatures in the forecast. I'm not worried about the cold, but I am concerned that the ice is still unsafe. If so, we will adjust our plan accordingly to avoid lake crossings and find something else accessible.

Offline rbinhood

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 08:12:11 pm »
If you are crossing lakes and are at all worried about the ice safety, I would strongly suggest that you pick up a set of ice fishing picks and carry them with you whenever you are on the ice. A set can be had for less than $10.00 and they are cheap insurance. Most come with a cord that joins them and which can be threaded through your jacket sleeves so they hang just outside the sleeve and you don't have to go fishing for them in an emergency. I have a pair that are spring loaded so the sharp ends retract until you try to jam them into something hard. You still have to be strong enough to pull yourself out of the water in soaked clothing, but they can make the difference between hanging on until help arrives or going under and not surviving.

A few weeks ago I was testing some of our local ice conditions. I made it a point to not walk out past where I knew the water was greater than waist deep. I was by myself, and got off the ice quickly after realizing that if I went in, I didn't have a partner to help me get out.

People gutsier than I am carry a spud and keep punching it in front of them as they walk. If they fall in, they can always lay the spud across the hole and try to use it to pull themselves out.
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."
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Offline tear_knee

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 09:17:55 pm »
Thanks, rbinhood. Bought a couple pairs of retractable picks yesterday. Safety first!

Our route is going to be dependant on advice we get from locals when we get up there tomorrow. If we have to basecamp elsewhere for five days, that's just the way it is. I still want to get outside!

Offline memaquay

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2017, 10:38:34 pm »
As Kinguq mentioned slush at this time of year can be an interesting and challenging experience.  If you are not familiar with slush, it is basically a layer of water and snow that sits on top of a layer of ice.  If you have really big snowshoes, like 5 foot alaskans, you can sometimes travel on top of the slush if you move quickly.  However, your pulk or sled might not have the same success.  Once you get slush on your snowshoes or sled, you pretty much have to get out of the slush and try to get it off, which can be an interesting endeavour, as it usually freezes right away, adding a great deal of weight and resistance.

If you fall through in slush, you will probably freak out, as you may think you are going to the bottom of the lake.  However, slush can range in depth from a few inches to a few feet.  Your feet will stop on the ice below.

If there is an area of lake that is slushy and you want to cross it, you can camp close by and do an experimental trail with just you and your snowshoes.  If you can make it there and back on the same trail, the slush that surfaces on your trail will freeze and usually provide good support the next morning.

Of course, if you can find snowmobile tracks on the ice, they will usually be safe.

In my opinion, there is a far greater chance of getting slushed than falling through.  If you get good and slushed, return to shore, put up tent, get warm and get good and sloshed.  There's an upside to everything!

Online kiggy

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Re: Temagami Area Ice Conditions (smaller lakes)?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 01:49:47 pm »
I went to Haliburton yesterday, small lake was 7" all over, with foot of wet snow. bigger lakes had skim ices, they were open over Christmas