May 8 will be recorded as the day Lake Vermilion shed its ice cover this year

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 — When darkness fell last night, May 8, the ice covering some of Lake Vermilion remained in place following a day of light rain. Wednesday morning, sometime before the noon hour, airplane flights across the area revealed that no ice remained anywhere on the lake and May 8 will be the official ice-out date for Lake Vermilion in 2018.

Tradition has long been to record the date the ice goes out as a day which starts at 12:00 noon and continues overnight until 11:59, in the morning the following day. Under the dark cover of night time it is impossible to be sure if the ice clears before, or after midnight. Such is the manner in which the ice has been recorded by The Tower News, and the Tower Weekly News before it, for many decades. Because the lake had cleared its ice before noon today, May 9, The Tower News will report in its Friday edition that ice-out occurred no May 8, four days before this year’s walleye fishing opener.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources records Lake Vermilion as spanning 39,271 acres, making it seventh among Minnesota’s 10 largest lakes. It stretches 37 miles end-to-end, has a maximum depth of 76 feet and boasts 365 islands and 341 miles of shoreline. has verified accurate ice-out records dating back to 1906.