2018-03-01 / Outdoors

Warmup, wind suggest spring is near


ICEBOATS SCOOT across Grand Traverse West Bay on Feb. 18. Photo: Karl Bahle ICEBOATS SCOOT across Grand Traverse West Bay on Feb. 18. Photo: Karl Bahle Brian Price may have said it best.

“Now it’s maple syrup time,” Price said when asked if he’d be iceboating on Grand Traverse Bay anytime soon.

Price and other iceboating enthusiasts had enjoyed some solid first ice on the bay in recent weeks. Karl Bahle, who photographs iceboats in action, said it was the best ice he’d seen in Suttons Bay in a long time.

At least that was the case until the weekend warmup, which was accompanied by wind that sloshed water around and melted much of the ice.

“The water blew it apart,” said Greg Alsip, a local fishing expert and the manager at Lake Leelanau Narrows Resort.

Melting snow and ice throughout the county seem to indicate winter is coming to a close.

Lake Leelanau


GLEN GOTSHALL of Lake Leelanau takes a break from iceboating Saturday on Suttons Bay. Photo: Ron Kramer GLEN GOTSHALL of Lake Leelanau takes a break from iceboating Saturday on Suttons Bay. Photo: Ron Kramer Alsip said the clock could be ticking on Lake Leelanau ice if the mid- 40s forecast holds up this week. “It’s going to start going here with this weather,” Alsip said on Monday, “but there’s still plenty of ice; the shorelines will start breaking up first. I’m not sure it's safe for machines at this point.”

Glen Lake

“Time to put the boats in the water,” said Bob Smith, The Sportsman Shop owner in Glen Arbor and captain of the Mariah charter boat in Leland.

Heritage Trail

Conditions are still poor and will be until more snow falls. Lengthy bare stretches are visible from M-22.

Leelanau Trail


KEVEN VERSNYDER hauled a dandy from Big Glen over the weekend. The lake trout measured about 32 inches and weighed 12-13 pounds. “Please make note how important it is that our DNR keeps stocking North Lake Leelanau and Big Glen Lake with lake trout,” VerSnyder said via email. “Without the stocking program we trout enthusiasts would be out of luck.” KEVEN VERSNYDER hauled a dandy from Big Glen over the weekend. The lake trout measured about 32 inches and weighed 12-13 pounds. “Please make note how important it is that our DNR keeps stocking North Lake Leelanau and Big Glen Lake with lake trout,” VerSnyder said via email. “Without the stocking program we trout enthusiasts would be out of luck.” Groomers have logged zero Leelanau Trail reports on the TART Trails website since Feb. 15. Skiers expecting corduroy on the trail will be disappointed.

Editor’s note: The Enterprise invites ice fishermen, cross-country skiers, downhill skiers, fat-tire bikers, ice boaters, snowmobilers, hockey players, and other outdoor sports enthusiasts to email snow and ice reports to jason@leelanaunews.com by Tuesday.


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