Detroit Lake froze over today (but it may not last)

Be careful out there

Big Detroit Lake was completely frozen over today (Tuesday, Nov. 17).

That date is about three days earlier than the average of 110 years for which records have been kept, and about 11 days earlier than the last 20 years, according to Dick Hecock, a consultant with the Pelican River Watershed District.

The earliest ice-over date was Oct. 25, 1919, but the earliest ice-over date in the last 20 years was last year on Nov. 11.

Big Detroit Lake had December ice-ups in 2001, 2004, 2009, 2016, 2017, Hecock said.

Area residents enjoyed 206 days of open water in 2020, about eight days less than the all-year average, and 19 days less than the average of the last 20 years.


The longest ice-free season was 256 days in 2016.

In general, Detroit Lakes residents can expect something like 215 to 225 days of ice cover, or a little more than seven months.

Given that forecasts for the next couple of days call for wind and temperatures in the 40s, this may be one of those years when Detroit Lake experiences multiple freeze-ups, Hecock said.

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