12 May, 2013

Now that’s ice damage.


2012-2013 Ice-out Pool winner comments:

I recall as a very young child being taken up Newboro Lake with my dad, Elswood, and his brother, Art Pritchard to cut the ice into blocks for the ice house. In those days, the horse pulled the sleigh and it was a labour-intensive activity. My brother and I always enjoyed expeditions with those two men. I know that I was a late comer to the betting scene but through observation of the ice break up over the years, I remembered that it was generally mid-April that the ice went out and so I placed my bet. I am humbled and honoured to be this year’s recipient of second-guessing Mother Nature. I look forward to next year’s competition and will keep my crystal ball polished for the occasion.

Thanks so much for including me in this year’s activity,

Louise Pritchard

7:00 p.m., 16 April, 2013

The band of ice across the north shore of McCaskill Island has melted, and I feel confident in declaring Louise Pritchard of Newboro the winner of the Annual Ice-Out Contest for Newboro Lake. This title conveys to Louise bragging rights for the year. She assumes the mantle cast down by George Kitching, the 2012 winner.

9:00 p.m., 14 April, 2013

Well, so much for closing off the Ice-Out Contest. Pete Frey just sent along the following:

peter frey

8:25 PM

to me
Just to let you know I was walking on the ice on my bay today between our point ( grass point ) and becketts point (log cabin) . Had a white pine come down in the storm the other day and had to clear it off the ice . the size of the ice sheet in the bay would be appox 300 ft by 200 ft and was thick enough to hold me and the tree (40 ft) while I hooked the ropes onto it to pull it off the ice ( with my Rhino) .


p s only fell in the water once

1:40 p.m., 12 April, 2013

When you eventually get to the cottage, be prepared for a bit of damage to trees from today’s ice storm. With a loud thump a cedar dropped out of a windbreak beside our house as I walked by an hour ago. Amazing weight in the top 6′ of that tree. I had cut it into loader-sized sections for disposal, but then used the Ranger to gather it up. Should have used the loader. Those sections of cedar were HEAVY with the accumulated ice. I just hope another cedar with all of our wires running through it has a strong trunk.


6:30 p.m., 11 April, 2013

I turned off Tony’s pump because there was no more ice in sight to fight. The view from the main dock in Newboro revealed only about an acre of ice stuck to the shores of Cherry Island and across to Mulcaster. The NE wind took the rest away today.

Reluctant to declare the contest over, I drove to Clear Lake for a look. To my surprise it is still iced in solidly. From the Ferry I could see no navigable route through the Elbow, nor to Chaffey’s Locks, as Indian is still iced in the middle.

From these observations I infer that Newboro Lake will still have ice cover in areas unaffected by today’s wind.

Short of launching a boat and observing directly, I can’t see how to judge this year’s ice-out contest to an equitable conclusion. If anyone has a good view of Newboro Lake or a boat in operation, please let me know with an ice observation posted here.

1:30 p.m., 11 April, 2013

Ice is receding slowly on Big Rideau and Otter Lakes. I have yet to observe any significant ice movement. In the absence of hot weather or high winds, ice-out may prove a painfully slow process this year.

9:00 a.m. 10 April, 2013

While harbour ice receded a bit overnight, from my perspective it looked as though the shore ice in the main parts of the lake I could see has remained glued in place.




9:00 am 9 April, 2013

It shouldn’t be long now. We also looked at Devil, Buck, and Loborough Lakes. All looked as though the ice could go out anytime. The River Styx is clear of ice.




8 April, 2013




6 April, 2013



5 April, 2013

For what it’s worth, all of the sudden the sap is running like crazy. I’m out of storage space for sap, Mason jars, and running low on firewood for the arch.

My parents’ friend Bruce Lewis rents a portion of his maple bush (just off Hwy 42 on the way to Crosby from Newboro) to Matthew and Frank Chaikowsky. Over the last year their syrup has won a long series of awards at every level of competition, including the North American Producer’s Championship and the Royal Winter Fair title. About ten years ago Carl and Bruce Leggett at Crosby won a world championship, as well. So the syrup is good in this area.

4 April, 2013

Time for my annual plug for Len’s Cove Marina in neighbouring Portland. LCYC’s webcam looks out over the Big Rideau Lake and is a very popular attraction at this time of year:


30 March, 2013

The bubblers at either end have almost opened up a channel from the mainland at Newboro to Cherry Island, but the other shot below shows a fisherman and his portable shelter still out on the ice in Newboro Harbour.



25 March, 2013

Tony Izatt reports:

Spoke to a MaCaskill Island property owner on Saturday aft at the public launch. He had walked out to the island and drilled a couple of holes as he went. Measured at least 9″ of ice all the way out. The launch ramp was frozen to the shore, no puddles at all. The day could have been spent ice fishing from the Ranger, no problem, same with Sunday. Bob French was out on Friday, I think he said, and he thought there was no better ice this year than right now! Ronnie Thompson told me he was out doing some dock work on one of the islands and he was drilling in 12″ of ice. He said he was on Indian too and the water level was waaaay down, leaving a thick shelf of ice to negotiate to get onto and off the lake. So there’s plenty of ice still. Unless we have Florida- like weather for the next two weeks, the ice will still be on the lake in mid-April, which was Ronnie’s guess.

Saturday a resident of Wellesley Island NY showed up at the sugar shack as part of a group from Queen’s University. Conversation turned to ice fishing when I mentioned that there’s still a lot of ice on local lakes. He recently measured 17 1/2″ in a bay off the St. Lawrence River.

That said, it looks as though we’ll finally have a decent freeze/thaw cycle for the sap run this week.

21 March, 2013

The Little Rideau Lake lies one lock above the Newboro Lake complex. The Review-Mirror ran a list of its ice-out dates from 1945 to last year. It’s just too good not to pass on.


20 March, 2013, First Day of Spring

Words are unnecessary.



16 March, 2013

Based upon his observations of the cross-section of lake ice provided by his dock pump, Tony Izatt predicts a late breakup this year on Newboro Lake. He postulates that each cold day remakes about an inch of ice on the surface, though he stresses that the reconstituted stuff isn’t strong like new ice. Nonetheless, each cold day sets back the thaw; it doesn’t merely delay it.

12 March, 2013

I drove in to check the Scott Island ferry this afternoon. It’s in operation. I saw tire tracks on both sides and it’s floating. The water is open in a narrow key over to the eastern shore of Indian Lake, though on the Clear Lake side it’s only open about 100 feet.

The water level on Opinicon is very low. Looking for splake, I waded out further than I have ever been able to go before.


It’s raining after a three-day thaw on Newboro Lake. The Township put the barricade up barring access to the ice at the end of Water Street. Yesterday afternoon I waded through the mud on the launch ramp to look at the hole eroded by vehicles. The ice remains very thick, but sun on sand has worked its way down deeply into the ice. Tony’s dock-protecting pump has cut a key out about fifty feet towards Cherry Island. The ice looks solid in areas unaffected by artificial interventions, but it’s an ugly mess of layers of slush, ice, and water.

In Chant’s large field to the north of Hwy 15 at Crosby I counted six dozen turkeys in three flocks, two deer and a dozen Canada geese feasting on the newly-exposed corn stubble.

11 March, 2013

The sap did not run appreciably on Sunday and temps didn’t drop below freezing overnight following Saturday’s rapid thaw. Snow levels are dropping rapidly. It looks as though it will be a couple of days before the next freeze/thaw cycle to drive sap movement.

We boiled 200 litres of sap yesterday, and the inch remaining in the pan doesn’t taste very sweet. It looks as though the rumours of 1% sugar content for the early sap are accurate. We’ll be lucky to render 2 litres from the first run.

So what? Sugar making is a time for guys to get together and squander energy. It’s fun and a great way to get into shape for more productive spring activities.

9 March

Local volunteer firefighter Bob French took his ATV out for a drive on Newboro Lake this morning. He could run on the crust o.k., but he drove by a couple of holes where the runoff has expanded them into pools large enough for muskrats. On the way in by the beach at Newboro he dropped a back wheel in, though he did not know if there were other layers of ice below the wheel. In Bob’s opinion travel on the lake is finished for the winter. He predicted ice out April 1st, though I assigned him April 2nd in the pool as the first was taken.

Tony put the bubbler under his dock today.

Sap is running well in the sugar bush. Where there’s no snow there’s a lot of mud.

8 March

Tony reports again:

Winter navigation on Newboro Lake is done, I think. 3-4″ of soft wet snow over a thin crust, then when you break through that there’s a few inches of slush underneath, then ice, then another crust, and then another layer of slush before you get to the main ice. My Ranger won’t go on that, or at the very best it would be tough, tough slogging.

1 March, 2012

Tony Izatt reported from Newboro:

Checked the ramp at the municipal marina. A couple of large pickups, one with a plow, had made their way over to McCaskill Island. The plowed road they had made is a 4″ deep river now but the ice held the trucks, no problem.

10″ inches of snow over 4-5 inches of slush.

28 February, 2013

All right, Ladies and Gentlemen, the annual ice-out competition is on. Check the page to the right of this screen and place your entries by means of a comment to that address. May the wisest prognosticator win.


26 February, 2013

Beautiful day today with temperatures climbing. At the launch ramp onto Newboro Lake today the sand had eaten a big hole in the ice. I don’t know how deep the dirty water in the hole was, but I certainly wouldn’t try to drive through it.

24 February, 2013

Here are some shots of the Rideau Lakes Cup dogsled races held yesterday in Newboro. The course ran past Chaffey’s Locks on the Cataraqui Trail to a turnaround point where we caught up with the teams.


Tony Izatt sent along the following ice and snow report from a brief Saturday expedition on Newboro Lake:

Crusty on top, about 6-8″ deep with some drifting. Had to keep the speed up in the Ranger but it was no problem. Ice thickness out at the bench was at least 14″. Thickest this year for sure. I only drilled 4 holes in close proximity to each other though.

22 February, 2013

I ran into Newboro Dog Races track marshall Martin Rennick this morning as he came in off the lake. He told me the races are definitely a “go” for Saturday, February 23. Marty described track conditions as hard packed from traffic in most areas of the lake segment, with good firm, dry snow for the rest.

My mission in Newboro was to clear an area for parking with my little blower. It ate through 6 to 8″ of dry, slightly crystaline powder, but it had no difficulty with it and cleared right down to the twigs and oak leaves underneath. There’s no crust.

17 February, 2013

Yesterday we drove out onto Wolf Lake to see how the annual Wolf Howl Ice Fishing Tournament was going. Apart from a few ling on the ice, fishing seemed no better than what we have been finding on Newboro Lake. About six inches of snow still remained on the ice with slush beneath the surface. This combined with cold made for difficult footing for my 18 hp Ranger TM. This was the first time on a lake that it has felt seriously short on power. Other fishermen had driven out with 4WD trucks, so they had ample torque to push through the difficult snow, but I was happy to get off Wolf Lake with the power train on my old-gent’s Ranger intact.

Ice depth still ran about twelve to thirteen inches, though fishermen warned us about an expedition to another clump of vehicles about a mile north of us. They said there was some rough ice out there.

14 February, 2013

Things are looking up. Yesterday and today I’ve been able to drive my 2WD Ranger around some areas of the farm in Forfar — if I was careful where I went. Knowledge of the terrain allowed me to stay in snow depths of four to five inches. Thus emboldened I headed into the woodlot with my little 4WD tractor. Equipped with chains, it could travel anywhere in the woods. When I drove down a south-facing field which I had planted to seedlings, though, the tall little tractor was in danger or running out of ground clearance with blown snow deeper than 12″ among the trees, even after a couple of days of thaws.

The task was to trim some hard maple branches overhanging the field. Sap’s running.

A look at Newboro Lake yesterday showed tracks from last weekend’s fishing derby, evidence of some snowplow activity, and relatively dry conditions under about five inches of snow.

12 February, 2013

We’ve been snowed in for several days. More than a foot of dry, powdery snow has restricted off-road travel to snowmobiles. One hearty young fellow from Kingston made several laps of the woodlot on his new cross country skis, but no one else stirred to join him. On Sunday in desperation I took our spaniel for a walk on the Cataraqui Trail. To my surprise I found even the footing on the groomed snowmobile trail was difficult: too much powder for comfortable walking without snowshoes. The dog made one expedition off the trail to investigate a deer track, but quickly returned. Our destination was Little Lake but we doubled back to Hwy 15 after hiking only as far as the bridge about a half-mile in.

I didn’t see any snowmobiles, and few tracks.

Yesterday it melted, so with a good freeze snow conditions may improve, but at the moment off-road travel is out of the question.

6 February, 2013

The spillway at Chaffey’s Locks has opened a key all of the way out into the main part of Lake Opinicon with a lot of water running over the dam. From that I shall infer that the Elbow and the Isthmus on the Newboro/Indian Lake level will be showing open water. I don’t often get to Bedore’s creek and Benson Creek in winter, so if a reader has information on these areas of potentially hazardous ice, the readers of this page would appreciate it.

With the Newboro Ice Fishing Derby approaching (Sunday, 10 February) the lakes will bear watching for evidence of ice erosion due to current.

For example, Loborough Lake today showed a long, thin strip of open water under the Perth Road Bridge.

2 February, 2013

This morning on Newboro Lake we fished off Grass Point, north of Channel Islands, south of Ramsay Islands, and at the eastern end of Clear Lake. The ice everywhere we drilled was thick, hard, and strong.

1 February, 2013

We drilled holes well outside the harbour on Newboro Lake this afternoon. While the ice played a trick on the eye which made it appear much thinner than it was, a measurement revealed all holes exceeded 13″ in thickness. The ice is hard and brittle to cut with an auger. Strong ice, I would think.

Narrows Lock’s spillway has opened up an extensive area at the head of the Big Rideau. At Port Elmsley I further noticed that The Big Rideau is quite high right now. Throughout the Tay Basin we saw quite a bit of ice in fields indicative of earlier flooding.

So while the ice appears strong, watch out for currents in shallow water.

30 January, 2013

From today’s Toronto Star we have this ice-conditions story:

Retired Principal Neil Robbescheuten fell through the ice after getting lost in fog on Lake Scugog recently. He hurt his knee while stuck in the muddy bottom and called 911 for assistance. But the real pain came later when he received a bill for the rescue from Scugog Township.

The bill breaks down as follows:

Three fire trucks for two hours: $3,000.00
One standby fire truck for 1.5 hours: $750.00
Fifteen firefighters for two hours: $966.30
Fourteen firefighters for 1.5 hours: $676.48

Total: $5,392.78


27 January, 2013

Check today’s The Good Ice Tour on this blog at https://rodcroskery.wordpress.com

23 January, 2013

Following the extreme cold of the last 24 hours, no snow cover and similar weather predicted for a few more days, I feel safe in claiming that we now have good winter ice on local lakes.

The Rideau Canal from Dow’s Lake to the Chateau Laurier is now open for skating.

At -18F this morning the only vehicle I tried which would start was my Toyota pickup.

22 January, 2013

Parks Canada has come back with a revised fee schedule. It seems that squeaking wheels still warrant a measure of consideration. The new locking fees are at the end of the article.


20 January, 2013

After yesterday’s gale with mild temperatures the lakes will no doubt have a new surface this morning. An observer likened the wake of an ATV in the top water on Newboro Lake yesterday morning to that of a runabout in whitecaps.

19 January, 2013

There’s quite a uniform 9″ of ice on Newboro Lake, but…

The surface is punctuated with 12″ holes as if there had been a madcap ice fishing tournament last weekend. These melt holes have frozen transparent in contrast to the frosty ice, and while strong, the invisible ice is quite unsettling to the viewer. Some larger sections of ice are completely clear.

Open sections between Brothers, Sturgeon and Steadman’s Islands are over shallow water where the ice seems to have adhered to the rock below and then was pulled under by the rising flood.

18 January, 2013

Scott Island Ferry and Chaffey’s Locks channel ice report

Concerned about currents under the ice before a Saturday expedition on Newboro Lake, I checked the ferry at The Isthmus between Clear and Indian Lakes. The barge is frozen in on the island side with a thin layer of ice covering most of its path, though there are small open patches indicating erosion from current under the ice. In conjunction with the effects of the bubbler under the boathouse on the point, foot traffic between the Island and the Isthmus is out of the question for a while.

The channel from Indian Lake into Chaffey’s Locks shows about 25% ice cover. They seem to have one timber out of the dam, and this has cut a key through the ice down past the second green buoy on Opinicon Lake. Now that there’s some water for them, at least two swans have returned to their winter home.

5:10 P.M. Tony Izatt, Newboro: “The ice is making BIG booming sounds …… she’s thickening up !!!”

16 January, 2013

We stopped by Newboro Harbour today. The water level’s about 3″ higher than before the thaw, so the ice is uneven along the shore. The surface is a bit lumpy but generally glare. I could see no wet spots.

A pass through Bedford Mills showed a very moderate flow over the falls. On the other hand, Buck Lake showed considerable flow under the road, and Upper and Lower Beverley Lakes are draining fairly heavily with the ice erosion in the channels you would expect.

The question for Newboro Lake is: is the dam still closed at Chaffey’s Locks? The non-Rideau drainage systems are flowing quickly.

15 January, 2013


By penalizing its users directly, the proposed Parks Canada fee schedule is set up to generate an excellent rationale for the closing of the Rideau Canal. Because a strict user-pay system provides no stable funding for the annual budget (as does a season’s pass and mooring permit) and makes every contact with a lock station a discretionary expense in the order of a can of Pepsi (only a lot more expensive), the schedule provides a pronounced disincentive to boaters on the Rideau Canal and to those considering aquatic activities in this area. This will bankrupt the Canal and leave it vulnerable to further destruction by the federal government.

The commercial surcharge in the schedule will destroy tour boat operations and confine fishing guides to a single body of water.

The immediate effect of the publication of this list is to devalue every boat in every marina in Eastern Ontario. And the ripples will continue, because expenditures by boaters and the guided fishing industry on the Rideau reverberate outward throughout the local economy.

The new comment on the FAQ site below indicates that we have until Friday to pile on with comments if we want this to change:


The email bin for comments is:


14 January, 2013

Check out the proposed Parks Canada fee schedule:


6:27 EDT. When the sun comes up I expect to see little snow remaining on the fields around Young’s Hill. Yesterday we decided to dig some topsoil for flower pots out of the garden before the inevitable freeze. The potato fork dropped through a couple of inches of slush into mud. There was no frost at all in the ground. On a walk through the woods yesterday we had no difficulty squishing around in rubber boots through about five inches of slush. With a bit of ingenuity on the part of the driver the 2WD Utility Vehicle could travel over the fields yesterday, though I nearly bogged it down in a flooded area of one field with mud beneath.

12 January, 2013

Ice fishing expedition, Newboro Harbour.

Ice surfaces varied from slushy to glare, with occasional areas of hard ice with slush underneath. In all it was an unpleasant slog for the fishermen and the 4WD Polaris Ranger, though neither faced any real adversity within the limited confines of the expedition. The minimum ice depth measured was 8″.

No fish came up through more than a dozen holes, but as a first fishing trip of the year it wasn’t bad.

11 January, 2013

The following bulletin appeared on the Dog Sled website:


Changing weather has made the trail too slippery for the dogs – so the race has been rescheduled to February 23, 2013.

10 January, 2013

We drove through Chaffey’s Locks today to see how much water is flowing after the thaw. To my surprise, there’s virtually none. It looks as though the dam is shut off with just a bit slipping through. The canal above the lock is frozen over. Opinicon is a solid sheet of ice, a phenomenon I don’t remember seeing before. This might have to do with the large tent over the upstream end of the lock, so the effect is likely temporary. I’ll bet the Scott Island Ferry is iced in, though.

Further along the Chaffey’s Locks Road I noticed ice fishermen on Upper Rock Lake so when I spotted a cottager at his mailbox I stopped and asked him about the ice. He told me that two days ago he measured a fisherman’s abandoned hole in the middle of the lake at 6″. I thanked him for that valuable information. If that’s the depth on Rock Lake in the middle, the 12″ I’ve observed in Newboro Harbour of late may not reflect depths in wider stretches.

Snow Conditions: On a yardstick the depth might be insignificant, but there’s still too much snow on the fields around the farm to allow for the driving of wheeled vehicles off the plowed lanes. Out of curiosity I put on a pair of snowshoes this morning and walked out onto the snow in a couple of places. In every case I dropped through to the ground below: there’s no base to this snow. It has melted from below and has little strength, though it remains substantial enough to provide an unpleasant medium for snowshoes. My dog found ways to intercept my route rather than venturing out onto the uncertain surface.

9 January, 2013

The Review-Mirror announces today that the dogsled races are a go on Saturday, 12 January. A community breakfast starts things off at 7:30 a.m. in the hall, then the race begins at 9:30 from Bay Street and Lakeside Lane. Apparently volunteers have cut a trail and many fences to provide a better track for the dogs. Seven landowners were involved. The teams will run over private property until they join the Cataraqui Trail to Chaffey’s Locks, then turn around and run the reciprocal course. Awards are at 3:00 p.m. followed by a community dinner at 4:00 to 6:00.

On a brief outing on Newboro Lake today I drilled a pair of holes off the public launch ramp, about 300 feet from shore. I observed about 3″ of crusty slush and a foot of ice in both holes. The only tracks of note were from someone with what appeared to be a light sleigh on skis who made it to McCaskill Island without difficulty.

At the foot of Bay Street I followed a pair of footprints out over a bit of crusted snow and noticed that my predecessor had put a heel through into about six inches of slush underneath, but by the time I came along it held my weight. A rink will be out of the question until the slush melts into a smooth surface. In the current state of the lake’s surface it isn’t much good for anything, though there seems to be lots of ice at this end of the lake.

In Portland Harbour ice conditions are similar to those on Newboro Lake, but the stakes are higher, as they have already laid out the speed skating track for their annual Skate-The-Lake extravaganza. At the moment the drifted slush makes the course impassable, so no doubt organizers are hoping for rain and lots of warmth to improve the surface. The way it is now they’d attract more of those Red Bull steeplechase nuts than speed skaters, though it might make for an interesting race.

6 January, 2013

January Thaw seems to have struck early this year. We scrubbed plans for an ice fishing expedition this morning because of the soggy weather. The Weather Channel predicts a high of 52 F on Saturday 12th, the day of the 2013 Dogsled Races in Newboro. Marty Rennick and the others on the committee have had an unfortunate run of weather for this event in recent years. I hope conditions for the dogs are good on Saturday.

5 January, 2013

Today was the day to try out the new gas auger, so Tony and I lugged it out off the end of Water Street in Newboro and tugged at the cord until it lit up. It went down through six inches of slush and then about a foot of ice. We drilled several holes, and in all the ice was at least 12″ thick, often as deep as 16″.

Then we saw a couple of snowmobiles beating it down the channel to the Newboro launch ramp, so we drove over to look. There’s much less snow on the lake near the lock and thus less slush, but both grew considerably deeper as we walked out past the end of the public docks.

We agreed that it would take a good freeze to get things ready for ice fishing, though we resolved to try to walk out to McCaskill’s Island tomorrow to try for pike and crappie.

So at this end of Newboro Lake now there’s lots of ice, but lousy sledding with the deep slush.

3 January, 2013

This week’s Westport Review Mirror is full of ice-related accidents. Three snowmobilers managed to escape a fall-through on Rock Lake, one with the help of a firefighter. The same article identifies the December 3rd fatality on Newboro Lake discussed earlier as Lloyd Ellam of Ottawa, 60.

In the same Mirror issue Anne Fleming narrates a hair-raising account wherein a pair of contractors on Crosby Lake noticed a cottager clinging to an overturned canoe, then had to drive to the other side of the lake, get past a parked car blocking the road, and slide out on the shoreline ice in a canoe to pick the guy out of the water.


The guy at the hardware store in Lyndhurst yesterday spoke to me briefly about local ice conditions. Lower Beverley Lake hadn’t frozen until the most recent cold snap, though he suspected that Upper Beverley has had ice fishermen on it for some time. He lives on Lower Beverley Lake at Delta, and claims that its depth inhibits freezing until quite late in the season.

In response to my report of our one unsuccessful summer expediton on the lake for largemouth, he further told me that the lake boasts good smallmouth fishing, but they are all out in the middle, not where a casual largemouth fisherman would find them.

I notice that Otter Lake is now frozen over, showing the characteristic yellow tinge of ice which has mixed with slush and then frozen hard in the sub-zero (F) cold of the last couple of days. From this I believe I can infer that the Big Rideau will also be covered. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

Ice fishermen may find a paradox this year: because of the snow cover, in-shore ice may well prove weaker than the newer ice out in the middle of the deeper lakes. We’ll see.

30 December, 2012

Tony Izatt reports slush under a foot of snow on the lake at Newboro, with no vehicular traffic in evidence at all.

As far as snow on the ground in Forfar, even equipped with chains my 35 hp 2WD tractor can’t travel in the snow without help from the loader and blower.

27 December, 2012

Tony Izatt passed along an email from Louise Pritchard of Newboro:


I got this from Louise this morning when I got to work.

The latest I heard is that an American guy walked over the lake to his island. Apparently Sharon Rosen saw someone walking on the lake. Anyway, it looks as though he was closing his cottage or something and forgot something and went back. He was all bundled up with those kind of hip waders that have a bib and straps over the shoulder. He came out and fell through the ice. His dog was with him and never left his side. He couldn’t get out of the ice because his wader things were full of water and I assume he froze to death. I’ll try to keep you posted but there has been no death notice or anything.

So it looks like there are some soft spots out there. She heard rumours of this before Xmas.

GOOGLE offered the following link to a death in Newboro Lake before the ice. It was posted recently even though the police investigation was back in November. I’ll keep an eye on news reports and hope the rumour above is just that.


When asked to comment on the newspaper story and the rumour, Newboro contractor Brett Taylor offered the following:

The drowning on Newboro Lake is for sure, but no details are being released. Rumours are a guy was working on his dock near shore with waders (there was no ice or very little). I heard it was up in this west end of the lake. And the dog part is the same.

26 December, 2012


Does anyone have any ice measurements or observations to share? After the cold weather last night with the full moon, I’d think the ice would be measurably thicker than my last reading. At Newboro this afternoon I read 5″ on my auger in two places.

How’s the Big Rideau doing?



23 December, 2012

Today I drilled a couple of holes out slightly from the launch ramp at the foot of Water Street in Newboro. The rather soggy ice in this location measured 4″ in thickness. I wouldn’t walk any distance on it yet.

15 December, 2012

The Newboro end of Newboro Lake had about an inch of ice at the shore today, with coverage as far as we could see. The Little Rideau was frozen at the canal entrance to Newboro, but showed plenty of ripples a bit past the buoys.

Yesterday a trip across the bridge to Wellesley Island on the St. Lawrence showed a bit of ice in the usual bays, but nothing substantial yet.

7 Responses to “Ice Report: December, 2012 to April, 2013 UPDATED”

  1. Tony Says:

    We’re in Canada buddy where we use celsius. If you insist of using fahrenheit then use it secondary to celsius. So the forecast temp on Saturday from theweathernetwork.com is 5C or 41F.

  2. Ed Says:

    How are current ice conditions on Newboro Lake? Safe for a walkabout this Saturday during the dogsled races etc? Any areas to avoid? Appreciate your input. Cheers.

    • rodcros Says:

      I see no reason not to expect 12″ of solid ice in areas free of current. Drifted snow might bog a vehicle down in some areas, though. The area around Newboro should be good unless rain turns the snow to slush. The biggest hazard to pedestrians would be a slip on the ice or a glancing blow from a passing pickup truck.

  3. John Lee Says:

    What’s the ice like at the township Dock? The dock Camera is not that great for those sort of details.
    The race will be on for the “First Boot On the Ilsand” trophie to see who the first one on the island will be this year.

    John Lee
    Lochview cottage,
    MacCaskil island.

  4. John Lee Says:

    Need some good wind to un-glue and break up solid ice in the middle than it will melt away fast. Forcast is for Snow on Friday, doah!

  5. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    Well my estimate of April 1st is long gone but hopefully the ice will be out by Monday the 15th. I was at the lake for Easter and the water level was quite low, has it improved any?

    • rodcros Says:

      I’d say it’s about the right level for this time of year, though I have no objective data save the height of Tony’s dock above the waves (not the floater).

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