Judge’s ruling:

Following an hour-long examination of the Newboro Lake watershed as far as Chaffey’s Lock, I was unable to find any remaining ice (or active splake, either). A mile-long chase into Rosal’s Bay for the remaining unmelted floe turned up a low-lying rock covered with guano and sea gulls. I could find no ice in Clear Lake this morning, so as of 11:56 a.m. Sunday, April 19, 2015, I am declaring the contest closed, with congratulations to this year’s winner, Doug Fyfe of Emerald Island.

Doug responds:

Rod, it is you who should be congratulated. Thank you for keeping us distracted and informed this looong winter! I accept this honour in memory of my grandmother, Margaret Gillies, a finer gal one could never meet. With as many attributes as Newboro Lake itself, she was a beautiful and outstanding role model. She taught her grandsons the many secrets of the lake and instilled in us a great respect for it . . . . and her. Cheers!

Doug Fyfe (Emerald Island)

Update: 8:30 a.m., 17 April, 2015


In the interest of fair play and to protect the interests of entrants from several weeks ago, I have decided to close entries into the 2015 Ice Out Pool at this time on 16 April, at 7:45 p.m.

6 March, 2015

Five years ago maple sugar season was in full swing on this date, so there remains hope that the snow and ice will go away and allow seasonal residents to return to their beloved black flies and other crawlers.

For those waiting with bated breath for the chance to lock in May 5th as the ice-out date, now’s your chance.

-Attach a comment with your name and such geographical details as you’d like to reveal along with your selected date.

-Each calendar day will cease to be available to other punters after your message nails it down.

-Only entries by way of messages on this file will be valid, thus you can tell at the point of posting if your chosen day is taken.

-Only one entry per family name in a given week, o.k.? People have been very good about this so far, but I think it would be poor form if sixteen members of a family grabbed the second half of April.

I’m open to suggestions as to how to improve this genteel competition — with the exception of the exchange of money. At stake in the Ice Out Contest is a prize beyond the buying power of cash: bragging rights for the year among residents of Newboro Lake.

Best wishes and hopes for an early winner,

Rod Croskery

34 Responses to “Ice-out Pool archive: winter of 2014-15”

  1. rodcros Says:

    I mentioned May 5th above, and I like the date as my entry for this year.

    Rod in Forfar

  2. peter frey Says:

    hi rod nice to see we are on the go for another round please mark me down for april 21

    thanks peter frey @ grass point

    • P Frey Says:

      Rod just want to report . I’m currently standing on my point at the marker s399. Grass Point. Andit looks like the main parts ot the lake may go out tonite . All of the ice is gone between louis and mcaskile ils. I’d send you a pic but haven’t got my grandson here to show me how.


  3. Brian Parish Says:

    Hi Rod: Trying to be optimistic, please put me down for April 14

    Brian from Swallows cottages

  4. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    Okay here we go again with another prediction! Being we acquired our cottage on April 15th 10 years ago I pick April 15th as the ice out date!
    Keith & Nancy on Swallows Lane!

  5. George Kitching Says:

    George Kitching picks 29 April 2015 for the ice out date. Rod, thanks for keeping this international guessing game going ….

  6. John Says:

    I think I was runner up last year and ice conditions are similar so will go with Apr 24th again. Heck it is a Friday and I can get across to the cottage on McCaskill and win the “First boot on the Island” trophy as well.

  7. Susan Curry Says:

    Please put me down for April 22.
    – Susan, visitor of Swallows Cottages.

  8. Chip Strangfeld Says:

    It’s been a rough winter, so I’ll go with April 27th. – Chip Strangfeld (with the footbridge out by Rick’s Island)

  9. Diane Strangfeld Roth Says:

    Sure – Let’s extend Earth Day one more day – April 23 works for me!

  10. Dave Waterbury Says:

    I’ll shoot for April 28th, please.

  11. Louise Pritchard Says:

    I tossed a dart at my calendar and it landed on April 1 so I will foolishly pick April 1.

  12. Ken Snyder Says:

    The guys from Cherry Island are picking April 25th. Thanks for the updates all Winter!

  13. John Latimer Says:

    Hi Rod,
    I have enjoyed your ice report for the past two years. We bought a cottage on Bob’s Island two years ago and have loved every minute of it. I’m going to pick April 30th as the ice out date, wish it were sooner but this has been a record breaking cold February.
    John Latimer, east side of Bob’s Island.

  14. Tony Says:

    I’ll take May 1st ……

  15. Fiona Says:

    Looks like April 26th is free! I like round numbers…

    Fiona from the Opinicon (and Newboro lake)

  16. Brett Milburn Says:

    I am going with May 2nd

    Brett (Leisure Point Road)

  17. Tom Stutzman Says:

    My entry in the contest I hope to lose is Sunday, May 3. I’m rooting for Louise to win again.

  18. Stephen Wasteneys Says:

    I’m going to go with April 20th ( my birthday). Haven’t been over to holder island yet this winter but maybe today ?

  19. Doug Fyfe Says:

    Hi Rod –

    Thank you for your efforts to welcome Spring back! I will go with April 19 (because is it the latest day in April still available and because I simply CAN’T pick a date in May).

    All the best,

    Doug Fyfe (Emerald Island)

    • rodcros Says:

      Congratulations, Doug Fyfe of Emerald Island, you are this year’s winner, with all of the rights and privileges which go with the title.

      Rod Croskery, host and judge

      • Diane Strangfeld Roth Says:

        Rod – I join in with others, to thank you for keeping our sights focused on spring’s return. It’s such fun for me to attach some of the Lake’s landmarks with their caregivers. I look forward to waving to them from the water, or to meeting up with them at our beloved Opinicon. As the birds begin their return to Newboro, so too do these lovers of nature at its greatest splendor. Safe travels to everyone. The journey is the destination. Thanks again, Rod. Diane

  20. Charlie Petzinger Says:

    Let’s call this an entry for the Bedore’s Creek Watershed.

    We’ll go for April 29th…and keep our fingers crossed!!

    (thank you for keeping up the blog, it has made winter
    pass more quickly!!)

    Charlie and Rayne Petzinger (Mosquito Lake, Scott Island)

  21. George Kitching Says:

    Rod, I think 29 April was picked on 8 March – see above… thanks, George

    • rodcros Says:

      George, you selected 29 April early on in the contest. Charlie’s later entry of 29 April is for Mosquito Lake, so I specified it was for the Bedore’s Creek Watershed.

      As an educator I called this Rod’s Rule of 30: If you have thirty well-prepared kids in an examination room, one kid will find a way to foul up the paper in a manner no one had imagined possible before, and thus merits some accommodation.

      The unforeseen challenges are what make this contest interesting to me.

  22. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    We are at the cottage and there is a lot of open water between the shore and both Mackey and Wright Islands. Also looking towards Cherry Island I can see some floating ice this morning. I don’t think the ice will last much longer. Good luck to those still competing in this year’s contest.

  23. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    Still some ice at the end of Mackay Island between there and the bog. Hopefully by tomorrow it could be gone. I won’t be surprised if we don’t see a boat on the lake today or tomorrow.

  24. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    As predicted I saw at least 4 boats on Newboro Lake this afternoon. Not sure how the other areas of the lake are but by the locks, Cherry, Mackay, Wright and what I can see of MacCaskill Islands there is no ice to be seen.

  25. rodcros Says:


    There was still lots of ice in Clear Lake this evening.


  26. Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

    Thanks Rod, it is amazing how one lake can be almost clear of the ice and another still have an abundance of it still remaining.

  27. John Says:

    I think you should start a 2015 Ice in pool given the weather, I think I am going to head across by boat on New Years eve.

    • Keith Cauwenberghs Says:

      And to think we closed the cottage down in mid November. Good old Mother Nature playing with us again.

    • rodcros Says:


      The ice came in and went out of Newboro Harbour three times last year. I’m not well positioned to verify the judging of ice in the central part of the lake. It would make for an interesting draft, but the winner might not be nameable until February.

      If anybody’d care to draft a set of rules for the contest, though, I’d be delighted to host it.


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