The record is kept by Lucille Mulville, the matriarch of the family farm at the head of the lake in Westport. It appeared in the March 21, 2013 issue of The Review-Mirror. It’s just too valuable not to distribute online, so here goes.



Update, 5 April, 2019:    The following ice-out dates are for Newboro Lake.

2013  April 16;  2014  April 26;  2015 April 19;  2016 March 31;  2017  April 10

Best wishes,

Rod Croskery


Note:  I haved moved this file from this “post” to a “page” on my blog where it is easier to update.  Just go to and look in the right margin for the up-to-date version.  Rod

January 20, 2010: After a promising start to the winter, the ice has received a major setback with a couple of weeks of mild weather.  Yesterday Otter Lake was open in the middle.  This morning I noticed that it had frozen over.  Woe betide the snowmobiler who tries to cross that thin skiver of ice!  Chances are it will open up again the next mild day.  Yesterday was mild and overcast, so I looked around for a potential ice fishing site.  Portland showed deep ruts in the slush from an ATV grinding out to a fishing shack.  Opinicon Lake at Chaffey’s Locks has a lot of open water, as it usually does, though with little current.  The big surprise was the pair of trumpeter swans which buzzed the cedars at the end of the point.  Man, are those birds big!  I counted seven of them in all on the ice at Chaffey’s.

Without a week of very cold weather the ice will remain no good.

January 5, 2010: There’s ten inches of ice in the bay at Portland, but the middle of the Big Rideau is still open.  Ominously, the opening in the middle of Otter Lake seems to be growing larger as snow accumulates on the ice.  To judge by the lack of tracks, people are staying off the ice so far.

December 20, 2009:  A couple of test holes on Newboro Lake a hundred feet out from the village shore show five inches of ice.  While helping my friend adjust his bubbler so as to allow the northern boat launch ramp to freeze properly, I noticed that there’s a decent gravel bottom along shore once a bit of the sediment is washed away.

December 18, 2009: The Big Rideau at Portland and Otter Lake seen from Hwy 15 both showed full ice cover as far as I could see this afternoon.

December 16, 2009: The run of cold weather is firming things up.  Apart from the spots of open water caused by bubblers under docks, the Newboro end of the lake seemed to have formed a nice sheet with a little snow on it.

December 12, 2009: The ice is back, folks.  I noticed that Morton Creek was mostly frozen when we drove by on Hwy 15 yesterday.  Ice formed overnight in the bays and the village end of Newboro Lake.  Indian Lake wasn’t frozen over when I looked earlier today, but we broke a half-inch or so of ice to make way for a bubbler on a dock on the Newboro waterfront.