Freedom—April 22, 2018—Per our seven observers on the lake, Ossipee Lake’s ice-out was officially declared as of 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. This is the fourth-latest ice-out date for the lake since records have been kept. The latest recorded ice-out was on April 28 in 2002. April 27 holds the record as the second-latest date (2001) and April 23 is in third place (1997 and 2008). The earliest the ice has retreated from the lake was just two years ago when ice-out was declared on March 28 (2016).
I talked with several property owners along the west shore of Broad Bay. Some reported card table-size chunks going south, pushed by light wind out of the north. That ice did not last long. So far no loons, geese or chipmunks. Momma Bear passed us up this year.
Today (Saturday) has been the first spring-like day since this time last year. Bright sun, light breeze, blue, open water and no black flies. Some snowplow banks remain. Danforth Pond remains about 80% ice-covered.
I traveled Rt.153 to Conway on Thursday, (4/19) and noted that all of the lakes and ponds were still almost completely ice-covered. King Pine is now closed, but the tube and chair lift areas remain snow-covered. We had 2″ of snow on April 16 that has now melted, although some snow is predicted for the middle of next week. The local roads and Routes 16 and 153 are much improved. Road weight limits should be lifted by end of next week.
The lake level has remained high since my last report in January—always above 404′, and today about 4″ over the 407.25′ summer level. Both dams will remain open until the water level is down to about 406.5′. This was the level on May 5, 2017 when it was safe enough for the crew to close up the north side. There should be no problem reaching summer heighth of 407.25 by June 1st.