Freeze-up Watch 2009-10 (false & true colours) -

January 6-7

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Satellite images of ice freeze-up on Lake Temagami, 2009-10

Posted Mon Jan 7, 2010                                                                         Photo: NASA/NOAA

JANUARY 7, 2010

Double view of Lake Temagami

The amount of open water has increased since January 2.The true- colour image (right) better reveals, in a gray band, the thin ice around the big open waters.


           Recent freeze-up dates


JANUARY 6, 2010

Rare event turns LakeTemagami ice dangerous

To travel on the ice of Lake Temagami is to feel like a mouse being chased by a wolf.

“It went from six to eight inches of ice to nothing overnight, and I went for a swim,” says Jason Pigeau of Keewaydin Camp.

Pigeau was travelling around Bear Island on an established trail on Christmas Eve when the ice gave way. Suddenly he found himself up to his waist in frigid water. He jumped from his seat and belly-flopped onto the ice. When he looked back, the sled was gone.

Since ice began forming before Christmas, three snowmachines, all driven by lake residents, have gone to the bottom. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

Nowhere is the ice considered safe. Two of the machines that went through were several kilometers from any open water.

A rare set of conditions converged at freeze-up: large areas of open water and high winds. Because of its depth, Lake Temagami is one of the last lakes to freeze over. Before Christmas, while several areas were still open, it became blustery, and the wind hasn’t let up.

Gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour, the wind bears down on the water and pushes it under the ice. As it eases the water returns. Anglers say their lines are horizontal beneath the ice.

“Nothing can melt an ice cube faster than running water.” says Bob Farr of Bear Island.

The Temagami First Nation has its snowmobile trail open between the road landing and Bear Island, but it is not taking anything for granted.

“We have people regularly checking the ice [on it],” says Second Chief John McKenzie.

Pigeau has strong advice for people who are not familiar with the lake and travelling off the road: “Stay off Lake Temagami. It changes every day.”

At least until it completely ices over. Some local residents think that is not likely within the week. 


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