This morning (2/11/2012) the temperature dropped to 2F with crystal clear skies. If it wasn’t for that 2 inches of snow that fell yesterday I would say for Pickerel and Kimbal lakes would be generally safe for ice fishing except for those normally slow to freeze spots. I plan on checking the ice this morning and leaving an update on the ice condition.
(I sure hope my lettuce planting survived last night. I did put a red 75 watt light bulb beneath the low tunnel yesterday.)
UPDATE AT 10:40AM — the ice in front of my home on Pickerel Lake is about 3 inches thick and the quality of the ice is fairly good. Most, but not all, people think this is safe enough ice to walk on but not snowmobile on — definitely not to drive on! Unless we have a warm rain or lots of snow the ice should stay fairly good all week. Clear nights really help make ice even with air temps slightly above freezing. The reason for this is simple — a clear sky has a temp reading of between -100 and -150F. This is true even on hot summer nights as long as you can see stars clearly. If you don’t believe it get yourself a good infrared thermometer and point it up at the clear sky. Try this on a July day with temps in the 90s and you will get the same -100F reading–as long as you don’t point the thermometer at the sun or at a cloud. Also, checked the lettuce and it seems to have come through last night’s near zero temps!