December 9th, 2022
Ice cover tracking is an essential element of understanding the health and changes that are taking place on Maine’s lakes. You can submit your observations on our website at this link. Please note, members of the public (non-certified LSM volunteers) are also able to submit their observations. Our ice cover tracking form allows for multiple submissions of ice-in or going out on a waterbody.
Towards the end of November, much of Maine had a sustained cold weather spell. Because of this, some ponds and small lakes did completely freeze over. Since then, much of the state has experienced recent warm weather and we have observed some of those same waterbodies lose the ice that had developed.
These fluxes in ice-cover and ice-loss can be noted on the form by making individual submissions. Understanding what amount of time lake water is actually covered in ice provides significant information. If a waterbody experiences an early ice-in, but then that melts or breaks up due to strong winds, that is a very different scenario than if the lake experiences an early ice-in and stays covered the entire winter.
For obvious reasons, these fluxes in ice-cover are most likely to be observed by local community members and people commuting regularly past a waterbody. This is a great example of citizen science in action! Thank you for your interest and your participation in this valuable service.