DETROIT LAKES — Lake ice rolled onto the shores of Lake Detroit on Thursday, April 1, as ice out conditions draw near.

Many northern Minnesota lakes still have a way to go to reach the open water milestone in 2021, but their southern state counterparts are already enjoying ice-free water, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

On the departments website, many area lakes' ice conditions are catalogued, but some reporting is done by citizen volunteers.

The department has many different definitions of "ice out" conditions because they rely so much on citizen reporting due to the number of lakes in the state. The different definitions of ice out are:

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  • When the lake is completely free of ice.

  • When it is possible to navigate from point A to point B.

  • Ice out may also be when a lake is 90% free of ice.

If you would like to be a citizen reporter for your neighborhood lake, post the date, lake name and county to the Minnesota DNR Climate Office Facebook page.

In 2019 and 2020, the state was completely ice free by May 2, according to the department's climatology office. But, with temperatures forecast in the 70s for most of the state through Easter weekend, ice out may come sooner, rather than later, this year.