Ice out was called for the entire lake in the late afternoon on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017, just a few days after the average ice out of April 16th. Ice out is declared when it is possible to drive a boat from the covered bridge in Ashland to the Sandwich Town Beach. Click graph below for a larger image.
We've also been watching ice out on Big Squam from the summit of West Rattlesnake. We installed the "ice cam" on March 20, 2017, and it snapped images of the Broads of Big Squam until a fierce windstorm altered it's focus on April 16th, just a day or two before the ice was clear in this part of the lake. So the camera missed ice out, but did capture amazing images of the coming of spring over Squam. We've strung together the images from the ice cam in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_16hrgySwHA&t=2s
The ice cam is a part of a large investigation in to Squam and its water quality through partnership with Lisa Doner from Plymouth State University's Center for the Environment. Dr. Doner installed a series of temperature probes in the lake's deepest spot--30 meters (99 feet) just east of Deephaven Reef. These probes record the temperature at each meter every 15 minutes year-round. By examining the data we can see ice out dates, lake stratification, and even single weather events. The ice cam will help us understand just what happens under the water as soon as ice goes out. Probe data from January 2014 through October 2016 is displayed below. Click the image to enlarge.
As part of this study, we will continue to monitor temperature at the Deephaven Reef site. We will attempt to capture both ice in and ice out at this site. By this upcoming summer, we will install a weather station on Birch Island, in partnership with Rockywold Deephaven Camps, so we can learn more about how the localized weather impacts the temperature profile of the lake.