Clear Lake officially ice free

Thaw comes in time for annual Muskie Tournament and the beginning of tourism season

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 8:37 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - Ice out, docks in.

The warmer weather is melting away the ice on Clear Lake, which means docks are starting to be placed back in the water, just in time for the annual Stan Harrison Memorial Spring Tune Up Muskie Tournament.

The City of Clear Lake officially declared the lake to be completely ice free as of Thursday, though the water temperature is about 46 degrees, according to the Iowa DNR.

Courtney Farland's parents live in Clear Lake and have a boat they're wanting to take out on the water.

She says the thawing ice is a welcome sign that spring is finally here.

"I'm so excited that the ice is gone. I'm ready for spring, I think we all are, it's been a long winter. And we just recently had snow, so it's nice to have warm and sunny weather," Farland says.

She is also getting married this weekend, and believes that the lake would make a perfect backdrop for wedding pictures.

"We're gonna take some photos by the lake, by the state park. And hopefully get some nice shots without ice in the water," Farland adds.

Gary Stephens of Shoreline Dock and Hoist and his crew are hard at work getting docks installed before the peak of tourism season arrives, as well as the tournament.

"We've only been out here for 3 days. We got in the water Tuesday morning...and we have to wait until all the ice is clear in the lake because the ice can damage everything you may try to attempt and accomplish," Stephens says.

Because of that ice, Stephens' crew had to wait for three weeks.

"There is a little pressure. Being three weeks late getting in the water first of all, and with the tournament going on, boaters need docks to boat up to at the ramps, and I've accomodated them uptown or in the city so they can get in or out of their boats easy," Stephens adds.

Regardless of condition, Stephens takes pride in putting in the docks, and has fun doing it every since he started 30 years ago.

"It's fun in the sun, you get in exercise and you get paid. It don't get no better...I'm living the dream," Stephens says.

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