View topic - Northern Saskatchewan - Ice Out/Bugs

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2012, 11:20 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
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Location: Oshawa
I was hoping someone could give insight on when in general ice is out on Selwyn Lake/Lake Athabasca region?

I'm also interested in any advise on how early the black fly's hatch up there and if its possible to beat the bugs and avoid ice on the lakes in the spring.

The rivers in question are still in debate and depend on a number of variables still not hammered out just yet. They include Porcupine, Macfarlane, Waterfound/Fond Du Lac. So I'm trying to avoid both ice and bugs here which based on my northern Ontario/Quebec experience, is a fine line.....

Thanks!

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PostPosted: October 31st, 2012, 9:16 am 
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Joined: January 9th, 2005, 12:53 pm
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Location: Beauval, Sk.
You might want to contact the fishing lodges in the area - they book guests in to coincide with ice out. There are lodges on Selwyn, Hatchet Lake, Wollaston, Black Lake and Lake Athabasca. Cliff Blackmuir and his wife have operated Otherside Lodge at the outlet of the Otherside River on Lake Athabasca. During the time I lived in Stony Rapids the ice on the big lakes was out by the second or third week of June. Rivers and bays were open much sooner than that but the ice on the big lakes was still a problem. Just a few years ago some friends camped on an island on Wollaston Lake in late June near the start of the Fond du Lac River. They woke to find themselves surrounded by ice that held them there for several days.

Another resource are the float plane operators. Their older bush pilots would know about ice out times. Blackmuir at Otherside flys his own Single Otter on Floats. Osprey Wings at Missinippe, Sk. or TransWest at Stony Rapids are two others to try.

The bugs aren't usually a problem right after ice out. I don't know if you can really predict when they will peak. For example this year friends who plan late fall trips partly to avoid the bugs were on the McFarlane in September. It was unusually warm so the bugs were unusually bad!


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PostPosted: November 1st, 2012, 1:50 am 
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Location: Oshawa
Thank you Rick, was looking at paddling second week of June. I will try contacting a float plane operator up there and see what they say.

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