The Messenger has determined that the ice on Mille Lacs went out on Thursday, May 16, between noon and midnight.
The Messenger traditionally calls ice out when a boat can be driven in a straight line from Isle to Garrison without encountering ice.
As of Thursday morning, there was still ice north of the mouth of Isle Bay making a direct crossing impossible. By Thursday afternoon, the ice had mostly melted or moved, and the lake was navigable from Isle to Garrison, although a large sheet of ice may have been present along the eastern shore until late Thursday night or early Friday morning.
This year's ice-out breaks the newly established record of May 15, 1950. The state climatology office and the DNR changed their records this spring based on evidence from the Mille Lacs Messenger's 1950 coverage.
In 2012, a record for early ice out was set when the lake became ice free on March 26.
Brett Larson is the editor of the Mille Lacs Messenger.