Ice Off on BC Lakes

In BC most of the hundreds of lakes north of Hope freeze over during the winter making for some great “hard water” fishing.  But now that Spring is almost here, “still water” fishers are starting to count the days until “ice off” is here.


There are many factors that determine the dates for any lake to be clear of ice making it no longer safe to walk or drive on, but more importantly, allowing boat fishers to get back on the water:

  • Elevation of lake
  • How far north the lake is
  • How deep the lake is
  • How protected from the wind and sun the lake is
  • Average air temperatures in the area of the lake

Sometime in late March, early April, you will start to hear of “ice off” on many lakes in Southern regions of BC but for the Interior area and North, that won’t happen until mid to late April and sometimes well into May.  June is usually safe for all areas.

During this period of thaw, the lakes become the most dangerous for walking and especially driving.  Check out this great article on ice safety from AdventureBC.

And if you do actually fall through the ice, this excellent video will show you how to self-rescue yourself:


Once the ice is off the lake and the warm sun starts to hit the lake and the lake bottom, the lake will start to “turn over” when the colder water at the surface mixes with the warmer water at the bottom.  The lake will remain cloudy until all levels are roughly the same temperature.  But that’s for a future post!

Be safe .. be patient .. the ice will soon be gone!

P.S. Here is a link to the live tracking of the ICE-OFF conditions of BC Lakes 

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