The 1 inch of warm rain and heavy winds at 50+F last night has taken its toll. Chickawaukee lost 2 inches of ice from 6 inches near my beach to 4 inches. Assuming that 2 inches was lost out further where was a scant 4 inches yesterday before rain I did not venture beyond known knee deep water, 2 inches of warm ice (1/2 the strength of cold ice) is not reassuring to this thin ice explorer.
David Lampton reported 7-3 1/2 inches at 7AM on Damariscotta before rain yesterday. We can reasonably assume 2 inches lost there too.
Bryan Hitchock sent a photo from the Dammy launch ramp showing a fish house and pedestrian out in mid lake yesterday. No ice firshermen have been seen out away from shore on Chicky all year, no doubt leery of the large expanse of open water that has been there 1/2 way down the lake all winter through some good cold nights.
In addition to the thinness there must be drain holes and runner catching cracks waiting to heal on both lakes. We need real February weather, a few days of single numbers/teens to have useable ice. The surface looks great, smooth and shiny to granular, mostly down to and well into older foundation black ice. Strips of debris that were below the ice surface yesterday are now sticking up above the surface about am inch.
We had thick fog this AM. By late AM the fog had cleared and as I ventured out on the ice a thin film of white fog developed on the ice surface further out, it spread as I walked and grew up to maybe 20 feet deep, now partially obscuring the further shore and filling the lake. Never a dull moment on the ice.