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    Thread: Audubon

    1. Back To Top    #1
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      Audubon

      Some friends and I are going to Audubon this weekend. Is it worh bringing a vehicle for on the ice? I have a Suzuki Samurai that I will bring if there is enough ice. By the time its packed people and all it will be just shy of 3k. How much ice is there? Thank You

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      As a general rule, Audubon has some of the scariest ice in the state even during the coldest of winters. Mostly due to convective currents under the ice.

      I'd be leary of taking my 1500 lb SxS out on Audubon to explore where others haven't already been.


      However, I haven't been up there this year so hopefully you'll get some more recent ice reports from those who have been fishing.

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      Went to Bismarck Saturday lots of houses and pickups on the ice at Totten Trail. Thursday Dec. 31st I fished the Velva bay area and there were quite a few guys driving pickups pulling houses on the ice there also. But have also heard of a couple side by sides and 4x4 atv's plus a pickup that partially fell thru the ice. BE CAREFULL.

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      I fished off the Lane ramp area this past Saturday...had 15 inches everywhere I drilled. Many trucks and side by sides out...I walked out but I don't usually drive my truck out until I see 20 inches everywhere I drill...but that's just me!

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      It’s one of them years to just pull the reigns back and test that ice. Thicker ice will be here soon so be careful.

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      ^^ Exactly Enslow!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
      As a general rule, Audubon has some of the scariest ice in the state even during the coldest of winters. Mostly due to convective currents under the ice.

      I'd be leary of taking my 1500 lb SxS out on Audubon to explore where others haven't already been.


      However, I haven't been up there this year so hopefully you'll get some more recent ice reports from those who have been fishing.
      Allen...any additional insight or explanation of "convective currents" would be greatly appreciated. I ice fish Audubon regularly, never notice a "current" if you will, but I'd sure like to understand better. I rarely drive my truck on at Audubon, but I was always under the impression if I avoid the shallow islands/humps under the surface where I know the ice will be thinner...I'm ok...but that may be a false assumption. Thanks man!

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      Relatively warm water seeping from the earth (aka springs) is warmer than the lake water. So it rises like hot air rises in cold air (smoke stack). Thus it creates vertical plumes of rising water - washing up against the bottom of the ice. Even if the water has reached the average cold lake water temperature by the time it reaches the ice, it still eats away at it because well.... it's still warmer than the ice.

      - - - Updated - - -

      As you can imagine, the deeper the location, the less chance for that rising convection of water to scour the ice from below. That's why the humps/islands are most at risk - the ice is closer to the lake bottom.

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      ^^^^^^this is audubon and many other lakes in a nutshell

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      I’ve seen springs in McKenzie Bay on Sak open a hole 40ft in diameter in 32ft deep water so depth doesn’t seem to be a real factor... the moving water will thin the ice just like in a river.

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      Drove by on 83 yesterday, lots of trucks out there.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ndfinfan View Post
      Allen...any additional insight or explanation of "convective currents" would be greatly appreciated. I ice fish Audubon regularly, never notice a "current" if you will, but I'd sure like to understand better. I rarely drive my truck on at Audubon, but I was always under the impression if I avoid the shallow islands/humps under the surface where I know the ice will be thinner...I'm ok...but that may be a false assumption. Thanks man!

      Guy has already noted some of it. In general, there is groundwater flow into the area around the pumping plant. Probably more important on the Sakakawea side. Anyway, like Guy mentioned, slight changes in water temps keeps the water moving, even if it's not that perceptible to the fisherman. Those humps and areas between islands you noted that have historically had thin ice, will always be thinner than out in the flat bottom parts of the lake. The reason for that is the smaller cross-sectional area, as the water moves up and over the saddle between a pair of humps/islands, it has to move faster to get the same volume of water through the smaller cross sectional area.

      It can be tough to pick out dangerous areas when on the ice, but when looking at Google Earth or NDGFs lake maps, you can often see areas that are more prone to it. Like is said, look for the saddles and humps under the water next to deeper areas.

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    13. Back To Top    #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
      Guy has already noted some of it. In general, there is groundwater flow into the area around the pumping plant. Probably more important on the Sakakawea side. Anyway, like Guy mentioned, slight changes in water temps keeps the water moving, even if it's not that perceptible to the fisherman. Those humps and areas between islands you noted that have historically had thin ice, will always be thinner than out in the flat bottom parts of the lake. The reason for that is the smaller cross-sectional area, as the water moves up and over the saddle between a pair of humps/islands, it has to move faster to get the same volume of water through the smaller cross sectional area.

      It can be tough to pick out dangerous areas when on the ice, but when looking at Google Earth or NDGFs lake maps, you can often see areas that are more prone to it. Like is said, look for the saddles and humps under the water next to deeper areas.
      And if we don't get snow cover, once that sun gets higher those areas will get even worse.

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      Quote Originally Posted by guywhofishes View Post
      Relatively warm water seeping from the earth (aka springs) is warmer than the lake water. So it rises like hot air rises in cold air (smoke stack). Thus it creates vertical plumes of rising water - washing up against the bottom of the ice. Even if the water has reached the average cold lake water temperature by the time it reaches the ice, it still eats away at it because well.... it's still warmer than the ice.

      - - - Updated - - -

      As you can imagine, the deeper the location, the less chance for that rising convection of water to scour the ice from below. That's why the humps/islands are most at risk - the ice is closer to the lake bottom.
      Thanks Professor #guygoogleseverything

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      i've experienced this on Audoban, actually drilled a few holes right on top of a spring. several years ago, had 10-12" of ice over 20' of water. Drilled some holes over a sunken island and had 4-6" of ice. After the holes were drilled and we were set up, the ice flooded around us, and water was coming out of the holes. No snow on the ice either. it was a little freaky!

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      sierra1995,

      That's a good point. In general, I like to park over deep water and drill my way up onto the top of a hump (or as we often incorrectly refer to them, sunken islands). The safest ice "should" be over the deeper water. A mapping unit with depth contours is a very valuable tool in the world of safely navigating Audubon's (and most other lake's) ice.

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      Six Mile Bait Shop posted a video of open water on Lake Sakakawea when they had been fishing on 5" of ice last night. The high winds and warmer temperatures have caused some very uncertain ice conditions. I have also heard (unconfirmed) that several houses have broken through the ice on audubon. If I was going to venture out onto the ice, I would bring a ice chipping bar and test the ice. At a minimum, I would use an auger to punch holes to check the ice conditions before venturing too far out. This year has been a bad year for getting on the ice, today's wind causing ice shift and warmer temperatures are going to make any ice fishing unfavorable.

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      Last edited by 1walleyeguy; 01-14-2021 at 04:36 PM.

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      Can anyone confirm fish houses sinking and where? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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      I don't know about any sinking, but the wind created a bunch of carnage on fish houses over the past couple days. Tipped over houses etc.

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