Ice on Lake Madison Delays Boating Season

LAKE MADISON, S.D. – It’s almost May, but the National Weather Service says some lakes in Northern South Dakota still have 20 inches of ice on them as of earlier this week.

Winter just won’t quit here at Lake Madison. Jeff Heinemeyer and his best pal, Guinness, go for a walk everyday, searching for the sun.

“I’ve been here for about 50 years and I’ve never seen ice on the lake this late in the season,” said Heinemeyer.

Guinness wags his tail even if there’s ice on the lake.

“He actually likes it year round,” said Heinemeyer. “He’s not too particular.”

However, most people aren’t as patient. Lake Madison lovers are anxious to hit the water and kick off the spring season.

“There’s so many people that are chomping at the bit because it’s been so long.,” said Lance Nordstrom, the owner of Lakeside Dock.

Nordstrom is finding ways to keep busy even though his business thrives during the summer. In his 12 years in the business, he’s never seen Lake Madison so icy for so long.

“Now, the last three years we’ve been really spoiled as in the ice comes off mid-March and we’re out on the water and you know, people are boating and enjoying the water in mid April,” said Nordstrom.

This winter, there was at one point 30 inches of ice. That’s enough to drive a semi over it.

However, good news is on the horizon. Nordstrom predicts that the ice will finally melt and that he’ll see the first boats out on the water starting this weekend.When he does, it’ll create a ripple effect for his small business.

“My phone’s going to be hopping,” said Nordstrom.

Finally, these best buds will finally get to enjoy warmer days on the lake together.

“We’ve been waiting for this,” said Heinemeyer.

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