Drilling Ice Fishing Holes on Lake Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs Ice Report 12/15/2022

The Red Door Resort Access Is Open To Walkout, Snowmobile and ATV Traffic

The Red Door Resort access is open to walk out, snowmobile and ATV traffic.  The Ice Team ventured out this afternoon and, under the 9” to 10” of fresh heavy snow, predominately found 7.5” to 8.5” of nice black ice.  There were a couple of holes with 7” of ice and a couple of holes with 9” of ice.  The warm weather over the last week caused ice depths to increase 1-2 inches.  Please watch the video below and read on for more commentary.

Winter Storm Observations

The Winter Storm Warning has now passed and the north side of Mille Lacs Lake received approximately 10” of dense snowfall that fell in two 4-6” rounds of precipitation on Tuesday and then Wednesday into Thursday.  The snow is heavy, ideal for snowman making and snowball fights.  The snow will also provide a great base on the snowmobile trails adjacent to The Red Door Resort.  The science seems to suggest that the heavier / denser snow is preferable for ice making since this type of snow traps less air and, as a result, provides less insulation.

Slush and Water on the Lake

The snow added a significant amount of weight on the lake.  The Red Door Resort lake access currently has 5” of standing water for the first 200 feet off shore.  The path through the shale ice has the standing water but once this area is cleared the slush isn’t too bad though there are some concentrations in areas.  Anglers should be able to find a dry place to fish and should be cautious when drilling new holes.  The standing water and slush should freeze as temperatures cool down.

Visual of The Red Door Resort Ice Access from Shore
Ice Fishing Snow and Ice Conditions on Lake Mille Lacs

Weather Outlook

Tomorrow (Friday) is expected to hover in the 20’s and then temperatures should drop significantly over the course of the weekend and into next week.  Lows will be in the single digits on Saturday before dipping below zero on Sunday and for the duration of the 7 day weather outlook.  Sustained wind speeds should be under 15 mph with gust staying below 25 mph.

Progression Compared to last Year

In last year’s Mille Lacs Ice Report 12/16/2021, The Red Door Resort access opened tentatively to foot traffic only to the first and second break.  This year’s ice is 1.5” to 2.5” ahead of the same time last year.  The Ice Team is hopeful that the cold weather will continue the ice building progression, outweighing the snow’s insulating impact.  Time will tell and the plan is to publish our next Mille Lacs Ice Report mid-next week. 

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you at The Red Door Resort.

Snowmobile Trails near The Red Door Resort on the north side of Mille Lacs Lake



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