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APRIL 29, 2004   6 P.M.

Winds didn't finish the job today

STRANDED FOR BREAKUP, DAY 8 — "It was a windy day, a very windy day. It blew the ice hard, but it didn’t blow hard enough to take it out."

— Gerry Gooderham on Ogama Island

  PHOTOS:  Ice watch - April 29 

APRIL 29, 2004 NOON

Winds opening up sections of big lakes

High winds last night and today have broken up ice on parts of lakes Temagami and Obabika. The temperature now is 20 Celsius.

"The wind has blown ice up on the west shore and there is open water to the south of us," said Alex Mathias, a resident at the north end of Obabika Lake. "I think we'll see the ice breakup today."

The ice has cleared at Temagami village on Lake Temagami. "Most of the smaller ice flows that were drifting around the bay have been broken up by the heavy winds," said Mike Drenth, a resident on Portage Bay.

"The peace we’ve had with the end of the snowmobile season was shattered today," added Drenth, "as Lakeland’s [Airways] Beaver float plane returned home with the north side of the bay now clear of ice."

Photo: ice break-up on Lake Temagami, 2004

APRIL 28, 2004

First ice shift, Gooderham reports

As the ice pulls back from the shoreline, it gets a little play. A good wind will move it. The ice moved today for the first time, at Ogama Island. It slid up on the rock and left this ice on it.

Gerry Gooderham, stranded for the seventh day, reports today is cold at 5 Celsius, overcast and very windy. 



APRIL 27, 2004

Portage Bay clearing

Photo taken from Leisure Island Houseboats, looking south across Portage Bay by Temagami village.

"You can see the ice road still connecting two ice patches as the ice continues to recede from the shores, and channels start to open. The loons have been back (from what I’ve seen) for almost a week in the bay, sticking to the open shallows, and are now enjoying a bit more freedom."

— Mike Drenth


Photo: ice break-up on Lake Temagami, 2004
Photo: ice break-up on Lake Temagami, 2004 Looking west from Ogama Island in the Lake Temagami hub.




Photo: ice break-up on Lake Temagami, 2004

APRIL 25, 2004

Ice recedes from shorelines

Many of the ponds and small lakes are now completely ice free. Black ice (candled ice) is everywhere on the big lakes and the melting lake ice has pulled back from shore (above).

Those who are on their islands on Lake Temagami, are now stranded until the ice breaks up.

Water is showing between Gerry Gooderham's snowmachine (left) and the ice at Ogama Island. Time to store the machine for the season.



APRIL 22, 2004 NOON

Ice watch from Ogama Island

"Open water lingers in the near future, but with cold nights and low daytime temps of  5 Celsius, it may hold on. Today at noon I have 12 inches of ice, approximately, candled but stable (mostly). Yesterday was awesome with the rain and mist. I guess I might take my snowmachine off the ice tomorrow as there is no place to go, or that I want to go now."

— Gerry Gooderham

  PHOTOS:  Ice watch - April 22

APRIL 20, 2004 NOON

Breakup has begun as seen by satellite

It has begun with open water in the narrows between Cross and Temagami lakes, southern Lake Timiskaming, Montreal River and Lady Evelyn River into the Montreal River.

The area west and northwest of Bear Island is getting close. Gerry Gooderham confirms the ice there is black and that there is some open water east of Narrows Island.

Bob Farr reports that the slush ice has largely melted with black candled ice showing everywhere. Farr predicts only a couple more days of safe travel by snowmobile. His fearless breakup prediction is May 4.

  SATELLITE PHOTO:  Breakup begins 670K

APRIL 18, 2004

Lake ice melting

Gerry Gooderham captured changing ice conditions.  "Maybe one week of travelling if this weather holds," he predicted.

  PHOTOS:  Ice melting 

APRIL 17, 2004

Ice roads closed

With the arrival of spring and warm weather, the ice roads on Lake Temagami were essentially closed April 13.

On that day it became difficult to get on and off the ice as the ice pulled away from shore. These are not official roads and access is self-regulating. "I have seen the odd foolish soul put the front end of their truck in [the water] up to the headlights," resident Gerry Gooderham said.

There were two roads: the Northeast Arm road between Temagami village and the Hub; and the Bear Island road between the Mine Landing and Bear Island.

Despite the conditions, a truck was seen yesterday travelling from Bear Island to the landing.

Conditions are still good for travel by snowmobile and water is accumulating on top of the ice. Open water is not far away.

Image: Temagami Community Foundation logo

APRIL 9, 2004

Turning the impossible into the possible

After years of bitter infighting without a glimmer of hope of breaking the cycle, along comes a brave and unexpected champion, the Temagami Community Foundation.

Lake Temagami has a well earned reputation for being home to three solitudes — the town, the lake people and the Temagami First Nation. There has not been a significant initiative to cope with this dilemma.

It has been a source of frustration for the foundation's co-founders Vicki McKenzie Grant, a member of the Temagami First Nation, and Walter Ross, a lake property owner.


Through their common nonprofit experience they came up with the idea, in 1999, of a foundation as a catalyst for change. Grant was a board member of the province of Ontario's Trillium Foundation and Ross was president of the Laidlaw Foundation in Toronto. The new foundation would build a unified community by funding nonprofit activities that not only support the whole, but build bridges between the three groups.

Grant and Ross attracted members of all communities to the board while avoiding getting caught up in edgy, local politics.

In its first two years, the foundation has contributed funds to the reconstruction of the historic train station, the Bear Island Art Camp, Temagami Pow Wow, Nastawgan Trails, the public school and a proposal for local control of logging (through a government-granted Sustainable Forestry License). To date, $55,000 in grants have been made.

It is actively seeking both donors and projects to fund, and plans to build an endowment.

It has a big challenge ahead. "It may be an impossible dream," said Grant, the foundation president, "but if you don't work for the impossible you're not going to get anywhere."

  WEBSITE:  Temagami Community Foundation             


APRIL 6, 2004

Land claim moving forward, but at a snail's pace

The original projected date for completion of the land-claim negotiations was December 2002. According to Ontario's negotiator Doug Carr, that date has slipped to fall 2004.

If — yes, if — this schedule holds, then the aboriginal community would likely vote on ratification sometime in 2005. The community consists of the Temagami First Nation (TFN) and the Teme-augama Anishnabai (TAA).

If ratified, then implementation could take up to 10 years. The financial compensation would be paid out to the TFN in the first few years and the creation of the new TFN reserve lands would take up to 10 years.

  BACKGROUND:  Land claim negotiations

APRIL 5, 2004

Winter aerial photos

Andy Stevens' photos taken from his helicopter on March 31.

  PHOTOS:  Winter from above

APRIL 2, 2004

Winter moments as the run rises

See early hours of the day through Gerry Gooderham's lens.

  PHOTOS:  Gooderham moments

APRIL 1, 2004

Fire season starts today?

Yes, it is April Fools Day, and this could be a joke, but isn't. Every year, fire season starts on April 1. Smell smoke? No? Check the fire-watch box on the Temagami home page for updates through the season.


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