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APRIL 28, 2005 

Ice soup

Enough water and broken-up ice to allow some boat travel.

PHOTOS: Apr 28 

APRIL 27, 2005      Updated 9:00 p.m.

Break-up edges forward

It's been cloudy, raining, windless and temperatures have been hovering just above freezing. Nothing in the weather has been enough to clear the ice, but there was some ice movement.

An airboat trip yesterday on Lake Temagami by Gerry Gooderham and Rick Lockhart revealed some small areas of open water around the south end of Temagami Island. Yet the north end of the island was completely sealed by solid ice.

The bay around the town of Temagami was free of ice, but the main part of the Northeast Arm was solid.

Bellwether Lake Nipissing in North Bay goes out first. It still has ice.

Clouds continue to block the satellite from getting a good shot.

PHOTOS: Apr 25   Apr 26   Apr 27

APRIL 24, 2005 

More cold and snow holds back break-up

Cold temperatures continue to stall break-up.

PHOTOS: Apr 23  Apr 24

APRIL 23, 2005 

Break-up progress slows

Cold temperatures halt ice melt.

PHOTOS: Apr 22

APRIL 22, 2005 

Open water appears

Yesterday's late afternoon satellite photo shows open water in the channel between Cross Lake and Lake Temagami, as well as other areas.


APRIL 21, 2005   Updated: 9:00 p.m.

Change in weather hardens ice

A drop in overnight temperatures the past two days hardened up the ice, slowing breakup.

PHOTOS: Apr 20   Apr 21

APRIL 20, 2005

Warm weather taking out ice

Black, black ice now covers Lake Temagami and thin cracks are appearing. See the last three days of ice around Ogama Island through Gerry Gooderham's lens.

PHOTOS: Apr 17  Apr 18  Apr 19 

APRIL 19, 2005

Absolutely, positively, the best crapper ever

The MacCowPie Crapper Company reports on the first season for its new high-end, prototype unit installed on Obabika Lake.

FULL STORY: Absolutely, positively, the best ever 

APRIL 18, 2005

Break-up watch begins

Break-up season has arrived. Most lakes have lost their snow cover and the snow is gone from the bush. Black ice covers most of Lake Temagami.

With the ice thinning, traffic is down, but a few snowmachines are still on the move. And an air-boat has begun making trips to the landing from the Bear Island community. 


APRIL 15, 2005

Who opened the Whitefish Bay ice road?

For weeks people had been saying contractor George Mathias of Bear Island plowed the 25-kilometre ice road from Bear Island to the north end of Lake Temagami.

The road appeared in early March and terminated at the old Red Squirrel Road access point on Whitefish Bay on the North Arm. Mathias was a surprised as anyone to see it.

Peter Healy had been on his way back from a visit to the Diamond Lake pictographs and came across the "highway" by accident. "It was incredible," he said. "A trip to Diamond took 45 minutes from the Hub."

So who plowed the road? Prospectors from outside the area. They hired Berubé Repairs to open the road for their daily trips from town to stake their claims. "It took a couple of hours and two trucks and we were done," said Ray Daneault.

Plowing the Red Squirrel Road had been the prospectors first choice, but the ice road was considerably less expensive. From the end of the lake they continued to their claims by snowmachine.

"Ice conditions were so good," said Daneault. "We might not have been able to do it another year."


APRIL 14, 2005

Ice roads expand this year

There were roughly 60 kilometres (37.3 miles) of plowed ice roads on Lake Temagami this year, up considerably from previous years.

The Temagami First Nation again plowed a 25-kilometre ice road down the Northeast Arm between the town of Temagami and the Bear Island reserve. This was a faster and shorter route than taking the Mine Road (aka Lake Temagami Access Road).

There was a 8.2-kilometre single-lane road to Narrows Island from the Mine Road landing.

Unusual this year was a 26-kilometre road from Bear Island to the old Red Squirrel Road access point on Whitefish Bay. The road appeared in March and the identity of the plow owner remains a mystery. A rumour pointed to George Mathias, but he was as surprised as anyone when he discovered it. He found it dead-ended at the old access point.

As permits are not required for plowing ice roads, anyone – with a blade on the front of a half-ton – could have opened it, from prospectors to snowmobilers who wanted a dropoff point at the north end of the lake.

The Temagami First Nation has been plowing the ice road to town intermittently for ten years or so, when ice conditions permitted. A number of factors can be a detriment to good road conditions, such as a heavy early snowfall that will insulate the lake and prevent thick ice from developing. For the last two years, good "blue ice" has formed a thick base.

However, ideal ice conditions for much of the winter, in part attributable to below normal snowfall, almost made plowing unnecessary.

APRIL 13, 2005

Silverwater Lodge gets new owners and new name

Silverwater Lodge has been purchased by George and Linda Mathias of Bear Island and will re-open July 1 as Deepwater Lodge.

The lodge in the Hub of Lake Temagami, on island 203, is opposite the Manito Landing on the Mine Road (aka Lake Temagami Access Road).

The restaurant will be open to the public for three meals a day and Sunday brunch. In August, it will only serve dinner.

George Mathias is one of the lake's largest contractors. Several years ago he purchased the assets of the former Camp Manito Hotel, partly destroyed by fire in 1995, with the intention of re-opening the facility.

Silverwater's business had been deteriorating for years under previous management. When Silverwater went up for sale this winter Mathias recognized it as a better site as all the facilities were intact and wouldn't require the construction that the Manito site needed.

Holly and John Charyna will be the new operators. Mathias' daughter Holly was chief of the Temagami First Nation in the mid-1990s. The husband-and-wife team recently moved in and began renovations.

They will be expanding services, adding twice-weekly guided lake tours and gas sales at the dock.

"There's lots of work to do to get ready for July 1, but we're excited," said John Charyna.

APRIL 9, 2005

Google has hi-res Temagami satellite photos

Google has introduced satellite photos of North America that cover Temagami.

This new feature is still in beta (under construction), often crashes and the images are uneven, but is still one of the best sites on the Internet for Temagami images.

The photo library is not real-time, but from a database of previous summer high-resolution satellite passes.

 WEBSITE:  Temagami satellite photos

                    Satellite library home

APRIL 3, 2005

Hunt for Ontario's remaining old-growth forest

A research institute is hunting for the remaining stands of old-growth forest in Ontario.

Despite the attention old growth has received over the past decade and a half, it has only been coarsely surveyed using remote sensing. Ancient Forest Exploration and Research intends to perform on-the-ground confirmation of each stand it finds. There has been a heavy focus on old-growth red and white pines by the Ontario government, but this broader search will include all tree species.

Ecologists Michael Henry and Peter Quinby of Ancient Forest Exploration and Research (AFER) plan to include the results in an online database and a book on Ontario's old-growth forests.

Both scientists have done extensive studies in Temagami. Quinby was instrumental in getting the first official recognition of old-growth forest in eastern Canada in the late 1980s.

They hope to enlist the public in the project and are asking anyone with information to visit the AFER website.

  WEBSITE: Old-growth forest project

   CONTACT: mhenry@ancientforest.org

APRIL 1, 2005

Pressure cracks on Obabika Lake

  PHOTOS:  Ice cracks


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