The Minnesota DNR issued a warning to outdoor enthusiasts to avoid going on two Northland lakes and surrounding wetlands due to unsafe ice. The concern is being prompted due to pumping efforts to lower the water levels in one area, which is impacting ice safety on two lakes and surrounding wetland areas.

The first water body of concern is Canisteo Mine Pit, which is a pit lake just north of Coleraine & Taconite in the Grand Rapids area. The DNR is currently pumping water out of the pit at a rate of up to 11,000 gallons per minute.

The pumping creates what the DNR calls an "ice shelf", or a gap between ice and the water below the ice across the entire body of water. Falling through this ice can make it nearly impossible to rescue yourself.

As water is being pumped out of the Canisteo Pit, it is being pumped into nearby Holman Lake, east of Taconite, as well as into surrounding wetland areas. This is creating a different ice concern, generating rising water levels and weakened ice from moving water.

Minnesota DNR on YouTube
Minnesota DNR on YouTube
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The DNR routinely does this pumping out of the pit in an effort to keep the water levels below 1,318 feet to protect nearby city infrastructure. In a video produced by the DNR (below), they explain the reason for the pumping, as well as the process.

The DNR is now focusing its pumping efforts on winter months because zebra mussels were found in the pit, and they can safely pump out of the lake in the winter without transmitting the invasive species to other bodies of water.

This pumping is expected to persist through the winter, meaning outdoor enthusiasts should avoid these bodies of water all season long.

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