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Lake Ice-Out Data for New England

Ice-out dates from 29 lakes in New England (USA) with 64 to 163 years of record through 2000 have been assembled and analyzed (Hodgkins and James, 2002; Hodgkins and others, 2002; Hodgkins and others, 2005). Twenty-two of these lakes were in Maine, four in New Hampshire, and three in Massachusetts. This web page provides all of the historical lake ice-out data for these lakes and updates most the lakes through 2005. All of the dates are listed as Julian dates. Julian dates are a sequential numbering of days, for each year, beginning on January 1. As an example, February 1 is Julian date 32. March 1 is Julian date 60 in a non-leap year and Julian date 61 in a leap year.

Lake ice-out dates, or the dates of ice break-up, are the annual dates in spring when winter ice cover leaves a lake. A remarkable amount of lake ice-out data have been recorded and saved in New England over the past two centuries. For some lakes in New England, such as Moosehead Lake in Maine, ice-out dates were important for local steamship transportation. Data from other lakes, for example Richardson Lake, Maine, were important for annual log drives. Individuals have collected and saved extensive data because of general curiosity and community interest. For Damariscotta and West Grand lakes in Maine, the same family has been collecting ice-out data for three generations.


Hodgkins, G.A. and James I.C. II, 2002, Historical ice-out dates for 29 lakes in New England: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-34, 32 p.

Hodgkins, G.A., James, I.C., and Huntington, T.G., 2002, Historical changes in lake ice-out dates as indicators of climate change in New England, 1850-2000: International Journal of Climatology, v. 22, p. 1819-1827.

Hodgkins, G.A., James, I.C., and Huntington, T.G., 2005, Historical changes in lake ice-out dates as indicators of climate change in New England, 1850-2000: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 2005-3002.

To view data click on a site on the map or choose the corresponding text link below.

Lake Auburn, Maine Aziscohos Lake, Maine China Lake, Maine Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine Damariscotta Lake, Maine Eagle Lake, Maine Embden Pond, Maine First Connecticut Lake, New Hampshire Houghtons (Hoosicwhisick) Pond, Massachusetts Kezar Lake, Maine Maranacook Lake, Maine Messalonskee Lake, Maine Moosehead Lake, Maine Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Maine Pennesseewassee (Norway) Lake, Maine Ponkapoag Pond, Massachusetts Pontoosuc Lake, Massachusetts Portage Lake, Maine Rangeley Lake, Maine Richardson Lake, Maine Sebago Lake, Maine Sebec Lake, Maine Squa Pan Lake, Maine Sunapee Lake, New Hampshire Swan Lake, Maine Thompson Lake, Maine Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire West Grand Lake, Maine Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire Lake Ice-Out Data Map

  1. Lake Auburn, Maine
  2. Aziscohos Lake, Maine
  3. China Lake, Maine
  4. Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine
  5. Damariscotta Lake, Maine
  6. Eagle Lake, Maine
  7. Embden Pond, Maine
  8. First Connecticut Lake, New Hampshire
  9. Houghtons (Hoosicwhisick) Pond, Massachusetts
  10. Kezar Lake, Maine
  11. Maranacook Lake, Maine
  12. Messalonskee Lake, Maine
  13. Moosehead Lake, Maine
  14. Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Maine
  15. Pennesseewassee (Norway) Lake, Maine
  16. Ponkapoag Pond, Massachusetts
  17. Pontoosuc Lake, Massachusetts
  18. Portage Lake, Maine
  19. Rangeley Lake, Maine
  20. Richardson Lake, Maine
  21. Sebago Lake, Maine
  22. Sebec Lake, Maine
  23. Squa Pan Lake, Maine
  24. Sunapee Lake, New Hampshire
  25. Swan Lake, Maine
  26. Thompson Lake, Maine
  27. Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire
  28. West Grand Lake, Maine
  29. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Ice-out on Sebago Lake, Maine, spring 1985
Ice-out on Sebago Lake, Maine, spring 1985

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Last modified: Wednesday, 16-Jan-2013 12:20:50 EST
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