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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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MNoutdoors99

Lake Minnetonka channels dangerous to snowmobile on?

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MNoutdoors99

Hey I am planning on ice fishing on Lake Minnetonka this winter with a friend and I am using a snowmobile to get to the lake from the trails. I would enter onto the lake in Orono off the Luce line trail and end up in Stubbs bay. I was reading on other forums saying avoid the channels but it seems to be the only way to get around the lake to other bays especially since I am on a snowmobile. I was wondering if they eventually are safe enough to hold up a snowmobile in mid-late January, and if going through them faster helps possibly? I would like to fish around the Smith's bay area and the only way I can do that is going through channels. I know Lake Minnetonka can be sketchy with ice thickness and I don't want to end up through the ice, thoughts? Thanks.

 

Jim

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h8go4s

Any channel on any lake is dangerous. 

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gimruis

I would avoid them if I were you.  All season.  There's often at least some current flowing through there and with these warmer winters, its just a bad idea.

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Hookmaster

I'm pretty sure there is still a winter only access on Smith's bay just north of where hiway 51 intersects hiway 15 at the lake.  It's just before the North Shore Marina. You'd have to trailer to there but then you'd have the main lake to fish.

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BrianF

Hi Jim, the problem with channels on Tonka is not only the current, which keeps the ice thin all winter, but also due to the effects of road salt/chemicals.  Many of the channels have bridges over them which receive a lot of automobile traffic.  In the winter, road salt/chemicals are pour on the roads during adverse weather conditions.  Cars and especially snow plows cause the salt/chemicals to splash over the guard rails and onto the ice.  When you see new reports of cars going thru the ice on channels, it's usually right under a road overpass, for this reason.  Because of the road salts, channels are just a super dangerous place to be, even during our coldest winters.  

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MNoutdoors99

What do most people do then to get from bay to bay? Do they just cross over land ? or just risk it and go across the channels.

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gimruis

Crossing over land could be an option as long as its not through someone's yard (because that would be trespassing).  You could also just walk through the channel instead of driving a heavy piece of machinery.

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Wanderer
20 hours ago, MNoutdoors99 said:

What do most people do then to get from bay to bay? Do they just cross over land ? or just risk it and go across the channels.

Some may risk the channels but I too would advise against it without thoroughly checking the ice beforehand.  I think I'd still get pucker factor on a first pass through.

Between the regular accesses and the temporary winter ones most people find enough fishable water on Tonka without traveling channels.  If you want to get to some spots that are a risky drive, you can always walk it.  I've probably walked more Tonka ice than I've driven.  Find your closest legal parking (pavement or ice) and break out the sled.  It's one of the reasons you can still find some decent, low pressured ice fishing close to the cities.

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