Amazing what one day of warm weather can do. Yesterday over a 100 fishermen got stranded out on Lake Erie when a 8 mile floe broke loose and started to drift. The event made national news and many of the anglers were heavily criticized for their actions as most knew strong south winds were going to push the ice out. I remember the same happening on Lake Simcoe many years ago when the armed forces had go out and air lift people out.
Today many of the local streams have blown out and the lower sections are clogged with major ice jams. I took this short video of the ice jam on the Rocky River. The lower section is loaded with ice and the mouth is still clogged. The end result is the ice has started to pile up. In the video, the ice is at level with the bank and the river is about 20' down. When I arrived the ice wasn't moving and then I heard trees on the opposite bank starting to crack. Then it was a battle of attrition with the river and the ice at the mouth. The ice started to protest and groan. The momentum started to shift and the ice gradually started move. Then the ice pack started to grind and bulldoze its way down. Trees snapped like twigs and banks got gouged out. Whenever the ice eventually busted free, I'm the riffles along the cliffs were gone as the ice scoured the bottom flat and clean.
It might take a while before the rivers are fishable as there is plenty of snow in the woods to keep the run-off going for the rest of the week. The ice has also scoured the banks and dumped a lot of sediment into the river. On the bright side, we won't be seeing bitterly cold weather in the near future.