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Random Holes in Ice

Post By: fishingmanlee      Posted: 2/11/2019 10:00:53 AM     Points: 126    
While sledding around on the ice I've been noticing random holes that look like miniature springs on the ice nearly 16" +/- in diameter. I only see these in slushy conditions and never in snow. First example was a few weeks ago at Steamboat where the slush is terrible and again at Granby. The one at Steamboat I drove by a few times but never close enough or long enough to figure out it it was indeed an open hole or just a wet spot. Both lakes had ice at least 10" so it's very difficult for me to believe that there are big exposed areas without ice.

Anyone else encounter these and if so what are they? Easy to spot if you're on foot but sledding or in low light conditions I'd hate to go through.
 Reply by: El Jefe      Posted: Feb. 11, 5:51:03 PM     Points: 265    
I've encountered these myself and always assumed that they were older auger holes that had increased in diameter due to flowing water eroding the ice around the holes perimeter (i.e. at Granby from pumping).

I came to this conclusion as I've only found these holes (too large to be from a conventional auger) on lakes with flowing water, and the holes always appeared to be circular in appearance and never oblong.

Anyway, that's my hypothesis.
 Reply by: icemaster      Posted: Feb. 11, 6:50:43 PM     Points: 206    
I believe it's caused by methane gas coming up thru the lake bed, some lakes have it really bad, (Seaman and near the Paonia dam).