Poor ice conditions reported on Allagash Wilderness Waterway

Posted Dec. 29, 2011, at 5:41 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Park rangers on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway are reporting inadequate ice on the Allagash headwater lakes to support ice-fishing activity and snowmobiling, according to Maine Department of Conservation.

The waterway’s chief ranger, Kevin Brown, said Churchill Lake appears to be especially dangerous this week, with only about 3 inches of ice across the lake. Chamberlain Lake became free of ice during a recent rainstorm.

Three inches of ice will hold a snowmobile and a fisherman, but it is difficult to determine where the ice might be thinner, Brown said in a press release. Traveling from one place to another could be very dangerous at this time, he added.

The chief ranger said it is important to be very careful near areas that normally have moving water, such as thoroughfares, mouths of brooks and springs. “Check the ice thickness often,” Brown said. “Never travel alone when the conditions are poor.”

The weather has been extremely mild so far this winter. Telos and Chamberlain lakes did not skim over until late in December, and Chamberlain has opened again, according to Brown.

For specific advice on ice conditions and areas to avoid, visitors should check with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway ranger at Chamberlain Bridge or call the dispatch center in Ashland between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 207-435-7963, ext. 1.

For more information about the AWW or Maine state parks, visit www.parksandlands.com.

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