The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 13, 2013

Madison Lake’s official ice-out monitors maintain a history of spring


Sometimes he picks the lakes he follows by looking on a map in an area where he needs more information. He’ll call bait shops or city offices near the lake to find out if anyone has been keeping information on the lake.

Finding those people isn’t easy he said, so he’s hoping someone will take over the Buschkowskys’ job whenever they’re done doing it. Mary Buschkowsky said she also hopes her list will be passed on someday.

She admits the job isn’t as exciting as it was when she was working at the Boat Landing. Back then she would sell chances to people who wanted to guess the ice-out date. The winner walked away with the cash.

In the 1930s the city even had contests where a car was hooked to a cable and a timer and put out on the ice, Mary said. The winner was decided by when the car sank, then the car was pulled out by the cable and put out on the ice again the next year.

“This is a joyous thing to do,” she said. “When the ice goes off, it’s officially spring. It has nothing to do with March 21.”

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