Has there ever been a year like this in recorded history on Mille Lacs? With open water on January 6th, I would bet it has not. Maybe Steve F. or others with extensive knowledge would know??? My grandad's brother owned the drift inn near Vineland but he is long dead or else I would ask old Moose.
In'99 ( I think that was the year) I was in a boat on Lake Mille Lacs January 1st but it got cold the next day or two later so that was the last of the open water that year. So, in my weather-beaten memory, this is unprecedented.
I think I recall fishermen launching boats at Fisher's resort in Malmo on Christmas Day that year.....
Back in the '60's, one January thaw we had fish tied to the door knob of the fish house on a stringer. There was quite a bit of water on top of the ice then. Flick a cigarette butt out the fish house door up wind and it blew back through one of the holes. Loose a fish in the hole and it could swim away on top of the ice as far as the eye could see. Walking to the fish house one of those days, as maybe an 8-9 year old, I fell down and got soaked. The old man had me sitting on his coal burning fish house stove drying out--madder than hell at me!
I could be wrong, but I doubt anything like this has taken place in the past 50 plus years.