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Green Bay shipping season comes to a close amid loose ice coverage
Green Bay shipping season comes to a close amid loose ice coverage
Green Bay shipping season comes to a close amid loose ice coverage

Published on: 01/25/2023


GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Despite our mild winter weather lately, the Port of Green Bay will be closing for the season Wednesday. With the arrival of the Algocanada on Tuesday morning into the port, the end of this shipping season has arrived.

The ice pack out on the bay isn't really a solid sheet, and that's partly why the Coast Guard has decided to close shipping for the winter.

Port of Green Bay Director Dean Haen says this ice cover is trickiest to balance between recreation and commerce.

"It's when you're in those in-between years where you have some ice that people are getting out on with machines and that and traveling offshore some distance that we'll shut down earlier," said Haen. "So, either you need to have good, hard ice or no ice. And those conditions allow you to stay open longer."

Despite the relatively loose ice pack, the Green Bay is actually the iciest part of Lake Michigan at the moment. And that's saying something because ice cover right now is at very low levels for this time of year.

Overall ice coverage on the Great Lakes was sitting at about 6% on Monday. That's way down from a year ago, which was a more-typical 22% at this same point last winter.

While it might not look much different, much of the difference between the two winters is in the near-shore areas.

Lake Michigan itself was sitting at just 9% ice cover as of Monday, down from about 19% last winter. And almost all of that ice cover right now is in Green Bay.

While the main lake is completely open, the bay is pretty packed full of ice -- even if it isn't in one solid sheet.

But with much colder, arctic air on the horizon, it probably won't remain the only icy place on the lake for much longer.

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