Spring may be here, but lakes in central Maine are still covered in ice.

As of Friday, there were no reports of ice out on central Maine lakes.

Residents in some area towns who take bets on when the final melt will occur are opting for later rather than sooner.

While the winter was particularly cold and snowy, the lakes have had normal or a little less than normal ice depth, leaving it unclear how lake thawing will be affected, experts say.

“Usually the ice will go out sometime around mid-April,” said George Powell, director of boating facilities for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. But right now, “there’s still a lot of ice on the lakes.”

He said the breakup of the ice causes a stir because it signals it’s the time of year for setting out the more than 500 public boat ramps in the state.

The department has a website where it asks Mainers to report ice outs and also keeps track of historical ice out data.

Last year, China Lake’s ice out was April 23 and Unity Pond’s was April 21. More to the north, ice out in Wyman Lake in Bingham was May 4 and on Rangeley Lake it was May 11.

In Wilton, trying to guess when the ice will melt has become an annual tradition. Bruce Dyke, of the Wilton Fish and Game Association, organizes the annual association fundraiser to guess when the ice will melt off Wilson Lake, with the winner getting $100 cash.

This year 126 people took their best guess as to the day and time of ice out, and Dyke said he makes the call himself on when that is.

“There still a lot of ice out there. More than we’ve seen in the last few years,” he said.

State geologist Robert Marvinney said the snow pack has been melting more slowly than in a typical year.

“We’re probably two weeks behind where we typically are in terms of loss of snow,” he said.

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