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Grand Traverse Bay Officially Frozen

Moschos Goutzioudis|

Grand Traverse Bay has officially frozen this year, but officials said they’re not sure how long it will stay that way.


This is the sixth time in the past 20 years that Grand Traverse Bay has been completely frozen over. Officials said during the early 1900s it would freeze most years but it hasn’t happened as frequently since the 90s.


Heather Smith is a Grand Traverse Baykeeper. She said the decline in ice is likely based on the climate trends.


“Well you know it is all dependent on weather and wave action. Changes on climate are certainly having an impact in this region. And that is no different from what we are seeing else in the Great Lakes region. Ice cover has really been declining all over the region for the past few decades.”


Smith said it is unclear how long the bay will stay frozen. While the ice remains, she said it is helping wildlife.


“There are a few species of fish that benefit from ice cover because they lay their eggs in the fall and those eggs are protected by ice cover. They aren’t disturbed by intense winter storms that have a lot of wave action.”


Smith said there is no way to predict how long the bay will stay frozen. She said it will depend on what weather Michigan gets over the next few days or weeks.