Ice Fishing and Ice Skating are often the sports of choice on wintertime Grays Lake.
Watch for weak ice in the south channel where the Jones Island pumps discharge. This area is near the massive Willow tree.
The Park District maintains a hockey rink in the channels.
Mysterious ice formation from January 2011. For perspective, there is a brown leaf next to the hole. Could this have been an ice fishing hole? But why is there a perfect ice sphere in the center?
Three layers of air frozen like pancakes in the ice in January 2011.
January 2, 2016 - The lake is iced over for the first time this season. There was a bit of ice a few days prior to Thanksgiving, but the lake has remained relatively ice free due to unseasonably warm temperatures and rains. The ice is very thin at this point, even in the channel.
January 1, 2015 - Ice is 2" thick in channel, beach area and mouth of channel are ice free. The lake completely thawed over the past few weeks after warm weather.
November 15, 2014 - After a cool and wet summer, the lake is completely covered with a sheet of ice this morning after several overnight temperatures in the 20s.
April 3, 2014 - After the coldest four month period (Dec-Mar) in recorded history for the Chicago area, Ice Off occurred today. Water first started appearing about 3 days ago. As the ice has receded, large carp bodies have appeared from under the ice. Approximately 15 were visible in the NE corner of the channel around Jones Island.
November 24, 2013 - Although there was some very small iced areas, like the corner of the channel earlier this month, first ice appears and covers entire lake after a still night in the teens.
April 5, 2013 - Ice Off (defined as when one could row a boat from the shore to the deepest part of the lake). Over just a couple days, the lake is completely clear.
January 1, 2013 - The ice fishermen are on the lake though the red flag is still out. Ice thickness is about 3 inches.
November 25, 2012 - First ice.
Winter of 2012 - No ice over this year. For the first time in recent memory, we are unable to ice fish or skate.
December 1, 2011. First ice appears in channel but is thawed with rains on the third.
March 19, 2011. Ice-off (defined as when one could row a boat from the shore to the deepest part of the lake). From morning to evening the lake went from 1/3 covered to completely clear.
February 5, 2011. After the blizzard the lake is covered with snow. A few groups out on the lake fishing today.
January 15, 2011. Good ice with a few inches of snow on top.
January 8, 2011. The green flag has been out a while. The ice is fantastic - smooth, thick, and clear. Strong NW winds on this sunny day easily push skaters across the lake. See fishing info here.
January 2, 2011. After the big thaw two days ago the ice thinned and the red flag is out. The good news is that the snow is completely gone and the lake has clear but bumpy ice. It looks like there is about 4" of ice in the channel. With the low temps expect the green flag to reappear soon.
December 17, 2010. The green flag is out and the hockey rinks are set. A walk on the lake this frigid evening revealed poor skating ice in the channel but large areas of very smooth, glassy ice out on the lake.,
December 11, 2010 The first ice fishermen appear on the ice this morning just outside the channel. Rain today is softening things up.
November 28, 2010 First ice appeared the past few nights with total freeze over last night.
March 20, 2010. The lake is completely thawed.
March 14, 2010. Water is just appearing around the periphery of the lake after a week in the 50's and rain.
March 7, 2010. There is an ice fisherman out on the ice though the ice is softening quickly in the warm weather and rain.
December 12, 2009. After a few days of single digit temps, the lake is now covered with ice. An ice fisherman is setting up on the periphery ice 50 yards off the Jones Island beach. The middle is probably still a bit thin.
December 6, 2009. The lake is still "making ice" with a few large areas in the middle of the lake still open.
December 5, 2009. The first ice appeared on the lake after below freezing temperatures the past few nights. The channel is totally iced over as is the periphery of the lake.