International Falls area pilot Rick Bolstad called Friday morning after an early morning flight over Rainy Lake to tell The Journal that a boat can travel unimpeded by ice from Ranier to Kettle Falls.

That date sets a new record. The previous record ice out for Rainy Lake was set in 2010 on April 10.

That makes Falls High School Student Council member Chanin Smith the winner in The Journal’s annual ice out prediction contest

“I think the ice will be gone April 6,” Smith told The Journal in March. “April 6 is a Friday and I like Fridays.”

Smith said also settled on that date because it is two weeks away and “just really wants the weather to stay nice until then.”

Meanwhile, Bolstad said he flew over the lake Thursday evening, when getting to Kettle Falls would have involved a lot of “bobbing and weaving” through ice flows.

But Friday morning, he said, the ice had shifted, opening the main channel.

However, Bolstad said, much of the lake, from the east end of Dryweed to Seine Bay remained socked in by ice.

“There’s still a lot of ice out there, but the main channel people use is clear,” he said Friday morning.

He added that south winds forecast will likely do damage to the remaining ice.

Kabetogama Lake ice out also set a record this year, declared out on March 31. The previous record was April 4 set in 2010.