Ice on Feb 24th (above) - the big winds of our last storm did a decent job of hacking some holes in the Great Lakes Ice cover.
We have some freezing cold temps lined up for the next 10+ days - but every day has also been associated with a lot of strong winds - which don't bode well for ice formation on Lakes Michigan and Ontario.... The other three have so much ice cover though, that they could all freeze up again.
Recent maps show that to be happening already -
The strong winds of the last storm pushed a bunch of ice NE on Lake Erie - giving cause for the first designation of "very thick ice" so far in 2014... Not only that, but it seems to be covering at least half of the Lake!
These guys seem to be taking a beating at the hands of this poor weather. I'm going out on a limb again and say that they still aren't being "frozen out" - and are instead migrating... I think it would explain the lack of body fat. (eg,/ migration uses up their fat stores - then they can't replenish them because they can't find good places to feed with all the ice around). Still - just my 2 cents.