Keep an eye on the lake to 'Catch the Freeze' and a chance to win one of these icy cool T-shirts.

Take a guess and ‘Catch the Freeze’

The local lake guardians are holding a new contest that will keep community members' eyes on Lake Windermere.

If your prediction for the first snowfall of the winter was way off the mark, the Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA) are offering you the chance to redeem yourself. Their new contest called “Catch the Freeze” is about guessing what date the lake is going to freeze over by and anyone who gets it right will win a special edition “I love my lake” T-shirt, courtesy of the Ambassadors.

There is a hidden motive behind the contest besides giving away cool clothing, said LWA program co-ordinator Kirsten Harma.

“It’s about getting people down to the lake to check up on on it,” she said.

One thing for people to keep in mind is that some of the last places to freeze over are likely those have a surface water or groundwater contribution. Harma’s advice for tracking groundwater is to visit different parts of the lake and notice where the ice forms last — that’s where warming groundwater inputs are greatest; note the deeper areas as deeper water takes longer to freeze; and lastly, note where the lake might be shaded during most of the day  since shaded areas freeze earlier.

“I’m looking for surface, edge to edge ice covering the lake,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how thick it is.”

Mayor of Invermere Gerry Taft will be the judge to officially determine the first day the lake freezes over and everyone who guesses the correct date will be contacted to receive their prize as well as meet for a group photo that will be published in The Valley Echo along with the contest’s results.

To enter the contest, all participants have to do is email the date they think the lake will freeze over to Harma at info@lakeambassadors.ca. The winning guessers will be contacted as soon as the freeze is official.