From the Blog

Slush Or Frazzle Ice ?

Miramichi River Ice 2012
Atlantic salmon fishermen regardless of whether they are on the Gaspe or in Iceland or the good ole Miramichi are always full of questions . My question today is why there is sand particles in the slush , as we Miramichiers call it . I have heard this ice formation called frazzle ice by people of “the know ” and some say that the slush is formed on the bottom of low fast moving water so it picks up sand from the bottom . I would like to hear from anyone that may have an explaination . I am most curious though of an event I witnessed app ten years ago when the entire river was full of perfectly formed baseball size solid ice . The following spring one could find piles of these ice balls along the shores for miles . I have only seen it once , has anyone else witnessed this ?


  1. Kris LeBlanc says:

    Hello Keith,

    Thank you for posting this picture. Even though I know it’s inevitable, I always find it sad to see the river go to sleep for another winter. I wish you a busy snowmobile filled winter and a wonderful Christmas to you and your family.

    Kindest regards,


  2. Brad Burns says:

    Keith – In Scotland bright salmon fishing begins in Feb. and during the early season they often have a condition that they call grue. I think this is what you are looking at. It is uncommon with us because we don’t fish during the times when it would be encountered. The ghillies say that they can sometimes see if forming on the bottom of the river. It then breaks free and rises to the top. I googled up the question of whether or not a river can freeze from the bottom up. The answer is yes. Apparently ice can begin to form on the bottom of water that is of freezing temperature, but that is running too fast to freeze on the surface at that particular outside temperature. They very seldom see temps in Scotland as cold as we see in the winter. So while they do get surface ice it is less common than that it is in New Brunswick. We only have a few weeks out of the year when it is cold enough for bottom ice – or grue – but not cold enough to freeze the surface.

Leave a Reply to Brad Burns Cancel reply