The lake of hope is not in sight as Lake Santee is closed for the winter

The water at Lake Santeau in Minnesota’s southern St. Croix County has cooled and is back in the water for the first time in about a decade, as some residents hope for a chance at a spring-like rebirth.

But the lake is still closed this winter, after an icy start in October.

“It’s very difficult to see the lake,” said Tim Sauer, a retired teacher who lives in a cottage at the lake’s edge.

“The temperature is getting colder, so we can see more of the lake and I think that’s what we’re looking for.”

Lake Santeue, which sits on Lake Michigan, has been the subject of intense research over the years.

Scientists have spent years studying its unique ecosystem, which includes an underground lake filled with microscopic plants that help keep the lake alive.

“When we first came here, the lake was a very beautiful lake,” Sauer said.

“We had a great time, but we also got sick.

We got frostbite on our feet and our skin was frozen.”

The lake has warmed a little over the past few years, but that hasn’t made up for the snow that has fallen.

“We’re not seeing the same lake,” he said.

Sauer and other lake residents have been trying to convince the state to open it again, and they have some backing.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has spent more than $150,000 on restoration projects at the shoreline of the lakeshore, where the river once flowed through the lake.

They also have begun dredging and restoring bridges and other infrastructure to improve the flow of the water.

The lake was closed in 2014 because of ice buildup, but it reopened this year.

The DNR says it’s been the lake in the picturesque summertime view that has made it a favorite for those seeking an escape.

“You can go in the summer, see the water and see the forest and the lake, and you can get a good sense of where it’s all at,” DNR spokeswoman Megan Smith said.

But this winter was particularly challenging for Sauer.

“I was in a really bad car crash that year, and I had to walk two miles and take a ferry,” he recalled.

“It was horrible.”

Sauer is not alone.

Others have tried to save the lake through a series of efforts over the last decade.

A 2010 study published in the journal Science found that a small lake in western Minnesota could have a dramatic impact on the surrounding region.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University at Buffalo, in New York, found that the lake could have an impact on crops, the water quality and tourism.

In a study published this year, researchers found that Lake Santé had the potential to impact the health of the Mississippi River, which flows into the lake from the Mississippi Valley.

Lake Santee has been closed since December because of the snowpack that has caused erosion, but a new study shows that it is not completely frozen yet.

The researchers have found that some of the ice on the shore has broken off and is now floating into the water, and the water has melted enough to allow the lake to resume normal levels of flow.

Sauer said he is confident that he and other residents can return to the lake once the snow melts.

“I think we can bring it back,” he laughed.

“That’s the main goal.”

Copyright Associated Press / NBC News 2016