MN Sea Grant has also had research about ice on Lake Superior http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newsletter/2006/04/ice_cover_lacking_on_lake.html
I stopped by Brighton Beach yesterday and at least 50 ice shacks were out on the Lake. Some were pretty far out, too. How long will the ice last?
Here's a report predicting effects on our summer weather and evaporation rates due to this winter's ice cover. Cooler summer weather, reduced evaporation rates, less lowering of lake levels due to those factors - these are some of the effects ahead.
Here is a list of Michigan experts on Great Lakes ice and its effects.