This has been my first winter with a AGP (Cornelius 18' x 52" round). As is common practice in my locale (Quebec), I dropped the water level to around 20" below the skimmer plate when closing last November.
This Winter has been milder than normal - less snow-fall, more freezing rain-thaw cycles. Now in Mid-March we are are experiencing a run of record high's (into the 20oC's), which is predicted continue for the next 4 days or so, before returning to more normal temperatures. At this rate, it looks like that the ice on the pool might completely melt in the next few days.
I did have one of these mesh covers (with elastic support system) on last fall, primarily as a leaf catcher - worked beautifully.
http://www.toilesoleil.com/documents/to ... ernale.pdf
But I was a bit dubious about it holding up under the weight of snow and ice, and so took it off after all the leaves had fallen, before the hard frost set in. What I do expect to find though is a lot of catkin seeds and small twigs from a nearby birch tree that peppered the pool and yard during a series of high wind storms in December.
Of course, there is no guarantee that we might not experience some more freezing and/or snow, but even if milder-than-normal temperatures continue, I'm banking on the pool water temperature holding below 10oC, at least until mid-April. Currently, the water level is about 8" below the skimmer, and will probably rise another inch this week with the melting ice and anticipated rain. Assuming the ice does completely melt, I'm wondering if there might be any benefit in attempting to clean the pool up a bit (i.e the twigs and larger debris), to reduce the 'organic load' or should I just leave it all until 'opening' mid-late April, when I hook-up and can use the skimmer-plate to vacuum ? I do have one of those floating oxidizers in from winter closing, but probably all the chemical has dissipated now.