Springtime Ice Safety
It's that time of year when we all get excited to see the green popping up through the ice in the yard, and the ice start to clear on the lakes. As we seem to have forgotten what sunshine feels like through the long, hard winter, we need to be safe as things warm up, especially when it comes to ICE, ICE, baby!!!
Its easy to get your gear together and head out to your favorite summer fishing spot to see how the winter has changed the habitat, but MickyFinn needs you to remember a few things:
#1: Ice is never 100% safe! EVER!
#2: DNR recommends a minimum thickness: 4" of ice for ice fishing or other activities on foot. 5" thick for snowmobiles, 8-12" for car or small pick-up, and 12-15" for a medium pick-up. Again, NONE of these recommendations GUARANTEE you will be safe on the ice at any time!
#3: Swimming schools of fish underneath the ice or even flocks of water fowl can cause the warm water to come to the surface. This has historically caused the ice to thin and open resulting in cars and fishermen falling through.
#4: The insulation of the snow atop the ice slows down the freezing process, so the ice closer to shore can be much thinner than the ice farther out. Not to mention, the snow is just more weight the ice has to support.
#5: Be prepared. WEAR a life jacket. It is of no use just to take it with you. Bring an ice pick, rope, and even a canoe or inflatable raft can save your life....not to mention carry your gear!
#6: TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING, and when you expect to be back. If nobody knows you are out there, you could be as good as gone.
MF wants you to have fun! But please do it safely and responsibly.