The weather has turned cold and ice has formed on area lakes but a DNR warden says think safety first when heading out on the hard water.
DNR Conservation Supervisor David Walz in Woodruff says check on ice conditions at local bait shops and has other safety tips..
"...Let somebody know where you're going to be, or go out with someone. Use the buddy system as well..."
Walz says there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice. Among other tips, measure ice thickness in several locations., avoid travelling on ice at night or when it is snowing, never go onto ice alone, stay off river ice and narrows between lakes.
Walz says to take safety devices with you like a hook. You can pull yourself from the water. He says wearing some type of floatation is also smart...
"If you don't want to wear a lifejacket, they do make floatcoats that have floatation and are Coast Guard approved. We have a snowmobile coat that we often use that supplies some floatation if we happen to break through..."
For new, clear ice, under 4 inch depth , stay off the ice. Over 4 inches are acceptable for foot traffic. 5-7 inches work for a snowmobile or ATV, 8 inches to a foot are acceptable for a car or small pickup and more than a foot for a medium pickup truck.