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Energy & Environment

Ice Forming On Area Lakes But Safety Always A Concern

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This week's colder weather forecast gives folks who like to ice fish an itch to go out on the hard water.

DNR recreation safety warden Mark Little of Spooner says be extra careful.

Little also ice fishes, and says even though the early season can be some of the best ice fishing, safety on the ice should always be on your mind....

"....some ice picks in case you would break through the ice. A float jacket or wear a life jacket. Always go with a buddy in case something happens you always have someone to rely on. Take a length of rope or a throw bag. You should each have a cell phone so if you do need emergency personnel you can call them. If you do fall in, turn back and go the way you came because that's where the last safest ice was...."

Little says there is no such thing as totally safe ice and each time you go out you should be prepared in case someone goes through the ice. He says ice seldom freezes uniformly. It might be a foot thick in one spot and just a few inches thick nearby. Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous, especially true near bridges or culverts.

He says avoid areas where water is running beneath the ice and also be alert near shore...

"....the ice around the shore tends to be the most unsafe for the longest period of time. Those are the times, if you're going to break through the ice, it's probably going to be in some shore area or some current area. Places that have been traveled a lot aren't the greatest either, as that's the area where the ice tends to crack the most...."

Little says if the colder weather arrives this week as forecast, it could build a solid base with the absence of snow.

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