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Energy & Environment

Cold Settling In, But Ice On Lakes Uneven, Caution Urged

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There have been reports of early ice anglers going through the ice in the Northwoods and a DNR warden says be very careful, even with the recent cold temperatures.

Northern Regional Conservation Warden Dave Zebro in Spooner says whatever snow we've had has affected the build up of ice on lakes...

"....we've seen that across the north with a little bit of snow that we've had providing a little bit of an insulating blanket We've had ice condition reports from 10" to 3" on lakes that might be 10-15 miles apart. The ice is very unsteady, they're inconsistent , so people have to be very careful if they're going out on the ice...."

Zebro says always go out with someone in case something happens, there will be someone who can help you. Zebro says wear a lifejacket. He says there’s a new weather suit with floatation devices built in. He says have an ice pick, or at least bring along long nails, so if you do go in you can climb out.

Zebro says he went out on the ice recently. The ice started out at about six inches then diminished to four and he turned back. Zebro says no ice is ever safe, but there are recommendations that make the trek onto the "hard water" safer....

"..if you want good ice to walk on, six inches is plenty. The ATV-snowmobile needs 9-10 inches. Vehicle traffic is 14-16 inches of ice is when people can start to drive their vehicles out on the ice...."

Warden Zebro says the ice can be very changeable if there's moving water under the ice. He says if there's a little voice in your head saying don't push it, it's best to back away. He says the extreme cold will help shore up ice conditions.

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