Ice Fishing Safety in Northern Minnesota
Each year as soon as ice begins to show on lakes and ponds hundreds of anxious Minnesota residents begin looking forward to the popular pastime of ice fishing. Ice safety is very important this time of year. Keep in mind that ice that is a foot thick in one area of the lake it may be only an inch thick several yards away. Here are a few tips to keep you safe during your next ice fishing trip Up North.
- Do not venture onto ice unless it is at least 4 inches of clear thick solid ice. There should be at least 5 inches of ice thickness to safely support a snowmobile, and 8 to 12 inches to support cars and light trucks. Do not drive across ice at night or when it is snowing.
- There is safety in numbers so do not fish alone. Let family members know exactly where you and your fishing partner plan to fish and how long you anticipate being gone. When walking on the ice with your fishing partner keep a good distance apart as you walk. This allows for someone to available to call for help if something would happen while walking on the ice.
- Do not fish near known springs or near feeder streams. Be on the lookout for areas of ice with multiple cracks and stay clear. Dark colored ice may be weak so look for clear solid ice to stand on.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Have on you emergency items you may need such as ice picks or awls, rope, and personal flotation devices. Carry on you items that you can use to start a fire.
Taking these few precautions will go a long way. Visit Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources website for more information on ways to remain safe while ice fishing.
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