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Freezing temperatures, lure of ice draw fishermen

Published On: Dec 05 2013 07:34:31 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 05 2013 08:28:20 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

With sub-zero temperatures forecast for the coming day’s, ice fishing enthusiasts will see conditions on ponds, lakes and rivers improve.

Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens caution ice fishing enthusiasts to keep in mind that early season ice may not be as thick as it looks.

DNR Recreation Safety Chief Todd Schaller offers cautionary words, “Let’s make sure your first outing isn’t your last and take the time to educate your children about the dangers associated with frozen ponds, lakes and rivers.”

The DNR offers 13 ice safety tips:

  1. Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.
  2. Fish or walk with a friend. It is safer and more fun.
  3. Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.
  4. Carry a cellphone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.
  5. Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and help slow body heat loss.
  6. Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking in new areas.
  7. Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself –or others – out of the ice.
  8. Do not travel in unfamiliar areas – or at night.
  9. Know if the lake has inlets, outlets or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.
  10. Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.
  11. Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.
  12. Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.
  13. Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

For more information, visit the DNR website.

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