When is Ice Safe for Ice Fishing?

The state of water is ever-changing and does not provide a consistent pattern. Do not rely upon where others are standing and make a judgment call based on that criterion alone. Check the area around where they are fishing to ensure that it is around the recommended thickness. Old ice measurements are doubled because the ice is less reliable than fresh ice. Old ice may have partially melted ice toward the middle layer and thicker ice toward the top. And the next winter, I fell through a small pond and ended up waist deep in ice water, on a cold Nova Scotian February night.

Rivers flow for miles and there are bends that change its direction. Rivers have undercurrents that can progressively erode away the ice. River bends are risky areas because the ice will be weaker due to the current. Remember that a minimum of 4 inches of clear, solid ice is a requirement to support an average person’s weight.

You can’t determine how thick the ice is by looking. Drill a test hole and measure it to make sure it’s safe. Understand the physical differences between fresh and old ice because they will alter thickness guidelines. Schools of fish that are underneath the water circulate warmer water as they are swimming. This will wear away the ice layers and cause it to become thinner. Not having the proper equipment nearby if the ice does collapse is dangerous.

how much ice is safe for ice fishing

Hook the end of a tape measure on the edge and take the measurement. It’s worth bringing an ice auger to test the ice as you walk and move. Before drilling holes to check the thickness or to start fishing, brush off any snow. This decreases the potential for ice melting because the snow will not be insulating the ice. Old ice versus new ice is a factor that determines whether the ice will be safe or not. Old ice that has had time to settle and be broken up by environmental or human factors will not be safe.

Drive at a very slow speed with seatbelt off and door unlocked.

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Dion Liriano is a 51-year-old American zookeeper who has retired from the business. He was once a highly successful director of the Zoo and Aquarium, but he has since hung up his gloves and moved on to other ventures. Dion's passion for animals began at a young age, when he would help his father care for their family pets. This love grew exponentially when he started working at the zoo; Dion quickly became one of the most experienced keepers in the business. He credits his success to the relationships he built with both staff and animals over the years.

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