While most of us our enjoying this very balmy winter we're currently having, ice fisherman...Not so much.  This has been a terrible year for making ice in North Dakota.  Temperatures have been running 20 degrees above normal.  This has lead to very unsafe ice, and there's been reports of several vehicles going through the ice the last couple of weeks.  Check out these photos from the North Dakota Ice Fishing Page on facebook.


General rule of thumb, with temperatures this warm? Do not trust the ice. Experts say you're better off drilling your way to your destination. Checking the depth of the ice as you go, before you drive your vehicle out on to the lake, when we have conditions like we have now.

According to the North Dakota Game and Fish, before you go out on a lake, pond or river it's important to take some safety precautions.  Remember, all ice can be dangerous, but knowing how to judge ice conditions will help you make better decisions.  Clear blue ice ice is the best ice.  New ice is stronger than old ice.  Ice thickness is not consistent, and beware of ice around partially submerged objects such as trees, brush or other structures.  Ice will also not form as quickly in shallow water areas or where objects may absorb sunlight.

General rule thumb for ice?  2 inches, you should STAY OFF.  4 inches is okay for a walking individual.  6 inches can support a snowmobile or ATV.  8-12 inches of good ice for a car or small pickup.  12-15 inches of good ice for a medium pickup truck.  You will have a very hard time finding 15 inches of ice in North Dakota this year.

If you should go through the ice, the North Dakota Game & Fish says you should remain calm???  (Good luck with that)  You should turn around and face the direction you just came from.  The strongest ice will be the direction you just came from.  Put both of your elbows on the ice and start kicking your legs.  Then pull yourself out of the water.  Use hand held ice picks to help with this.  (How many ice fisherman carry these?)  Once on the ice, do not attempt to stand up.  Instead, roll away from the hole.

They also make ice suits that will have you floating in the water if you should happen to follow through.

Me?  I love to fish, but I think I'll stick to my boat and open water.  Either way, stay safe out there.



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