Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ice in on Minnetonka? An early warning.

Is it Safe?
Do not walk on this ice!
When is the ice "in" on a lake? I observe from the shoreline as ice fishermen and winter sports enthusiasts gingerly test the ice thickness. Can this hold my my weight on a fishing stool? Can I cross country ski to Big Island? Can I drive on the ice with the Cadillac Escallade on cruise control? I must admit I err on the side of caution, but that is just me - with lingering memories of black ice patches in sub zero weather... black ice that turned out to be open water, my foot plunging through an air pocket. So I err on the side of caution, but I will venture out eventually.

From the Minnesota DNR:
Since 1976, almost 200 people have died falling through the ice and a large
portion of them were ice fishermen. The DNR and other public safety agencies
often receive calls from people wanting to know if the ice is "safe" on a
particular lake. Of course, that is a very difficult question for us to
answer, since ice is never 100 percent safe. Even during the coldest winter,
ice conditions can vary greatly on the same body of water.

We recommend folks check with someone who is near the particular lake for
information. Bait shops are a valuable source for ice condition updates,
since they deal with people out on the ice every day who are drilling holes
and checking the thicknesses.


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