When is ice safe?

The calender says middle of December, but the weather for making ice hasn't been the best. November was mild, 37.6 degrees which is +4.7 above average, and December isn't far behind +2.6 degrees above average. The coldest temp since November 1st was -3, but last year we hit -22 on mid December.

There is some good news though, due to very little snowfall and the recent warm up very little snow has remained on area lakes. Snow works as insulation, and very little snow is in the forecast.

Here are a ice safety tips:

#1. There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.

■2" or less - STAY OFF
■4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
■5" - Snowmobile or ATV
■8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
■12" - 15" - Medium truck
Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away.

Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous. This is especially true near streams, bridges and culverts. Also, the ice on outside river bends is usually weaker due to the undermining effects of the faster current.

Have a safe and fun fish!

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