Ice Fishing Safety

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By Greg Horan on January 8, 2013, 9:15am Last modified: January 9, 2013, 10:28am

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It the last week, temperatures at night have been down to near zero in some locations, allowing for some ponds and lakes to freeze over. Over the weekend I saw people ice fishing in Torrington, and even in Hamden! However, temperatures are expected to warm up this week and by the weekend may exceed 50 degrees! The ice will likely become unsafe and dangerous rapidly!

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Generally at least 2" of ice is recommended, but 4" best for a group of people.

  1. Use an Auger to determine ice thickness. Drill in several locations then use a tape measure to determine thickness. 
  2. Remember that new ice is stronger than old ice
  3. Ice often does not freeze at the same depth in all locations of lake, can range from an inch to several inches within a short distance.
  4. Be cautious of ice near flowing water such as a culvert, or stream, as the ice nearby is weaker due to the currents.
  5. Use caution on a snow covered lake, the ice may not have froze as solid due to the insulating effect of the snow. Also you may not notice the thinner ice because of the snow cover.

Always remember to use common sense! Check the ice thickness in several locations closer to the shore first before heading out far! also check with the local authorities to determine conditions!

Image courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources.

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Greg Horan

Town: Hamden, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since February 2012.

Articles: 336

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