Although bitter cold has set in, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is warning about being on ice for exploration and recreation and misjudging its depth and safety.
“Safe ice should be your number one consideration when ice fishing,” it says, providing the accompanying chart for guidance in regard for all types of accesses, but also noting it only is for new, clear ice on non-running water, with a need to “check the ice periodically to stay safe.”
NYSDEC warns that
— Slush ice is about 50 percent weaker.
— Clear ice over running water is about 20 percent weaker.
— Double the recommendations for white ice.
— Be cautious in areas where “bubblers” are used to protect docks. They can produce thin, unsafe ice some distance away.
— Be especially alert in areas near shore, over moving bodies of water, and where streams enter and exit lakes and ponds.
— Remember, use the buddy system while ice fishing – it saves lives.
The agency also notes that “many ice anglers do not like to fish on less than five inches of ice, and do not like to drive a pick-up truck on less than 15 inches of ice,” both thicker than that shown on the chart.
Additional information on ice safety and fishing, including a video, is available at https://on.ny.gov/426JDGz, with an I Love New York Guide to Ice Fishing at https://bit.ly/3RXlQ7f. Ice fishing regulations, suggested locations, clothing and gear are included.