News Release (Dec 30 2012): Indiana Conservation Officers across the state are advising citizens of the potential hazards of being out on lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams during this time of year.
Each winter in Northwest Indiana, hundreds of Hoosiers enjoy fishing, ice-skating, and hiking on frozen ponds and lakes. Unfortunately, in years past, some have drown or died of hypothermia after falling through the ice.
Conservation Officers want to remind Hoosiers’ to put safety first when enjoying the outdoors.
Here are a few tips to remember when considering standing or walking on a frozen lake or pond:
1.There is no such thing as 100% safe ice.
2.At least 4 inches of ice is recommended for fishing and 5 inches for snowmobiling
3. If you don’t know..….don’t go
4. Wear a lifejacket or flotation coat
5. Carry ice picks you can easily get to
6. Bring rope gear along with you
Some bodies of water will appear to be frozen solid, but may have thin ice in several unsuspecting areas. Flowing water, such as rivers or streams, should be avoided due to the consistent current. Also, keep in mind that animals, birds, and wind can keep areas on the ice unsafe due to their natural movement in, around, or across the water.
Indiana Conservation Officers say the best rule of thumb is for everyone to believe they are “walking on thin ice.”