Beltrami County Sheriff Warns About Ice Conditions During Hockey Day Minnesota
With Hockey Day Minnesota coming to Bemidji next week, many of the visitors attending have expressed an interest in accessing Lake Bemidji. Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel would like to remind lake users that the ice is never 100% safe.
Sheriff’s deputies have been monitoring the ice conditions as we approach the Hockey Day Minnesota event and are finding that the ice thickness and quality varies widely throughout the lake. Deputies have found ice thickness in areas of the south portion of Lake Bemidji to only be 13 to 20 inches thick and areas in the northern parts of the lake to be as little as 6 inches of ice. Deputies also report areas with snow cover have significant water/slush on top of the ice. There is no exact science to how much weight a certain lake can support, as ice thickness, clarity, snow cover and a plethora of other factors play a significant role. Ice is never 100% safe.
If you choose to go onto the ice with your vehicle the Sheriff’s Office encourages you to:
- Keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and other vehicles.
- Reduce your speed, especially as you approach access points. Vehicles traveling on the ice can create a wave under the ice and can quickly deteriorate those access points plus increase the risk for you to travel on the ice.