With Ice Season Underway, DNR Warns About Uneven Conditions
Some areas of water remain open due to fluctuating temperatures in some parts of the state, and it has affected ice making and has impacted ice that’s already formed. As a result, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is stressing the importance of checking ice thickness before venturing onto the ice.
According to the DNR, ice is never 100% safe. Ice strength cannot be judged by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered in snow. Carl Pedersen, DNR Large Lake Specialist for Leech Lake says that bringing tools like a spud bar, an auger for testing, and ice picks will be helpful when out on the ice.
Other helpful items include a life jacket or flotation device, rope, an ice chisel, and a tape measure. It’s also recommended to a cell phone or a personal locator beacon with you if possible. Many of these items can help minimize risk.
In the case that someone falls into the water, MN DNR Enforcement Communications Coordinator Joe Albert says to stay calm. A person can and should utilize the 1-10-1 rule, where you take one minute to get breathing under control, 10 minutes to attempt to pull yourself out of the water before you lose the use of your arms and legs, and one hour before hypothermia sets in.
The number one thing to remember is that ice is never 100% safe. It can change. If the ice is safe today, it doesn’t mean it will be safe tomorrow.
More information on ice safety can be found on the DNR website.