Press Release

Ask Fish and Game: Ice Fishing

Q. Is there enough ice for ice fishing yet anywhere?

A. Though lakes and reservoirs may be ice-covered, they may not all be safe yet for ice fishing. Anglers must use their own discretion when deciding whether or not the ice is thick enough for ice fishing. Early season ice anglers should check ice before walking far from shore. Drill a hole and measure thickness. Four inches of solid ice - not mushy or porous - is generally considered safe. Fish with a partner, take extra dry clothes and take a throw rope along just in case. Some experienced ice fishers suggest carrying a screwdriver or other sharp instrument on a lanyard around the neck. It would give a person who has fallen through something to grip the ice with to help pull themselves out, or at least something to hang onto as they await help. Anglers also should pay attention to weather trends. If the weather warms up, ice may become less safe for fishing. And remember the reservoirs are filling through the winter, so be careful around the shoreline, as the ice is often thin on the edges. Check with local Fish and Game offices for updates on ice fishing.