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Ask Fish and Game: Ice Fishing

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

A. With the recent cold weather, many reservoirs are ice-covered, and some may have enough for ice fishing. But 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 anglers suggest carrying a knife or other sharp instrument on a lanyard around the neck. It would give a person who has fallen through something to grip in the ice to help pull themselves out, or at least a way to hang on 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.