While the presence of ice across the lake eliminates the need for a fishing boat, ice does bring other complications. Here are safety precautions to consider before you cast your line:
Ensuring the Ice Is Safe
While there are other aspects besides thickness to consider when checking for the safety of the ice, The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, lists general guidelines regarding ice and thickness. Check for thickness using an ice chisel, snow auger or even a cordless 1/4 inch drill with a long bit.
Other Safety Issues to Consider
- Ice rarely freezes at a uniform rate – so you’ll need to check the ice thickness with every few steps.
- Ice covered by snow is unsafe, as snow acts as an insulator and slows the freezing process, and adds extra weight to the ice.
- Slushy ice is half as strong as clear ice, and is an indication that the ice is no longer freezing from the bottom.
- Pay attention to weather temperatures. A period of warm days will have weakened the ice, which creates a spongy surface that is unsafe.
- Be especially cautious around ice that is close to streams and bridges or any source of moving water. The surrounding current can cause ice to be weaker.
In addition, it’s good idea to wear brightly-colored waterproof clothing in layers, along with a lifejacket. Tell someone where you are going, and what time you expect to return.
And, don’t forget to contact your Cole Harrison agent to review your policies to ensure you are protected in case an accident should occur.