DNR: Think twice before going out on the ice

com_122812_icethicknessST. PAUL — As Minnesotans know, weather varies throughout the state. The same is true for ice conditions. In the north, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers report more than 800 ice houses on Lake of the Woods, while boat anglers are fishing on parts of the Mississippi River near Le Crescent in the southern part of the state.

Given the uneven conditions, the DNR urges people to think twice before going out on the ice.

“Ice is never 100 percent safe,” said Capt. Greg Salo, DNR regional enforcement supervisor in St. Paul. “Don’t put yourself in needless danger by going out on thin ice. No fish is worth your life.”

Many lakes and rivers across the state have between five and six inches of ice. Ice conditions can change at any moment. The DNR reminds anglers and snowmobilers to be cautious.

Last winter, four people died after falling through thin ice.

Salo recommends anyone heading out on the ice should carry a set of ice picks, check with a local bait shop or resort — ask about ice conditions — and measure the ice.

DNR clear ice thickness recommendations are: Four inches for walking; five inches for a snowmobile or ATV; 8 to 12 inches for a car, and 12 to 15 inches for a medium-sized truck.