Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 3, 2013

DNR offers advice for those on ice

The Herald-Tribune

— Indiana Conservation Officers across the state are advising citizens of the potential hazards of being on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams this winter.

Every winter, thousands of Hoosiers enjoy fishing, skating, hiking, or just sliding around on frozen ponds and lakes. And every year, people drown after falling through ice. Like driving on snow, Hoosiers need to re-learn how to have safe fun on ice.

Warn children about the potential danger of playing on frozen lakes and streams, and that it should only be with adult supervision.

Here are a few tips to remember when considering standing on or walking on a frozen lake or pond: 

  1. No ice is safe ice.
  2. At least 4 inches of ice is recommended for safe ice fishing; 5 inches for snowmobiling.
  3. When in doubt…..don’t go out!
  4. Wear lifejackets or flotation coats.
  5. Carry ice hooks and rope gear.

Some bodies of water will appear to be frozen solid but actually can have thin ice in several unsuspecting areas. Flowing water, such as rivers and streams, should be avoided when covered by a layer of ice.

Indiana law limits ice fishing holes to a maximum of 12 inches in diameter. 

Wind, waterfowl and beavers can also keep areas of ice thin.

Indiana Conservation Officers say the best rule of thumb is for everyone to believe they are “walking on thin ice.”