Ice Fishing Safety

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers would like to remind outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution when enjoying winter activities on or near the ice. “It is imperative that you personally check the ice thickness on a waterbody as you venture out on foot or before riding out on a snowmobile or Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle,” said Captain Dave Walsh, who coordinates OHRV Enforcement and Safety Education for Fish and Game. Those on foot should carefully assess ice safety before venturing out by using an ice chisel or auger to determine ice thickness and condition. Keep in mind that thick ice does not always mean safe ice. Weak ice is formed when warming trends break down ice, then the slushy surface re-freezes. Be especially careful of areas with current, such as inlets, outlets, and spring holes, where the ice can be dangerously thin. Don’t go on the ice during thaws. Don’t assume a snowmobile trail is safe just because it exists; check out trail conditions at nhstateparks.org/activities/snowmobiling/trail-information.aspx before you go. Remember that small bodies of water tend to freeze thicker. Once out of the water, roll away from the hole until you reach solid ice.
Recently, Shane Meyer (Port Matilda, PA), Quinn Williams (Port Matilda, PA) and Logan Harpster (Petersburg, PA) went ice fishing with their ice fishing mentor, Bill Savage. They caught lots of Yellow Perch, Crappie and Bluegills that made for a delicious dinner! Thank you for sharing your story!

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers would like to remind outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution when enjoying winter activities on or near the ice.

“It is imperative that you personally check the ice thickness on a waterbody as you venture out on foot or before riding out on a snowmobile or Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle,” said Captain Dave Walsh, who coordinates OHRV Enforcement and Safety Education for Fish and Game. “Do not assume that just because the ice is safe in one location that it will be safe 100 yards farther away. If you don’t know, don’t go.”

Walsh adds that you should also be sure to bring along a rescue rope, ice picks, and a personal flotation device such as a float coat or conventional life preserver.

Because ice conditions can be unpredictable and lack uniformity, it is not advisable to drive vehicles onto the ice. Those on foot should carefully assess ice safety before venturing out by using an ice chisel or auger to determine ice thickness and condition. Continue…

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