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Frozen River

Ice Fishing Safety


Dress Appropriately

  • Wear layers

  • Protect head, face & neck

  • Wear boots with good rating


Check the Ice Thickness

  • Before you go out onto the ice, go out a few feet and drill a check hole to read the thickness.

  • Remember these guidelines:

  • 4” of ice, okay to walk on

  • 8-12” of ice, drive a small car or ATV

  • 12-15” of ice, drive a small truck


Be aware of surroundings

  • What is the ice color?

    • Clear ice is the safest. 

    • Cloudy, it means it’s mixed with snow and is less sturdy.

    • Gray ice means there’s water mixed into the ice. Avoid gray ice.

  • What do you hear?

    • Move away from cracking or heaving ice.


Set a Plan and Tell Someone 

  • Tell a friend, family member or fish guide where your plan. 

  • Set a solid plan in place.Decide on a time to leave and what time you plan to be back. And ask them to check on you if they haven’t heard from you by then.

  • Take someone with you


 Rescue & Safety Gear

You never know when you might have to stay out on the ice overnight. Here are some items you should have with you:

  • Lifejacket or float suit

  • Rope to tow a stuck vehicle or pull someone out of the water

  • Flares in case of emergency

  • Utility knife or multitool

  • Camping first aid kit

  • Fire starting tool


Pack snacks and water

Staying hydrated and eating healthy snacks will help you stay warm and sustain energy.

Woman in Grey Jacket
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