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Ice Safety

Outdoor ice sports and activities can be safe and enjoyable, but there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice. Anyone who spends time near the ice should first determine the ice conditions, and then take precautions to stay safe.

Always use good common sense when venturing out onto the ice. Parents should educate their children about ice safety and supervise them when they out on the ice. The Club does not evaluate the safety of the ice on the lake and it is up to each individual to determine the risk when going out onto the ice.  Member, guest and or fishing badges should be visible.


Ice that forms over open water when the following conditions are present may be unsafe:

  • Springs or fast-moving water

  • Wind and wave action

  • Waterfowl and schooling fish

  • Decomposing material in the water

  • Water bubblers (devices designed to keep the water near boat docks from freezing thick)

  • Discharge from storm drains

  • Objects protruding through the ice, such as tree stumps


Preventing Ice Accidents

Follow these guidelines to avoid accidents when on or near ice:

  • Check the ice thickness before going out. To be safe, ice should be solid and at least 4 inches thick for a single person. Remember, the ice may not be the same thickness over the entire area of a lake or pond.

  • Test ice thickness by using a chisel, cordless drill or ice auger.

  • Be safe—the more people on the ice, the thicker it should be.

  • Use ice on smaller, shallower and slower-moving bodies of water for ice activities, it is usually more solid.

  • Look for objects sticking up through the ice and mark them as hazards.

  • Do not go out on ice that has recently frozen, thawed and then frozen again. This happens in the spring and early winter as temperatures change often. Wait until the outside temperature has been below freezing long enough that at least 4 inches of solid ice forms over the entire area.

  • Always stay with at least one other person and have accessibility to a ladder or rope in case of rescue. 


Source: American Red Cross

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