Ice fishing is a popular sport in New England and especially in Vermont. Each winter thousands of people venture out onto the ice on Vermont’s frozen lakes to catch fish. Sadly, each winter there are ice fishing accidents that happen because people are not being safe on the ice or doing enough research to know how thick the ice really is. Here are some VT Fishing Guide safety tips to get you through the winter this year.
1 Ice Thickness
Don’t go out on the ice unless it is atleast 2 inches thick. Anything thinner than this is not safe. Two inches is the minimum, but many wait until the ice is 4 inches thick. Snowy ice is less sturdy than ice that is clear and hard. Make sure you check the thickness before you venture out onto the ice this year.
2 River Ice
River ice is never safe to venture out on! If you have to cross a river be very cautious when crossing a river near the mouth, bridges, islands and reefs. These areas in most rivers typically have thinner ice and can break very easily. If you don’t have to, don’t go out onto the river. Fast moving waters prevent the ice from freezing to the same thickness as a lake.
3 Stay Safe On The Ice
Avoid driving on the ice. If you really need to drive your vehicle on the ice, make sure you unbuckle your seatbelt and have a clear plan of action to get out of the car if it breaks through the ice. Most modern cars today have power windows. Make sure you have your window down or a device that will shatter your window quickly in case the ice breaks. The last thing you want is to get trapped in the car while is submerges into freezing waters. Here are some tips if you drive on the ice.
1. Move your car frequently. Letting it sit in one spot for a great length of time will weaken the ice and cause it to break through.
2. Drive your car to the spot, drop your equipment and then drive your car back to the shore and park there.
3. Let your friends or family know where you are going ice fishing and how long you are going to be there. This way they will know when you are expected to return and can call for help if you get stranded.
4. Make sure you ventilate your heated Shanti well during ice fishing season. It is very easy to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning due to poor ventilation.
5. Before you venture out on the ice use an ice pick to test the ice thickness. Wear a safety rope the first time you go out in case you fall through.
6. Don’t fish alone! It is always better to fish with other people.
Happy fishing this winter! Remember if you don’t catch fish with us, we don’t get paid!
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