Use caution during the early freeze of area lakes

The DNR says caution is vital as lakes begin to freeze.

Officials say ice thickness this time of year is highly variable.

Parents are urged to talk with their kids about staying safe around the ice.

“There’s nothing worse than when a time of year that should be festive turns tragic,” said Lt. Adam Block, boating law administrator for the DNR Enforcement Division.

“Teaching your kids to be vigilant around the water this time of year – and doing the same yourself – isn’t just a good idea. It’s an absolute necessity.”

Anglers and other ice recreationists should stay on shore until there are at least four inches of new, clear ice, with thickness checked every 150 feet.

Unexpected falls into cold water can lead to serious injury and death.

The minimum guidelines are 5 to 7 inches of clear, new ice for a snowmobile or ATV, 8 to 12 inches for a car or small pickup, and 12 to 15 inches for a medium truck.

These minimums should be doubled for snow-covered or white ice.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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