February 25, 2016
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding those going out on the ice to use caution, particularly given recent warm temperatures and rain.
Vermont game wardens are reporting that ice conditions are a concern on several Vermont lakes, ponds and rivers, and it is possible that ice may remain thick, but may have become structurally weak and be melting from underneath as well as at the surface.
* Leave information about your plans with someone -- where you intend to fish and when you expect to return.
* Cautious foot travel only (no motorized vehicles) is safest under current conditions.
* Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.
* Wear a personal flotation device and don't fish alone.
* Be extremely cautious where ice will be most thin -- near river mouths, points of land, bridges, islands, and over reefs and springs.
* Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.
* Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!
* Bring your fully charged cell phone with you.
* Carry a set of hand spikes to help work your way onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out.
* Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.
"With the heavy rain and unseasonably warm weather, some areas of the state are seeing thinner and less predictable ice than we would expect this time of year," said Col. Jason Batchelder, chief game warden. "We would encourage all recreationists to take care out on the ice."
Media Contact: Colonel Jason Batchelder, 802-828-1529
Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: February 25, 2016 16:08:42