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Anglers Are Reminded To Stay Safe

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Anglers Are Reminded To Stay Safe

The Ontario government is reminding anglers to put safety first as winter comes to a close.

Many factors affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and rivers. Ice conditions can be deceptive and variable.

Check Ice Conditions

Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you move further out on the ice.  Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers.  This is often the case near the beginning or end of the winter season or during a warmer winter when near-shore ice is often much thicker and safer than ice further out.  

Remember:

  • Not all ice is created equal. Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice.
  • Clear blue ice is the strongest. White or opaque ice is much weaker.  Ice that has a honeycombed look, common during thaws or in the spring, should be avoided altogether.
  • Travelling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be particularly dangerous and added precautions must be taken.
  • Heavy snow on a frozen lake or river can insulate the ice below and slow down the freezing process.

Before Venturing Out:

  • Check conditions with local ice hut operators.
  • Let others know where you're planning to fish and when you plan to return.
  • Warm clothing and appropriate equipment are critical to safety and comfort.  Anglers are encouraged to wear a Canadian Standards Association-approved floater suit and carry a set of ice picks.

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