Ice fishermen are advised to check ice conditions for themselves to help prevent the risk of falling through, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said today in a press release.
DEC cautions that the presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions.
“During warm winters such as the one we are currently experiencing, some anglers take risks that they would otherwise not take,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
“Last year safe ice did not form on many larger waters, but smaller lakes and ponds eventually provided sufficient ice for safe angling. Although the wait can be frustrating, falling through the ice is not a risk anyone should take.”
Ice thickness varies on every body of water or even within the same body of water and anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup.
For more information visit the DEC website here.
“Ice fishing provides a great opportunity for people to get outdoors during the long winter months," added Martens. “According to a recent DEC survey, ice fishing participation has doubled over the past 10 years. Unlike other angling techniques, ice fishing is relatively simple and all one needs is a warm pair of boots, a good ice auger, some tip-ups or a jigging rod and the willingness to experiment to have success.”
Anglers looking for potential ice fishing locations should request a copy of the DEC “I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing." This map and brochure provides locations of good public fishing opportunities throughout New York. Anglers can obtain a copy at any DEC regional office, or can request a copy on-line by e-mailing DEC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put NY FISHING MAP in the subject line. Additional information on ice fishing, ice safety, and regulations can be found on DEC's website.