The DNR is reminding anglers that despite colder temperatures ice isn’t always safe.
When ice cycles between freezing and thawing, it can create extremely weak ice that’s hard to judge.
“The freeze-thaw cycle produces extremely weak ice that is dangerously deceptive in its appearance and how thick it measures,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator. “A cold snap now doesn’t change the fact that ice already had begun melting and continues to deteriorate rapidly.”
Dugan added that the strength of ice can change quickly.
“We’ve had reports of anglers falling through ice that was just fine an hour earlier. That’s how fast things can change,” Dugan said. “If you do choose to venture onto late-season ice, use extreme caution. Use a chisel to check the strength of the ice frequently, be sure to wear a life jacket or float coat, and remember that no fish is worth the risk of losing your life.
On April 5th, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office said the ice on both Chisago and Rush Lakes still measures roughly 24 inches thick. Five ice-related fatalities were reported in the 2017-18 ice season.