Everyone wants to know when it will be safe to get out for some ice fishing. But no one wants to say things are safe. The reason is that all lakes are different. What is safe on Birch Lake is not safe on White Bear Lake even though the lakes are less than a mile apart. Why – in this case size. Birch is 100 acres and only 7 feet deep. White Bear Lake is 1,800 acres and 60 feet deep. It takes much longer to cool millions of gallons of water then thousands.
I have checked the MN DNR website several times in the last week. They have a mechanism where you can go to see posts on Facebook where local anglers can post ice in information. The Minnesota State Climatology Office.
No One is Talking
For now, we are on our own. The DNR is full of helpful information. You probably know the rules on ice depth but if here they are:
Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ – 7″
Snowmobile or small ATV
7” – 8”
9” – 10”
Small car or SUV
Medium SUV or small truck
Heavy duty truck
Heavy duty truck with wheellhouse shelter
Don’t Trust Anyone – Check it Yourself
Drill or chow a hole. Stick in a tape measure and see. Check it every 20 feet.
Be Prepared to Take a Swim
Make sure you have the right equipment. Wearing flotation is a must and carrying ice picks will save your life. Remember you have only 10 minutes to get out of the water. After that your arms and legs will not work very well.
What to do if you fall in. Here is a great video that explains it.