The Ohio Department of Natural Resources shared tips on how to stay safe while venturing out onto Lake Erie ice.
“We do emphasize that no ice is safe ice, and we encourage people to use extreme caution whenever they choose to enjoy ice fishing,” said Stephanie Leis, an ODNR spokeswoman.
The ODNR offers these safety tips:
• Ice anglers should prepare and share a “float plan” to let people know when they will be out on the ice, where they will be fishing, where they will park their vehicles and when they will return.
• Contact a local ice guide or bait shop to ask about ice conditions.
• Remember no ice is safe ice. Always be prepared.
• Always fish with a partner or in an area where several other anglers are present.
• Adequately check the ice thickness before traveling onto the ice.
• Always put your cellphone in a plastic bag to protect it from getting wet.
• Dress properly for conditions, which should include wearing an approved life vest.
• Avoid areas with feeder streams, springs, bridge pilings, docks and dam structures since ice is usually very thin there.
All ice anglers are expected to have a valid Ohio fishing license and to know the limits on size and daily catches for the fish they are hauling out of the lake.
For more about ice fishing, go to wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/ice-fishing.