Wyoming Sheriff Issues Ice Safety Warning
Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell is reminding people to be careful out on the ice this time of year.
The sheriff is offering the following advice:
"- First and foremost, bear in mind the tried-and-true adage that there is no such thing as safe ice. Ice conditions can fluctuate drastically over short times and distances; water levels in lakes, and especially in reservoirs like Flaming Gorge, can change. Freezing and thawing weather patterns come and go, and submerged springs in certain areas can make a big difference. Always exercise caution and never become complacent.
- Avoid ice on moving water such as the Green River. Ice that forms over moving water is usually weaker, especially where the current is stronger.
- Check ice thickness before venturing out and check thickness every 100 to 150 feet. (A cordless drill with a 5/8-inch, 5-inch long wood augur bit makes this easy.) Clear ice 4 inches thick or more is generally considered safe for an angler on foot, and though guidelines exist for appropriate ice thickness for snow machines, four-wheelers, and larger vehicles, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office does not recommend taking motorized vehicles of any kind out onto the ice, regardless of thickness.
- Never ice fish alone.
- Wearing a PDF, (Personal Flotation Device) is highly recommended. A little more bulk won’t matter much, and a PDF might save your life if the ice gives way.
- Remember that fishing from shore ice when the lake is not frozen over from bank to bank can be particularly hazardous. "
The sheriff also advises those venturing on the ice this time of year to be equipped with ice picks or ice claws, such as those shown below.