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General Ice Thickness Guidelines

Submitted by:  Backcountry Press Outdoor News 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
Temperature, snow cover, currents, springs and rough fish all affect the relative safety of ice. Ice is seldom the same thickness over a single body of water; it can be two feet thick in one place and one inch thick a few yards away. Check the ice at least every 150 feet.

Check ice thickness using the following:
  • Ice chisel 
  • Ice auger 
  • Cordless drill 
  • Tape measure 

General Ice Thickness Guidelines
Trying to determine if the ice is safe on your lake? Try using this chart as a 'guideline' in your research. 

These Guidelines were created by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and are good rules of thumb for any state if your going to be on the ice. 

Checking ice thickness
Before heading out on ice:
  • Contact a local bait shop or lakeside resort to ask about ice conditions.
  • Check ice thickness once you get there.
Additional recommendations
Cars, pickups or SUVs should be parked at least 50 feet apart and moved every two hours to prevent sinking.
Tip: Make a hole next to the car. If water starts to overflow the top of the hole -  the ice is sinking and it’s time to move the vehicle.

Stock Image 

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