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Be cautious of ice fishing conditions

LINCOLN, Neb. – Ice fishing is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages fishermen to be cautious of conditions before venturing onto the ice.

Late-season ice fishing means conditions can vary greatly on a lake. During this time of year, run-off could open areas in lakes, springs could deteriorate ice and melting could occur along the edge of lakes, especially along the north shoreline.

The minimum ice thickness for supporting a person ice fishing is at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice and 8 inches of clear, solid ice if operating an ATV or UTV on the ice.

Game and Parks offers the following additional tips for ice anglers:

— Drill holes or use an ice chisel to check the ice conditions while working your way out to your fishing spot.

— Look for changes in ice color, as it could mean thin or weak ice.

— If the ice is clear enough, you can monitor its thickness by looking at the depth of the cracks or bubbles.

— Always fish with another person.

— Before heading out, tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing.

— Wear a life jacket.

— Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around your neck in case you fall through the ice and need something to grip the ice and pull yourself out.

— Keep a long rope with you on the ice in the event a rescue is needed.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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