Local law enforcement officers are warning people to stay off the freshly frozen ice right now. The below freezing temperatures in the past several days has been enough to put a layer of ice over many small lakes and ponds around Becker County, however, the odds of it being thick enough for even foot traffic isn’t good.
“The ice varies on every lake and every given location,” said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander. “It’s different according to the size and depth of the lake, the current, the fish activity and springs.” He added that they haven’t had reports of anybody out on the lakes yet, “but we suspect it won’t be long.”
The recommended minimum ice thickness, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is four inches for walking, five inches for snowmobile or ATV, eight to 12 inches for a car or small pickup and 12 to 15 inches for a medium truck.
These recommendations are for new, clear ice only.
According to the DNR, many ice drownings involve children, so it’s recommended that if a child is on the ice, an adult should be near them.
DNR experts also say to carry two, large nails to use as ice picks to pull yourself out if you fall through.
Avoid driving on ice at night, as it can be difficult to see open water.
When driving on ice, windows of the vehicle should be down and doors partially open to avoid becoming trapped in the event the vehicle does fall through.
For more information, check out the MN DNR website.