Upper Red Lake restrictions to be lifted Wednesday

The order banning vehicle access on Upper Red Lake is set to be lifted at sunrise on Wednesday, according to Beltrami County authorities.

Colder weather and calmer winds have improved the ice conditions on the lake, which authorities say is still not considered “safe,” as ice can never be considered 100% safe and may still be inconsistent.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said the problem was shifting ice on the lake, which has now locked up, according to aerial observation by the sheriff’s office. The decision to close access to the lake came after over 120 anglers were stranded on ice in late December.

RELATED: Officials limit access to Upper Red Lake after 122 anglers were rescued after becoming stranded on the ice

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends the following ice thicknesses for the corresponding activities:

  • 4 inches to walk on;
  • 5-7 inches for a snowmobile;
  • 9-10 inches for a small car or SUV;
  • 11-12 inches for a medium SUV or small truck;
  • 13 inches for a medium truck;
  • 16-17 inches for a truck;
  • 20+ inches for a large truck with a wheelhouse shelter.

Beltrami County Sheriff Jason Riggs said, “Imposing restrictions on Upper Red Lake was not an easy decision, it impacted many people and their livelihoods as well as inconvenienced those who wanted to enjoy fishing on the lake. Those inconveniencies proved to be necessary in the interest of public safety due to the number of ice rescues and people becoming stranded. Since imposing the vehicle restriction, my office has not had to respond to one ice rescue on Upper Red Lake. I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation.”


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