DNR: Important reminders regarding ice safety

DNR: Important reminders regarding ice safety Photo: KSTP

December 03, 2018 02:56 PM

The official start to winter isn't until Dec. 21.

However, Minnesota has already witnessed snowfalls and colder temperatures. 


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources advises that now is a great time to talk with children about the dangers of ice.

According to a release sent out by the DNR, ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches. 

"Ice, especially early ice with snow cover, is extremely deceptive because you can't see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow," DNR Conservation Officer Adam Block said in the release. "Parents need to teach their kids that ice is never 100 percent safe. If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child."

With many children out of school for holiday breaks, the DNR says they may look toward newly forming ice for entertainment. 

Ice Safety Guidelines:

  • Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle)
  • Children should never be unsupervised around ice
  • Caution children to stay off ponds, streams and other bodies of water
  • A thin coating of ice on a pond or lake does not mean it is safe
  • Check ice thickness at regular intervals -- conditions can chance quickly 
  • Before heading out, inquire about conditions and known hazards with local experts
  • Avoid channels and rivers

Minimum Ice Thickness Guidelines:

  • 4 inches for ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5 to 7 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle
  • 8 to 12 inches for a car or small pickup 
  • 12 to 15 inches for a medium truck
  • Double these minimums for white or ice covered with heavy snow

*Courtesy of the Minnesota DNR

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Tommy Wiita

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