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DNR stresses safety precautions before venturing on ice

Updated: November 29, 2019 06:27 PM

'Tis the season to be jolly, and sled, and shovel and walk on frozen lakes. But before you let the kids walk on the lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a warning. 

The week of Thanksgiving, the DNR sent out a reminder for parents: Kids and thin ice are a dangerous holiday combination

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"We want families to get out on the ice and have a good time when conditions allow — but we also want parents to make sure kids know ice is never 100% safe," DNR conservation officer Adam Block said.

"They should never go on the ice alone, and they should wear a life jacket and bring safety equipment, including ice picks and a cell phone in case of an emergency," Block added. "Also, tell them to never follow a friend or pet onto potentially dangerous ice."

While many lakes have started to freeze, there are just as many — if not more — that are not close to frozen. 

Joe Harty, who owns and runs Harty's Boat & Bait, said we still haven't had those really cold temperatures to do it. 

"There's just so many people that want to fish," Harty said.

He also mentioned this is a delicate time. There has been some ice fishing done across the state, and in the digital age, that news travels quickly.

"With social media these days the word gets out so fast to so many people," Harty said.

That can be dangerous as many lakes are not ready, including Medicine Lake, where his tackle and boat shop is located. 

"We're looking at a couple more weeks before we get walkable ice I'd say," Harty said.

The DNR also has a public service announcement about ice conditions. It's short and sweet with the message to trust the pros, like Harty, before going out on the ice.

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Ben Henry

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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