Wright County has many small lakes populating the land within its borders. While Wright has a little less than 64 square miles of water, that space is divided up over 315 different lakes. The area is an outdoorsman's’ dream, offering summer fishing on a boat or dock, or ice fishing on the frozen lakes in the winter.
With ice fishing comes the danger of thin ice. Though most ice fisherman know the guidelines of thin ice, it can never hurt to refresh the memory.
If you are unfamiliar with an area or lake, make sure to call a local bait shop or resort to ask about ice conditions. You could also contact the other fishermen using the ice.
The best thing you can do for yourself to ensure safety is to check the ice conditions yourself. The temperature at the time and the temperature over the past few days can affect ice thickness. Snow cover, ice currents, rough fish, and springs in the ice can also come into play. The thickness of the ice rarely stays consistent throughout the entire body of water; it is recommended by the DNR to check thickness every 150 feet.
Some easy tools you can use to check ice thickness are ice chisels, ice augers, and simple battery powered drills. Use those to cut into the ice and bring a standard tape measure to gauge the thickness.
Another thing to watch for is parking vehicles on the ice. While there are guidelines to follow, like moving your vehicle every two hours and spreading vehicles out at least 50 feet to prevent sinking, one easy trick can tip you if sinking is occurring. Drill a hole in the ice next to your vehicle; if water begins to overflow out the hole, the ice is sinking and it’s definitely time to find a new, safer spot to park.
Follow these tips this winter to stay safe on the ice while enjoying all the pleasures of ice fishing.