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Ice fishermen may be fishing on thin ice Submitted: 12/12/2017
Story By Erin Beu

Ice fishermen may be fishing on thin ice
ONEIDA COUNTY - A long stretch of frigid weather usually puts ice fishermen in a good mood.

So far this month, there have been eight days with temperatures below freezing.

But the DNR warns that the ice still may not be safe this early in the season.


Avid ice fisherman Bob Kulis was on a mission Tuesday morning to find a safe spot to fish.

"I've been to two places this morning where I turned around and walked off," said Kulis.

Kulis was having trouble finding a lake that was thick enough to hold him. We came across him on Carrol Lake near Woodruff.

"Normally I walk with a chisel, and if I can drive it through [the ice] with a poke, it's not safe," Kulis said.
But if he doesn't have a chisel handy, he has other methods of testing the ice.

"Go out and jump on it," Kulis said with a laugh.

The DNR says this time of year is tricky when it comes to ice fishing because some lakes seem safe and secure while others are far from it.

"This time of year ice conditions are changing very rapidly," said DNR conservation warden Tim Ebert.

Ebert gets calls about people falling through the ice every year.

"Ice thickness is still getting thicker, but at the same point it's highly variable," said Ebert.

Ebert says it takes at least 3 inches of ice to hold a person safely.

But right now, the ice on the lakes varies between half an inch to 6 inches thick.

"I would just encourage anglers to use their own discretion," said Ebert.

Kulis says it's best to fish where you know the area.

"Know where you're going [and] talk to people," said Kulis.

The DNR says the most dangerous time to be on the ice is the beginning and end of winter.


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