Ice Conditions Not Safe for Ice Fishing

Posted:2/3/2012 Tama / Otter Creek Lake & Park

Ice conditions at Otter Creek Lake in central Tama County continue to degrade making ice fishing hazardous. Ice anglers are encouraged to stay off the ice at this time. "We do not want to endanger the life of the ice anglers and the responders who attempt to rescue folks that fall through the ice," states Bob Etzel, Director, Tama County Conservation Board. "Effective today we ask that ice anglers do not venture out onto the ice at Otter Creek Lake or any other water bodies in Tama County."

The following release from the Iowa DNR discusses the recent condition of ice fishing across the state: 

“There is always a level of risk associated with ice fishing,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Even during our coldest winters, ice conditions vary and are never totally safe.” The record setting warm spell over much of Iowa has eliminated ice fishing over the southern two thirds of the state and is stressing ice quality on many of the northern lakes. The tragic incidents of three anglers drowning recently while ice fishing in Madison and Black Hawk counties brings the safety discussion to the forefront.  “Ice fishing is a lot of fun and a social activity many of us look forward to each year. If you are going out, head north and plan to check the ice thickness often.  Bring safety items like 50 feet of rope and a throwable cushion, like the kind we have in a boat. And do not go out alone,” said Larscheid. “If the ice does not look right, don’t go out.” Ice depths are not uniform on any body of water and there is no such thing as safe ice. There are many factors that impact ice formation making some locations thinner than others. With the warm weather, ice conditions can change a lot in one day. Verify the ice thickness for yourself and test it often.