Some Iowans think “Ice is Nice” this time of year, but the frozen delight can turn deadly if you’re not careful. Dale Anderson is the recreational safety officer for the Department of Natural Resources, and an experienced ice fisherman.Anderson likes to see three inches of ice before venturing out, even though some people say two inches is enough. While it’s gotten cold lately, Anderson says you could still be skating on thin ice. He says we need temperatures down around zero for several nights to build up thick enough ice. If you plan on ice fishing, or other activities, he says you should always measure the ice thickness. He says you can use a homemade ice staff or an auger to jab into the ice. He’s even seen people using a cordless drill with a long drill bit to check the ice. Be careful of ice that’s got snow on it.Anderson says ice over a river is more dangerous because the water doesn’t usually have auniform depth. For early season ice fishing, he recommends taking some rope or other device that could be used to rescue someone. It would also be a good idea to wear a life jacket.
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