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DNR urges caution when heading out on ice

Danielle Kaeding

Wisconsin Public Radio

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding people to use caution when heading out on the ice this winter.

In the last few weeks, a truck was recovered from an Oconto County lake after it broke through thin ice, and a man was rescued when his utility vehicle went through the ice on a southern Wisconsin lake.

Parts of Wisconsin have seen a lot of snow, which can insulate ice on lakes and prevent thicker ice from forming, said Gary Eddy, ATV/snowmobile administrator for the DNR’s Bureau of Law Enforcement.

"Certainly if there are springs in a lake or inlets or outlets, anywhere there’s current, that’s going to cause thinner areas of ice," he said.

Eddy advises people to call ahead about ice conditions.

"Bait shops are really good sources of information. They have ice fishermen coming in sharing information with them, letting them know where there’s bad spots or good ice," he said. "Also, check with local law enforcement."

Eddy also recommended people plan ahead for others who may run into trouble on the ice.

"Carry something with you like a length of rope – something to attach to it to throw out to somebody because you never want to immediately run out and try to get very close to a person who has fallen through the ice," he said.

Eddy added people would also be wise to bring ice spikes, a flotation device or a buddy before heading out on the ice. The DNR does not track injuries or fatalities on the ice.

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