Skip to main content
Publish date:

2 kids on ATVs break through ice in St. Louis County

The sheriff's office is reminding people to check the thickness of ice before going out on frozen water.

Two kids riding ATVs broke through the ice on a lake in St. Louis County on Monday, prompting the sheriff's office to remind people to check ice thickness before heading out. 

According to the St. Louis Couty Sheriff's Office, the two were riding separate ATVs on Fish Lake Reservoir when they broke through the ice around 4:45 p.m. Monday. 

The kids made it back to shore safely, the release says. 

The sheriff's office reminded people to check the thickness of ice before going out on frozen water. The Minnesota Department of Resources says ice is never 100% safe and you should check ice thickness every 150 feet because it can change. 

As a general guideline, the DNR says there should be 4 inches of new, clear ice if you want to go ice fishing or do any other activities on foot. If you plan to snowmobile or ride an ATV on the ice, it should be 5-7 inches thick with new, clear ice. To drive a car or small pickup, there needs to be a minimum of 8 inches of new, clear ice, and a minimum of 12 inches is needed for a medium-sized truck. 

The DNR says white ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new, clear ice. So the above thicknesses should be doubled when going out on a lake that has white ice. 

Last winter (2019-20), two people died after breaking through the ice, DNR data show. One person who was on foot broke through the ice on the St. Louis River in Carlton County in late November and died. The other involved a snowmobiler who went into the water on Olson Lake in Grant County in late February.

On average, three people die from breaking through the ice per winter season in Minnesota (this is based on an average over the past five seasons – 2015-16 through 2019-20), the DNR says

Of the 15 ice-related fatalities from 2015 to last winter, 13 people died while riding a snowmobile or ATV on the ice, one death involved a motor vehicle and the other was someone on foot, data show.

Late ice-ins, pristine skating

Although ice has started forming on many lakes across the state, ice-in was delayed this year thanks to a milder-than-normal November and early December, MPR News reports

The median ice-in date on most lakes in the northern two-thirds of the state ranges from late November to early December, according to the DNR. (Note: The DNR tracks ice-in dates but for the current year it doesn't post them in real-time due to safety concerns and because reported ice on lakes may not be permanent for the season and varies from lake to lake.)

This year, though, many of the larger lakes in central and southern Minnesota still had open water at the start of December, MPR said. 

But in the days since, smooth black ice has formed on some lakes creating pristine skating conditions due to the lack of snow. (Remember, ice should be at least 4 inches thick to go skating.) 

These conditions aren't seen too often in Minnesota because there's usually snow, but they've become more common in recent years (winter 2018-19 had great skating ice too).

Next Up

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.


Ice crash Minnetonka

Vehicle breaks through ice on Lake Minnetonka, authorities urge caution

Authorities are urging people to repeatedly measure ice as they venture out on lakes

4 thin ice incidents in 3 hours reported near Willmar

Four lakes, four separate cases of vehicles and ice houses falling through.

railroad crossing, train crossing

Suspected drunk driver survives vehicle-train crash in Dakota County

The sheriff's office is reminding people not to drink and drive.

Cross-country skier falls through thin ice on Roseville lake

It happened on Lake McCarrons in the Twin Cities suburb.