Ice is without a doubt forming and thickening on lakes across Minnesota, but there have been numerous cases of people, vehicles and fish houses going through thin ice this past month.
The latest report comes from the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Office, which said a truck and fish house went through the ice on Lake Francis near Elysian on Saturday afternoon.
The fish house and trailer were partially submerged while the truck was 15-20 feet under water and has yet to be removed.
No one was injured in the incident, but, sadly, that wasn't the case on Sunday when two men riding an ATV went through the ice and died on Fish Trap Lake in central Minnesota.
Another two men made it out safely when their jeep and large fish house broke through ice on Lake Lillian, southeast of Willmar, on Friday night. Their fish house was 95 percent submerged.
And less than two weeks ago 36 ice fishermen got stranded on an ice floe and needed rescuing in Superior Bay near Duluth.
A reminder of ice safety basics
The DNR has sent out multiple reminders about ice thickness guidelines, which are as follows:
- Under 4 inches - stay off
- 4 inches - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
- 5-7 inches - Snowmobile or ATV
- 8-12 inches - Car or small pickup
- 12-15 inches - Medium truck
The DNR encourages people to check ice thickness every 150 feet, noting that ice is never 100 percent safe.
The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office recently advised anxious ice anglers to buy fish sticks at the grocery store unless they're certain the ice is safe.
"In short, stay off the ice. Unless you are familiar with the ice conditions and have safely verified there’s an adequate amount of ice, go buy some fish sticks from the frozen section of the store," the release said.
"It’s going to be a long winter and there will be plenty of chances over the next couple of months to hard water fish."