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Ice fisherman critical after falling through: too early to fish, authorities say

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An ice fisherman is in critical condition after falling through thin ice Friday on Little Rock Lake in Benton County, according to WCCO. Rescuers pulled 30-year-old Joshua Johnson of Sartell from the water. They say the ice was about 1-and-a-half to 2 inches thick.

WJON reports a witness says the man was about 200 yards from the shoreline when he fell through.

The St. Cloud Times reports Johnson was submerged in 10 feet of water when an aluminum boat and a rubber rescue raft reached him. The ice was thicker closer to shore, authorities said.

The Minnesota DNR warns people to stay off the ice if it's less than 2" thick. Guidelines for ice fishing safety are on its website. It suggests people check with local bait shops and fishing guides before venturing on the ice.

The Pioneer Press reported last season was the deadliest in five years for ice-fishing, with five dead and one missing and presumed dead.

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