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I've been seeing fish houses out on Minnesota lakes over the last couple of weeks. This isn't unusual for December in most years. But this season it really looks like the weather might be better for boats. The Minneapolis Tribune had a story that some people are put in danger because they are going out when it's unsafe:

An enormous, thick sheet of ice broke from the shore of one of Minnesota's most popular and largest ice fishing lakes Wednesday night, leaving at least 30 people stranded for hours in the middle of the dark lake while dozens of rescue workers and citizens helped bring them back to shore on Mille Lacs Lake.

I know there is a draw to getting out there. It is also a part of a number of people's Christmas or New Year's Night activities to head out to the fish house. The DNR suggests that the following rules be observed:

For New, Clear Ice Only

  • 2" or less – STAY OFF
  • 4" – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5" – Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8" – 12" – Car or small pickup
  • 12" – 15" – Medium truck

In Hennepin County, there have been concerns raised by the County Sheriff that:

“I urge parents and caregivers to supervise young children and set clear rules about ice safety,” Sheriff Stanek said. “Please teach your children that no ice should ever be considered safe—especially this time of year.”

It is important that no matter the date, we need to make sure that the ice is safe before it is used. As for other issue, once the house can go out , check out:

A Lot Of Reasons To Recheck Your Fish House, Mike Bryant | January 29, 2011 6:23 PM

Winter is a great time in Minnesota. Safety thoughts will make it even better.

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