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Ice safety is priority

Before going onto a frozen lake, pond or river, the N.D. Game & Fish Department says it's important to take safety precautions to reduce the risk of falling through the ice.

 Knowing how to judge ice conditions will also help you make more informed decisions while enjoying your outing. Look for clear blue ice. New ice is stronger than old ice. Remember you take a risk anytime you go onto the ice. Ice thickness is not consistent. Beware of ice around partially submerged objects such as trees, brush, embankments or structures. Ice will not form as quickly where water is shallow or where objects may absorb sunlight. When ice fishing, it is always a good idea to drill test holes or use an ice chisel as you venture onto a lake to help judge the thickness and character of the ice.

Ice thickness guide, general rules of thumb:

• 2 inches - STAY OFF

• 4 inches of good ice supports a walking individual

• 6 inches of good ice supports a snowmobile or ATV

• 8-12 inches of good ice supports a car or small pickup

• 12-15 inches of good ice for supports medium pickup truck