Northern Michigan Winter Tips to Stay Safe on Ice

Bodies of water are freezing in Northern Michigan but that doesn’t mean all of them are safe enough to venture out on. To learn how to stay safe on the ice, the Michigan DNR office has issued a list of safety tips. MyNorth’s Eliza Foster received some more valuable advice from Lt. Andrew Turner who heads the DNR’s Recreation Safety Section.

“There is no such thing as safe ice,” Lt. Andrew says. He is a big proponent of going out on the ice well prepared and suggests talking to locals about ice thickness and recent weather conditions at somewhere like a bait shop where people are familiar with the area. He emphasizes to “never make assumptions about the ice.”

A few other tips to stay safe on ice include…

  • Purchase a pair of ice picks or ice claws, which are available at most sporting goods stores.
  • If you are walking out onto a frozen body of water with a group, avoid crossing ice in a single file.
  • If there is slush on the ice, stay off. Slush ice is only about half as strong as clear ice and indicates the ice is no longer freezing from the bottom.

In this MyNorth video, a local fisherman walks us through everything from drilling the two holes in the ice to choosing bait and even shares the need to jiggle the line while smelt fishing.

For a complete list of ice safety tips visit the DNR online.


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