Ice Fishing Reminders
by MT FWP
January 27, 2005
It is the time of year when ice on Montana lakes and reservoirs tempts winter anglers to try their hand at ice fishing. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds ice anglers to be cautious on the ice. Even as ice firms up, it tends to melt as temperatures fluctuate. That means ice that was safe yesterday can become a death trap by tomorrow.
Whatever the weather, it's best to test ice before venturing onto it. The ice's thickness depends on currents, inflows from streams, water depth, underwater springs and stumps or other features protruding through the ice, and daily temperatures. Slight changes in any one factor can significantly affect ice conditions from day to day.
The best method to determine the thickness of ice is with an ice spud. You put yourself at risk when you trust that the ice is solid because others have used it recently. If you test the ice yourself, you'll know it is safe.