We have had some great early season ice conditions and many folks, ice skaters, hard water fishers, and ice boaters have been taking advantage. However, ice conditions are variable throughout the watershed and we all need to think safety first. An MWA member went through the ice recently skating in the middle of Megunticook Lake (successful self-rescue). This, on a day that I measured 8.5” of good black ice in front of my camp. Ice conditions can be extremely variable and it’s best to check conditions frequently. Conditions can change from day to day.
When going out on the ice, tell someone your plans (leave a note on your windshield with your plans), wear a PFD under your coat. Get some ice picks and a throw bag. You can pick them up cheap at Maine Sport or other sporting goods shops. Here are some links to ice self rescue:
For more winter safety tips, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/…/insideifw/2014/12/31/ice-safety-tips/
General Ice Thickness Guidelines – For New, Clear Ice Only:
2″ or less – STAY OFF
4″ May allow Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ often allows for Snowmobile or ATV travel
8″ – 12″ of good ice with supports most Cars or small pickups
12″ – 15″ will likely hold a Medium sized truck.
Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice (commonly known as “black ice”). Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
Be Safe, be Smart!