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The Ministry of Natural Resources is reminding anglers to check ice conditions before heading out to do some ice fishing this season.


Please remember:Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers. This can be particularly evident at the start of the winter season when near-shore ice is often much thicker and safer than ice further out.  

Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you move further out on the ice. Not all ice is created equal.  Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice.

Clear blue ice is the strongest.  White or opaque ice is much weaker.  

Ice that has a honeycombed look, common during thaws or in the spring, should be avoided altogether. Travelling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be particularly dangerous and added precautions must be taken.  

At least 20 centimetres (eight inches) of clear blue ice is required for snowmobiles and 30 centimetres (12 inches) or more is needed for most light vehicles.  Double this amount if the ice is white or opaque. Heavy snow on a frozen lake or river can insulate the ice below and slow down the freezing process.  

BEFORE VENTURING OUT Anglers should check with local ice hut operators before venturing out.  Let others know where you’re planning to fish and when you plan to return.  Appropriate clothing and equipment are critical to safety and comfort.  

Many anglers wear floater suits and carry a set of ice picks.


No fish is worth dying for!


About Peter Wood 1194 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.

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