I saw a story today about a guy on a tractor got pulled from a lake here in Maine…what was he thinking? Wish I’d listened to the wardens and checked the ice before I’d taken a swim.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife urges all ice anglers to check the ice before venturing out to fish during the early season, and to check the 2013 Open Water and Ice Fishing law book and comply with the regulations. You can also visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/warden_service/safety.html#ice for general ice thickness guidelines. This site can be a great safety resourse for snowmobilers as well.

Also for the best fishing experience, before you pack the beer check out the listings of stocked lakes for year-round fishing. The department stocks many lakes and ponds with trout and landlocked salmon.

Anglers should check the 2013 Open Water and Ice Fishing law book before fishing. The 2014 Open Water and Ice Fishing law book will be available shortly before Christmas.

Before venturing on the ice, the Maine’s Warden service advises to please check the ice to ensure that is safe and these other safety tips:

  • Ÿ   Never guess the thickness of the ice - Check it! Check the ice in several different places using an auger or some other means to make a test hole and determine the thickness. Make several, beginning at the shore, and continuing as you go out.
  • Check the ice with a partner, so if something does happen, someone is there to help you. If you are doing it alone, wear a lifejacket.
  • Ÿ  If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off! Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
  • Ÿ  Avoid areas with currents, around bridges and pressure ridges. Wind and currents can break ice.