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Boreal Community Media

DNR warns of inconsistent ice thickness

Dec 29, 2017 06:47AM ● By Editor

BEMIDJI—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continued to warn of ice safety risks Wednesday, citing inconsistent ice thickness on Minnesota lakes.

Despite recent below-zero temperatures, some lakes have less ice than they typically would by late December. Leech Lake, for example, has only 6 inches of ice in some places, while other areas have 16, the DNR said.

More people have died this year after falling through ice than during the last two winters combined, the release said. Lauren Lund, 23, of Bemidji, drowned Dec. 15 after an all-terrain vehicle she was riding went through the ice on Grace Lake.

The bodies of two other anglers—Melissa Siedenstricker, 29, of Princeton, Minn., and Zeth Knyphausen, 28, of Stacy, Minn.—were pulled from Upper Red Lake Nov. 27. The pair had also gone missing while riding an ATV.

A Cohasset woman and a Ironton man also died on Minnesota ice this winter. According to the DNR, all five people had been riding all-terrain vehicles.

Though ice conditions should improve next week, the ice might not be as thick as people expect, the release said.

The DNR recommends that new, clear ice should be four inches thick for people to safely travel on foot, five to seven inches thick for ATVs and snowmobiles, eight to 12 inches for cars and 12 to 15 inches for trucks.

"It is imperative that people not let their guard down when it comes to ice safety," the release said. People should check with local experts, sporting goods stores and resorts for ice conditions.

Minnesota DNR Fall Colors Map
Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here