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Video: Ice safety on Lake Superior as weather warms up

Feb 20, 2021 06:14AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Alejandra Palacios of WDIO-TV - February 19, 2021 

With the weather warming up after the brutal cold snap we had these past weeks, there's more and more anglers itching to get out to do some ice fishing but the Minnesota DNR and Duluth Fire Department are warning anglers to keep ice safety in mind.

Ice fishing on Lake Superior is different than going to other lakes so planning ahead and being prepared for the unexpected is the big message the DNR and fire department want to send out to the public.

"There’s no completely safe ice no matter how thick the ice is. With current underneath it can be eroding in certain areas where you might have nice thick ice in some areas and it becomes dangerously thin in other areas," said Captain Nick Biondich from the Duluth Fire Department.

 A few weeks ago the Duluth Fire Department rescued 26 anglers on Lake Superior after the ice on the lake cracked and shifted. They know more people will be out on the lake with the weather warming up and emphasize the importance of checking conditions before heading out.

"Monitoring wind conditions is one of the biggest things and being prepared, making sure that you’re checking ice as you go making sure that you’re checking ice as you go, not relying on other people to learn ice conditions," said Biondich.

The Minnesota DNR says before you head out, make sure you have all the things you need for an emergency.

"If you do fall through unexpectedly, make sure you have buoyant gear on or a life jacket. If you're walking out on the ice, a life jacket is great to put underneath your gear and it keeps you warm as well," said Lisa Dugan, the recreation safety outreach coordinator for the Minnesota DNR.

This includes carrying ice picks with you that go around your neck so that if you do fall through, you can pull yourself out. Also bringing along a throw bag or rope as well incase you need to rescue others.

Dugan said most importantly, always be aware that conditions can change fast on Lake Superior.

"Just keep an eye on any changing conditions and plan ahead with those kind of things like if you do get stranded do you have a cell phone, do you have gear that's going to keep you warm," said Dugan.

To see the original report and see related stories, follow this ink to the WDIO-TV website.

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