Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75Ę | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Ė Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : news : county/state news
February 18, 2020

Dean Hall/lakeland times

Thirteen-year-old Alex Watushak returns from checking on his tip-ups as another fisherman heads out on a partially frozen Big Arbor Vitae Lake on Saturday Nov. 16, in Arbor Vitae.
Dean Hall/lakeland times

Thirteen-year-old Alex Watushak returns from checking on his tip-ups as another fisherman heads out on a partially frozen Big Arbor Vitae Lake on Saturday Nov. 16, in Arbor Vitae.
12/24/2019 7:30:00 AM
On thin ice: Northwoods ice safety tips
Van Meter: 'If it looks bad, it probably is'
Kayla Houp
Of the Lakeland Times

At this time of year, it can be tempting to head out onto the lakes for some ice fishing, but fluctuating temperatures and heavy snow may make the ice unsafe.

"We're in a unique situation this year," Arbor Vitae fire chief Mike Van Meter told The Lakeland Times on Dec. 12. "We started out getting ice on the lakes and it was off to a good start, and it was a good, solid clear ice, and then we got all this snow."

According to Van Meter, snow provides insulation, which deteriorates the ice from beneath the snow.

"Now, I've been hearing that some places that had four inches is only down to an inch," he said.

Van Meter advised having at least three to four inches of ice before venturing out on foot, at least six to eight inches for snowmobiles and over 12 inches for vehicles.

"If it looks bad, it probably is bad and you probably shouldn't be out there," Van Meter said.

According to Woodruff fire chief Victor Gee, unless extended cold weather rolls into the area, the lakes could remain unsafe for quite some time.

"Things I've been hearing from people that have been out fishing is the ice is thin and it's not really consistent," Gee said. "There's been a lot of slush, so definitely if you are going fishing, or anything like that, make sure you're in a well-traveled area and check ice conditions before you venture off."



Worst case scenario

While the Arbor Vitae Fire Department hasn't seen an incident of someone falling through the ice in several years, Van Meter offered advice on what to do if it does happen.

"The biggest thing is, when people go through the ice, panic sets in," Van Meter said. "The water's cold and your body instantly goes into shock, and your natural reaction is taking a deep breath."

"Your best bet is, if you're going to venture out now is to go with someone," Gee said. "Hopefully you can work together to get one person out."

However, if someone is going out alone, Van Meter suggests carrying a set of ice picks to use in the event someone falls through the ice.

"You're gonna want to get those out and stab them in the ice to pull yourself out," Van Meter said. "Otherwise, if you don't have them, the best thing to do is to try and break the ice until you find some solid ice."

Then, people should get their arms on the ice and kick their feet to guide themselves up onto the ice.

Once freed from the water, Van Meter said it was human nature to want to stand and run toward safety, but he advises against that.

"A lot of times, the ice is still thin enough that, if they stand up, all that weight and pressure is directed on their feet and they end up falling through again," he said.

Instead, Van Meter said people should lay flat to disperse weight evenly across the ice and crawl at least 10 to 15 feet away from the open water before slowly getting to their feet.

After that, getting someplace warm is imperative. In cold air and water temperatures, hypothermia can set in within minutes, creating another dangerous situation.

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at kaylah@lakelandtimes.com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Twitter

Reader Poll

Which City of Rhinelander elected officials should be recalled?

Please select one:
All of them. The mayor and the entire Common Council.
I would recall the council but keep the mayor.
I would recall the mayor but keep the council.
Everyone but alderman Emmer, as he was just appointed.
Frederickson, Sauer, Holt, Rossing and Larson.
Rog, Kirby and Kelly.

View Results
Reader Poll

Do you support so-called red flag bills which would allow judges to seize people's firearms for up to a year if they pose a threat to themselves or others?

Please select one:
Yes
No
I donít know enough about red flag bills to offer an opinion.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results
Reader Poll

Do you support Trumpís decision to oust two government officials who testified against him in the impeachment inquiry?

Please select one:
Yes
No
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results









Life
Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2020 1up!

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved