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Ice Fishing and Pond Safety

Cold weather brings ice and of course snow. In our recent post we answered the question, Should I Run My Aerator During Winter, and went over the pro’s and con’s.
I just wanted to add a couple more items to the list in this post, one about safety and the other about fish habitat. Safety and ice. There is nothing more alarming than breaking thru the ice, the initial panic sets in and the frigid cold water will be the next thing you feel providing you hit bottom and not go completely under the water. I know there’s folks who can’t wait to get on the ice to do some ice fishing and there are folks who will not. I am one of those who will not, since I fell thru years ago while out on my trap line taking a short cut across a pond, just a crack, oh no and my shoulders caught the ice with tippy toes on the bottom.

It took a little bit of time for the water to get to my skin thru all the layers of clothing but the panic of falling thru started the adrenalin rush to get out. Still a little fuzzy today but it seems I just kept working my way to shore by breaking the ice and using the ice to stay up. My dog Dusty also fell thru the ice while crossing the creek and he never crossed it again, although he waned to he knew bad things can happen.

I was just thinking that if I went on the ice again I would tie a 12′ board on to me.

Another look at the pond and falling thru the ice is if the pond has steep sides, this could be trouble if you hit the bottom of the slippery pond floor and was push under the ice. I’m not trying to scare you but just bring up points that things can happen, so be prepared, have a life jacket on, a rope from shore and a companion on shore to get help if needed. or to toss you a life ring if needed.
The best thing about adding your own Fish habitat is you know where the fish hang out and where to drill your hole above the habitat to drop your line in. I guess I better try this out since we have added fish habitat and haven’t tried to do any ice fishing. Another concern I’ve seen with the ice is that even it is cold enough to make ice and the pond does do that, I also see the sides of the pond when we get a lot of snow you can see the surrounding land looks much higher than the pond. Say we have two feet of snow on land but see the pond level being 3 to 4′ lower. At first I thought I had a leak in the pond since there was such a drastic difference in height. It turns out that the snow does melt while on the pond making the drastic difference in height.

Please be safe and test out your ice as you get out on it. Make sure it is thick enough to support you and you don’t see any depressions in other spots. It could be a warm area from a spring eroding the ice from the under side making the ice thinner. The flip side is that the snow should be kept off the pond so the ice can form and become thicker. Snow is an insulator so the ice production can be slowed down while under the snow accumulation.
Just remember safety first and the life jackets should still be on even when on the ice. I may sound a little over board but better safe than frozen.
Comments welcome.

In Category: Building a Farm Pond, Pond Management, Q & A

Darrell Rhoades

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