- ICE FISHING SAFETY......
- While it is finally beginning to look like winter across North Dakota, that does not mean the ice is thick enough for fishing, snowmobiles and other recreational activities.
- Remember the dangers of snow cover and ice when you venture out onto North Dakota rivers and lakes this winter.
- As seen during the winter of 2010-2011, an early insulating snow pack slows the rate of ice growth on area lakes on rivers which may cause thin ice well into the winter months.
- Use caution as snow can mask cracks or weak spots in the ice, such as in the vicinity of springs.
- Be mindful of fluctuating river levels, especially downstream of dams, as changes in water levels can compromise the safety of the ice.
- Always carry an ice chisel to test the ice before you go out onto it and be sure to have ice picks or a set of screw drivers that you can use to pull yourself out in case you go through the ice.
- Always pay attention to thin ice signs posted by law enforcement.
- Do not drive on the ice when uncertain of ice conditions, or at night or when it is snowing as you can become easily disoriented and drive on a portion of the lake you did not intend to go. WHEN IN DOUBT....DON'T GO OUT!!!!! For a free ice safety brochure, click here.
- Shown below are the safe ice thicknesses needed to walk or drive various vehicles on ice.
Photo Source: North Dakota Game and Fish
- AVOID THE BITE!!!!
- Avoid or limit outdoor activities during times of extreme cold.
- Many victims are unaware that frostbite has set in since the skin has become numb. However, here are some warning signs:
- Skin will initially become red
- If the situation progresses, skin will become white or a grayish yellow
- Skin the feels unusually firm or waxy
- If you or someone in your party has frost bite follow these steps:
- Get into a warm room as soon as possible
- Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes—this increases the damage.
- Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
- Warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.
- Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
- Don't use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.
- The shading in the NWS Wind Chill chart below indicates the time to frostbite for exposed skin at various temperatures and wind speeds.