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Contact(s): Joanne Haas, DNR Bureau of Law Enforcment, 608-209-8147
December 13, 2016

MADISON -- Wisconsin again is witnessing winter's annual sudden and severe arrival, dropping snow and temperatures to form early-season ice on ponds, lakes and rivers. The Department of Natural Resources reminds winter enthusiasts that ice should never be considered safe and early season ice conditions varies from waterbody to waterbody.

Outdoor enthusiasts - cross-country skiers, ice fishers, hikers and snowmobilers - are urged to ask local businesses and sporting organizations about the area's ice conditions before they go on the ice and be prepared if they do venture out.

The recent storms have brought sub-zero temperatures into the state, which are just starting the process of forming ice on lakes, flowages and ponds.

The DNR does not monitor ice conditions, making it individual's responsibility to learn those conditions. Good sources of local ice conditions include bait store operators, fishing clubs around lakes, ice fishers and snowmobile clubs. These are the places locally most likely to have the most current information about the lakes and areas.

The ice conditions on any lake can vary from location to location. Remember, even though it may look thick on the surface, moving water from streams, rivers and springs can cause ice to form unevenly.

People who do venture out on the ice should:

If you go through the ice:

The DNR also has information on its website about what to do should you fall through the ice and how to make ice claws. Learn more by searching the DNR website for "ice safety."

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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