ORRINGTON – Snowmobilers, ice skaters, trappers, ATVers – all share the state’s frozen ponds an dlakes with ice fishing enthusiasts.
With the crazy weather patterns hitting the region, we’re in what the wardens refer to as a transition period.
“We do have some ice on some of the smaller warm water ponds. Some of the bigger lakes are still wide open. So things can be very treacherous right now,” said Sgt. Alan Gillis of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Warden Service.
There is a way to lessen your chances of falling through thin ice.
“Use an ice auger, an ice chisel. And actually chisel a hole in the ice to check the thickness of the ice,” said Gillis Tuesday afternoon.
Thickness can vary across any pond’s surface. So Gillis says, it’s best to check sporadically as you make your way onto the ice.
“What you may find is that it’s 10 inches here. You go 20 or 30 yards and now you’re down to eight inches. You go a little further, now it’s down to six inches. And you can see the pattern going. And now the ice is getting thinner. You have to be very careful about that,” according to Gillis.
Sgt. Gillis says it’s a terrible idea to take any kind of motor vehicle on a frozen lake or pond. But just how thick does the ice have to be to be safe.
“Personally, I’m never the first one to go on the ice myself. i would not venture out on this ice because nobody’s been out there ahead of me. Personally, I wait until somebody else goes out,” said Gillis.