With the recent mild temperatures, the Essex County OPP is reminding residents not to take ice for granted. The OPP wants the public to enjoy the waterways that surround Essex County, but to enjoy them safely and remember the following ice safety tips:
- Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers. This can be particularly evident at the start of the winter season when near-shore ice is often much thicker and safer than ice further out.
- Not all ice is created equal. Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice.
- Clear blue ice is the strongest. White or opaque ice is much weaker. Ice that has a honeycombed look, common during thaws or in the spring, should be avoided altogether.
- Traveling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be particularly dangerous and added precautions must be taken.
- Heavy snow on frozen lakes and rivers can insulate the ice below, causing the ice to freeze slower.
- It is important to let others know where you are planning to fish and advise when you plan to return. If you are missing, rescue crews can narrow their search and potentially save your life.
- Parents – be mindful while children are out of school, as they may venture out on frozen ponds, ditches or area waterways. Children should never play on or near ice covered bodies of water unless directly supervised by an experienced adult.