Extreme caution advised when ice fishing

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:19 PM EST
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TOWN OF LYME, New York (WWNY) - The U.S. Coast Guard advises extreme caution as Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are both seeing what officials call historically low ice coverage.

“Yesterday was pretty good. We got a good solid 8 to 10 on Guffin. But, we’re getting out here today and it was just not very safe. I’m looking at it and I’m not feeling confident on the ice today,” said Martin Morand, angler, Chaumont Bay.

Warmer weather is making for thin ice on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The U.S. Coast Guard is telling people to use extreme caution.

Ice thickness is far below the traditional averages and ice conditions are unstable.

“Certain areas from Duck Harbor to Hickory Point, that whole area is always tough unless we have an extended spell,” said Charlie Mount, president, Three Mile Bay Fire Company.

Mount is keeping his eye on the ice as the Lyme Ice Fishing Derby is set for Saturday. The annual tournament has a big following.

“The biggest thing is don’t bring any extra weight with you. Take what you need, take your cover, but don’t take extra weight,” he said.

“Main thing is you got to make sure it’s safe enough for a motorized vehicle. I think this weekend it’s not,” said Morand.

A sentiment echoed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which is recommending no motorized vehicles should be on the ice until further notice. Along with carrying a light load, there are other ways to stay safe too.

“If there are people who are clustering in an area and there is no one out beyond, don’t go out beyond them,” said Mount.

“There’s little things, but the main thing is if it doesn’t look safe, you shouldn’t be out there in the first place,” said Morand.

Anglers say you should also always have a buddy with you on the ice and never head out by yourself.