SAFETY ON ICE
from the New Hampshire
Fish and Game Department
Judging Ice Conditions
Thick and blue, tried and true Thin and crispy, way too
risky Look for bluish ice that is at least 4 to 6 inches
thick.* Even if the weather has been below freezing for several
days, dont guess about ice thickness. Check the ice in several
places. Use an auger, spud or axe to make a test hole, beginning
at shore and continuing as you go out. If ice at the shoreline
is cracked or squishy, stay off. Dont go on the ice during
thaws. Watch out for thin, clear, or honeycomb shaped ice. Dark
snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots. Choose small
bodies of water. Rivers and lakes are prone to wind and wave action,
which can break ice up quickly. Avoid areas with currents, around
and pressure ridges.
Tips for Anglers
WAIT for a long cold spell
TEST the ice
FISH in small groups
Dressing ForWinters Worst
If your feet are cold, put on your hat. That may seem
odd, but its good advice. Most of your body heat is lost
through your head and neck. So wear a hat; cover your face and
neck. Dress in layers. Wool, silk or certain synthetics are best;
theyll keep you warm even if theyre wet. Insulated,
waterproof boots, gloves and a windbreaker are very important.
Bring extra clothing.
What if I Break Through the Ice?
If you break through the ice, dont panic. Dont try
to climb out youll probably
break the ice again. Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick
hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Roll to safety.
To help someone who has fallen in, lie down flat and reach with
a branch, plank or rope; or form a human chain. Dont stand!
After securing the victim, wiggle backwards to the solid ice.
The victim may need treatment for
hypothermia (cold exposure), artificial respiration or CPR.
Twelve Quick Tips
Test the ice.
Beware! Wind and currents break
Dress in layers.
Bring food and hot drinks.
Fish with a partner.
Dont gather in large groups.
No fires on the ice.
Bring blankets and a first-aid kit.
If you fall in, reach for solid ice, kick
and roll to safety.
Follow fishing regulations.
Dont drive cars onto ice.
Etiquette and Ethics
There's more to being a good angler than obeying fishing regulations.
Be courteous. Use public access to ponds, or ask permission to
walk across someone's land. Don't crowd other anglers. Clean your
fishing area. Litter will wash ashore in the spring, polluting
the water and endangering people and wildlife. Be sure to check
your New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest for current regulations
before going fishing.
Fish and Game Department
2 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301
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