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The ice fishing bug is growing here on the regions lakes and rivers. I would like to offer some words of advise and caution to those who wish to test the ice.

With lower river levels and a moderate to low flow conditions are not the norm on the local rivers. With the lower river flows the current will meander around snags and man made objects in unpredictable fashions. Producing even more areas of danger then usual. River ice is always unpredictable and deserves extreme respect.

Areas that should be avoided and treated with great respect are bridges, dams, necked down areas that may focus the flow, storm drains, any inlet/outlet from water treatment plants or agricultural processing facilities. These areas are high risk areas with highly unpredictable ice thickness that will vary on a daily basis!

Another existing and very real danger is "Cave Ice". Cave ice is a result of frequently fluctuating water levels. It is the flex point that the river meets the shoreline or structures within the river itself. Because levels rise and fall the ice often has air pockets under the surface and open water below. It may appear as downward or upward protruding sloping ice, or the surrounding ice and shoreline may appear wet. Steer a wide birth of these high risk areas, they are highly dangerous and unpredictable.

When testing access points to the ice use a ice chisel and test the ice every 3 feet. NEVER assume because you tested the ice here, it is OK over there, NEVER assume with ice!

Do not group up on thinner ice, it will increase you risk, disperse your weight over a wide area. I would recommend you check with the NDG&F and read up their ice safety guidelines and apply the precautions recommended.

So far in my personal experience locally here on the Red River the ice may vary widely from 3-6", or less. The Cave Ice is an issue and deserved great respect. With the lower water levels on the Red River basin I anticipate this to be a concern most of the winter if not all winter.

I would also wish to mention urban retention ponds may also exhibit fluctuations. Be sure you check them out thoroughly and often if you allow your children access to them this season.

Please be very cautious in your dealings with rivers and ice this season!

Be safe, and have a happy ice season.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding
"ED on the RED"
[email protected]
><,sUMo,>

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Ed Carlson

Hi all.

I would like to offer a word of warning on the present ice conditions on the Red River and other rivers in the region.

The ice was fairly thin to start with, and with the new snow cover and the warmer weather it is dissolving very rapidly.

I would HIGHLY recommend snowmobiles, ATV's, and other recreational equipment stay off the Rivers at this time.

Bride areas are points of very real danger and should be completely avoided and not used as crossings for recreational vehicles or pedestrians!

The surface is very wet and slushy resulting in further dangers. This ice is extremely unpredictable and dangerous!

Thanks,

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding
"ED on the RED"
[email protected]
><,sUMo,>

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Scoot

Ed,

What's the latest from the river situation? Is the ice holding up ok or is it getting progressively worse since your last post on it? If it's holding up ok, are you still finding fish?
Scoot

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