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State Game and Fish Dept. stresses ice safety for winter

November 30, 2011

As ice fishing season nears and snowmobilers wait to fire up their engines, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Education Coordinator Jeff Long stressed the importance for both snowmobilers and ice fishermen to be safe when venturing out onto a frozen lake or river.

"We're always making efforts to promote safe ice every year," Long said. "Particularly at the beginning and towards the end of the season when the ice is new and possibly thin, and then towards the end when it gets potentially mushy and not as strong anymore."

The Game and Fish Department suggests:
-2 inches or less - Stay off
-4 inches of good ice for a walking individual
-6 inches of good ice for a snowmobile or ATV
-8-12 inches of good ice for a car or small pickup
-12-15 inches of good ice for a medium pickup truck

If you fall through the ice, the Game and Fish Department urges you to:
-Try not to panic.
-Turn toward the direction you came.
-The safest place to pull yourself back up is the last place you stepped before you went through the ice.
-Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface of the ice.
-Work your way up by kicking your feet.
-Use your ice picks to assist in pulling yourself onto the ice.
-Once you are lying on the ice, roll away from the weak or broken ice, don't attempt to stand up.

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