Ice Safety



Safe ice is the number one consideration. A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water. The guidelines presented here (based on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) are based on new clear ice on non-running waters. Remember, your own good judgment is essential! Since ice thickness can vary on a lake, check the ice periodically to stay safe.

Ice Thickness Table (for new, clear ice only)

Ice Thickness

Permissible Load

2 inches or less

Stay Off

4 inches

Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5 inches

Snowmobile or ATV

8-12 inches

Car or small pickup

12-15 inches

Medium truck

Note: This guide is based on new, clear ice on non-running waters. Slush ice is about 50 percent weaker. Clear, ice over running water is about 20 percent weaker. Double the recommendations for white ice. Many ice anglers do not like to fish on less than five inches of ice, and do not like to drive a pick-up truck on less than 15 inches of ice. Use common sense!

Be cautious in areas where "bubblers" are used to protect docks. They can produce thin, unsafe ice some distance away. Be especially alert in areas near shore, over moving bodies of water and on lakes and ponds where streams enter or exit.

Remember, use the buddy system while ice fishing - it saves lives.




1) NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Ice Safety

2) Ice Fishing - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

3) Ice Thickness

4) New York Ice Fishing Conditions 

5) Ice - Thickness and Safe Load Safe loads for clear and solid ice 

6) General ice thickness guidelines

7) Ice Thickness Safety Chart Know When it's Safe to be on the Ice

8) Ice Thickness Safety Chart  

9) Ice Thickness Safety Chart

10) Ice Fishing Safety 

11) Ice Safety Know the dangers of ice Ice Factors 

12) Ice Thickness Guidelines 

13) Ice strength and safety Always use caution while fishing or recreating on ice.





Ice Safety Videos

1) Ice Thickness Safety Calculating Safe Ice For Ice Fishing Safety How Thick Should The Ice Be?

2) Ice Safety with Daryl Bauer

3) In-Depth Outdoors: On Ice #0014 Basic Ice Fishing Safety Tips and Equipment 

4) Safe Ice Thickness

5) Ice Fishing Basics: Safety

6) Saving Lives with Gus: Ice Fishing Safety 

7) Ice Fishing Safety : Ice Thickness for Ice Fishing

8) 4 Ice Fishing Safety Tips 

9) Ice Fishing Safety with Dave Genz from Vexilar 

10) Safe Ice and Signs of Bad Ice








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