Ice Safety Sheet
Ice poses one of the largest cold water dangers. There are steps to take away some of the risks, but remember...
no ice is safe ice.

Winter activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snow mobiling, ice sailing, and ice fishing. All of these actvities may well have an inherent danger associated with them…falling through the ice.

For more information on ice safety please visit the Minnesota Game and Fish web site.

No Safe Ice
While we say no ice is safe ice, there are professionals who will gage ice thickness and appropriate activities for that area. Allow the local professionals tell you what is "safe", or potentially appropriate for winter activities, and what is not. Pay close attention to their facts and never venture onto ice for winter activities without that knowledge. Remember when snowshoeing and cross country skiing to pay close attention to where you are participating in outdoor winter activities so as to avoid potential danger spots of unfrozen or unstable ice which may be covered by snow. Know where you are going, and what is under the snow, before you go.

When in doubt…don't go out!

Colors of Ice
***STAY OFF ANY ICE LESS THAN (verified) 4" THICK***

Ice that is deep blue in color and clear MAY indicate thicker ice. This ice has high density and makes it strong.

Ice that is white and opaque or "crispy" indicates ice has had water satuared snow has frozen on top of the ice forming a very thin top layer of ice. The ice will probably have air pockets making the ice very weak.

Light gray to dark black may melting ice, even if the air tempertures are below 32 degrees, this is can be very unstable and unsafe.

Slushy Ice usually seen in spring time, some times called "rotten ice" because you may see dirt mixed into the top layer, may appear thick but it is melting away. DO NOT GO OUT ON THIS ICE

Other Ice Tips
When evaluating the ice, don't forget to figure in:

  • The depth of the ice AND depth of the water under the ice
  • The amount of snow over the ice

Be aware of the temperture, local conditions (If you are not familiar ith the area, get the information you need to be safe from the "locals" Look at the ice: Does it appear that the ice has thawed and re-frozen? Are there weak spoks, slushy spots or cracks, open water around the edges of the bosy of water (ALL UNSAFE)

Do not go out too early or too late in any season. Weather conditions change quickly and so do ice conditions. Warming temperatures, rain and sunshine all effect ice every minute of every day.