6 Tips to Know Before Going on the Ice

It’s nearing that time of year again, ice fishing. And Jackson has some of the best ice fishing spots around, but before you head out on the ice, make sure you know these safety tips and tricks from the pros at the Michigan DNR.

  1. Clear ice that has a bluish tint is the strongest.
  2. Ice that appears milky is very porous and weak.
  3. Snow covered ice will always be weaker because snow insulates and slows freezing.
  4. Slush ice is only about half as strong as clear ice.
  5. Spongy or honeycombed ice is caused by ice thawing during the day and refreezing at night, making ice weak.
  6. A snowfall can warm up and melt previously safe ice.

The DNR does not recommend the standard ""inch-thickness"" guide used by many anglers and snowmobilers to determine ice safety. A minimum of four inches of clear ice is required to support an average person's weight on the ice, but since ice seldom forms at a uniform rate, it is important to check ice thickness with a spud and ruler every few steps.

Visit the Michigan DNR Ice Safety Page for more information.

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