VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - With several days of low temperatures, area bodies of water are beginning to freeze over. While it's a beloved hobby for some, ice fishing can be very dangerous.
Anglers across the area might be preparing to venture onto frozen lakes and ponds but experts say to make absolutely sure the ice is ready to be walked on before making plans for ice fishing. Ice fishing is allowed at Vigo County parks but officials say it's fish at your own risk.
"Fishing is always welcome at our parks. We encourage it but safety is number one at the parks department. We encourage you to go fishing with a friend. Don't go ice fishing by yourself" Adam Grossman with the Vigo County Parks Department says.
Experts say two inches of ice or less is not safe for anyone to walk on. They say you need to be looking for water around the edges of the pond or lake and to be checking for cracks in the ice.
"It's really recommended that you get that three or four inches. I won't go out unless it's five or six inches myself. I don't want to have to worry about it. Fishing is not worth your life. It's better to be a safe and recreational activity that you don't have to worry about" Grossman says.
Don't assume ice is safe to walk on just because it supports you at first. Always be checking the ice thickness while you fish.
"Drill a hole just as soon as you get out on the ice. Check it and have yourself tethered off to another person or a tree depending on how far out you go and making sure you have the right equipment with you" Grossman says.
Again it's a good idea to always go ice fishing with somebody else and make sure your phone has service and is fully charged.