Warmer weather leaves fishermen on thin ice

Temps in 40s leads to more emergency calls
Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 02, 2017

Two days of temperatures in the 40s hasn't stopped ice fishers from venturing out onto local lakes.

Emergency crews evacuated Delavan Lake in Walworth County Sunday because of dangerous conditions after a man fell through the ice on an iceboat. The 74-year-old man was able to get to shore by himself before crews got into the water. The man refused medical treatment and returned to his home.

He wasn't the only person on thin ice Sunday. Kenosha County authorities also responded to a report of two people in Camp Lake. The Sheriff's office tells us two people ignored ice fishermen waving at them that the ice ended, going into the water. KCSO said the water was just three feet where the pair fell in.

Captain Mark Moller-Gunderson with the Lake Geneva Police Department said appearances can be deceiving with ice.

"We've had freeze-thaw cycles, there's moving water, there're springs. It's just too risky to be on the ice," he said. Moller-Gunderson tells TODAY'S TMJ4 hypothermia sets in quickly when people fall through ice, so they work with area departments to get out quickly.

Still, he said "The very best ice rescue is the one that never happens."

Elkhorn ice fisherman Carl Fosdal recommends checking the ice as you walk to make sure it's safe.

"Thirteen inches is good ice. I like it like that," he said. "When you get down to four inches, man it's scary."

The National Weather Service recommends a minimum of four to six inches of ice for walking and ice fishing.

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