'Do Not Drive Out On The Ice.' Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife Calls For Ice Fishing Safety

Feb 21, 2019

Mid-February is prime time for ice fishing in Vermont, but a recent tragedy is focusing attention on the risks of the winter sport. 

Vermont State Police last week recovered the body of a missing ice fisherman in Lake Champlain. The angler appears to have died after his truck fell through the ice near Orwell.

"Really, no ice is safe ice," says Chris Powers with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Powers joined Vermont Edition to review ice fishing safety.

"We like to see four inches of nice, clear, black ice. That's enough to support a person walking," he adds.

When it comes to vehicles on the ice, Powers says the department doesn't recommend it. Ever.

"Ice conditions can be really, really variable," he says. "We'd prefer that anglers would keep their vehicles on the shore." He recommends lighter vehicles, like four wheelers or snowmobiles, for getting out on the ice.

Powers also suggests talking with local bait shops for the latest on ice conditions and up-to-date information.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more on ice safety, the roughly  40 different lakes in which Vermonters can cast their lure and what Powers personally enjoys about the sport.

Broadcast on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.