The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Area ice not safe, deputies advise


December 19, 2017

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

A FISHERHMAN drills a hole in the ice on the Gile Flowage by the dikes off County C near Hurley. The open water in the foreground flows through a culvert under the County road. There was a great deal of slush along shore.


Hurley - The Iron County Sheriff's Department warns snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle riders to stay off the ice, especially with temperatures hitting the low 30s on Monday.

A few fishing tents were out on the dikes of the Gile Flowage Monday morning, but the fishermen were on foot, as the water was flowing from inlets on the shoreline.

While most lakes have from 6 to 8 inches of ice cover, it's extremely variable. Because of rainfall a few weeks ago, fishermen are reporting pressure cracks and slushy conditions around the shorelines. Those conditions are most often seen around spring break-up.

Open water was reported last week near the big island on the Gile Flowage.

Across the border, there was a report of a snowmobile breaking through the ice over the weekend on Lake Gogebic.

Fishermen said while there may be 8 inches of ice on area lakes in some spots, just 50 feet away on the ice it may only be a few inches thick. Near the shorelines, there may be slush covering thin ice and free flowing inlets.

Around 6 inches of uniform ice is required for safe snowmobile and ATV travel.

All snowmobilers are advised to stay off lakes until the crossings are inspected and marked as open by the snowmobile clubs.

Minnesota has recorded two recent deaths involving snow machines or ATV traffic on lakes. A Cohasset woman died Saturday when the ATV she was riding fell through the ice on a rural Itasca County lake.

Bernice Elaine Kane was the victim. Her body was recovered from Rice Lake, the Itasca County Sheriff's Department reported.

Michael Gibbons, of Duluth, was able to get out of the water on his own and call for help after the ATV broke through the ice.

Rising temperatures and scattered showers can pose significant risks to ice-related activities as the ice weakens and can appear to be more stable than it is.

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a reminder Monday to always wear and use proper safety equipment and have a means of communication at all times.

Coast Guard officials advise having a marine band radio, a beacon, life jackets and screwdrivers or ice picks to help pull out of the water in the event of an icy plunge.


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