Due to the late start of winter and the recent warm weather and rain, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is advising anglers and others who may want to be on the ice of water bodies to be cautious.

Ice began forming late this year and is not as thick as it typically would be in early February. Large water bodies remain completely open or only have ice in shallow bays, even in the Adirondacks and the surrounding North Country. Recent warm temperatures and rain have further deteriorated ice conditions. Thin ice has melted completely in many places leaving open water around shorelines, in areas of flowing water and other locations where ice was present a week ago. Open water around inlets and near boathouses and docks have expanded.

Anyone planning to recreate on ice covered ponds and lakes should take the following precautions:

  • The use of motor vehicles on ice is strongly discouraged until the ice thickens;
  • Use caution when moving from ice to shore and from shore to ice;
  • Check ice thickness near shore before going further out on the ice;
  • Avoid areas around inlets, outlets, boathouses, docks and any open water;
  • Be prepared to self-rescue carry spikes, flotation devices and a throw line;
  • Wear traction devices on your feet as there is no snow on the ice surface.

Additional information regarding ice safety can be found on DEC's website.

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