Staying safe while ice fishing this season

MARQUETTE — While many of us shy away from the recent drop in the temperatures, ice fishing enthusiasts are excited to get out on the lake.

The Marquette Fire Departments is urging ice fishers to do your homework before you grab your fishing pole.

Captain Green says it’s important for people to measure the ice; fishers should not venture out on anything less than 4 inches thick.

Even if you are familiar with a certain lake, weather conditions can change quickly and lead to an unsafe situation.

“We’re in the U.P., the weather changes considerably within minutes let alone days and weeks. Being diligent and knowing what those ice conditions are before you venture off,” said Jeff Green, Captain of Marquette Fire Department.

While having a charged cell phone and wearing the proper clothing is important, make sure someone knows where you will be.

“Letting people know you’re going out on the ice, time you’re leaving and time you’re getting back. We kind of view this just as any other type of sport, that it’s best to do it in pairs; so don’t venture out by yourself,” added Green.

And before you do go head out on the ice make sure you have the proper safety gear like a whistle or a flotation device in case someone falls into the water.

“It doesn’t hurt to have a flotation device or a life vest, something along those lines. They do make jackets that are life preservers, built into the jacket. Something like having that on will be helpful,” said Green.

Besides having a whistle and flotation device, it’s recommended to have safety picks and a throw rope.

And to always make you’re not in a position where you could fall through the ice.