In many locations, it is dangerous to be out on the ice right now.
The state Fish and Boat Commission recommends a minimum of four inches of clear ice in order to adequately hold an individual above the water.
The clear ice that was formed last week as a result of the severe cold has now become what is called “rotten ice,” which is gray in color.
“We had an increase in our temperatures- now we’re getting a significant amount of rain- that combination will take the ice thickness down. Individuals could go out now and fall through,” said Chris Calhoun, a BC3 professor and a water rescue trainer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Avid ice fishermen who still plan to go out onto the ice are advised to take every precaution possible.
“If you fall into that cold water, you will immediately start to hyperventilate,” Calhoun said.
He suggests always having a life jacket on, and a rope with you so you can help your partner, or vice versa, if someone falls in. If you do fall, you’re advised to kick until you can pull yourself back onto the ice, and then roll away from the direction that you just came from.
Calhoun says the water under the ice is a brutally cold 32 degrees.
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