Thin Ice Predicted on Lake Erie for 2016 Ice Fishing Season

two red ice fishing shanties parked on ice. a blue atv sits by one and a side by side utility vehicle sits by the other.

Each year, as the ice fishing season draws to a close and the Lake Erie ice flows start to break up we hear the stories about fishermen being rescued from flows that broke loose from the mainland, and countless atv’s and snowmobiles that are lost into the icy clutches of the Western Basin.

Lake Erie Anglers face a short ice fishing season for 2016.
The US National Weather Service Office in Cleveland Ohio shows Long Range Weather Models that predict above average temperatures and below average precipitation in the great lakes region for the winter months. Significant Ice Formation is not predicted until Mid February-2016.

In February of 2015, Lake Erie fishermen were reporting ice more than 24 inches thick off of South-Bass-Island.

Man kneeling on frozen lake measuring ice thickness. A Ski-Doo Snowmobile parked in the background.
A State Official from Maine measures lake Ice Thickness

Yamaha Grizzly ATV parked on a frozen lake

If you are planning to head out on the ice this winter, please do so safely.
Dress to stay warm and dry. A good pair of boots, snow gloves and the right hat or balakva can make a huge difference towards keeping you comfortable for a long day on the ice.

Experienced ice fishermen will tell you, the coldest part of the day is the ride out and back.

Use the buddy system if you’re heading out on the ice. Find an experienced old timer for your first trip ice fishing. In extreme conditions you’ve got to have a plan. Trust the wisdom of an experienced angler. Only go Ice Fishing during the day. Know what time the sun will be setting, and plan on being back to your vehicle by then.

Know how to stay safe on the lake while ice fishing

I loved this movie. Don’t let a woman come between friendship and ice fishing.
Jack Lemon and his ice fishing shanty take a ride onto the thin ice as frustrations boil over a woman.

Resources

US National Weather Service Cleveland Ohio Great Lakes Freeze-Up Outlook

MN-DNR Ice Thickness Guidelines

PA Fish and Boat Commission Is The Ice Safe PDF