RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Saturday evening, a 60-year-old man and 8-year-old boy died in eastern South Dakota when the ATV they were riding went through the ice of Lake Poinsett.
Now, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials are reminding the public to exercise extreme caution when ice fishing, or any outdoor activities on the ice, especially with the warmer temperatures that we’ve been experiencing.
When going on the ice, it’s important to check its thickness by using a “Spud bar” or ice auger, and to do it frequently as you move on to the body of water.
“Check the ice frequently, especially once when you first get on it, and then even as you work your way across a water body; ice thickness can change and you want to see at least four inches before you really start to move across that ice,” said Jake Davis, the Ice Fishery Supervisor for the SD Game, Fish and Parks in Rapid City.
The SD GF&P also reminding the public to always take a fishing buddy with you or let someone know where you’re going.
The SD GF&P also recommend taking the following precautions:
- Avoid ice heaves, springs, and current areas.
- Always check ice conditions as you are traveling on a body of water. This year, more than ever, ice thickness and strength are extremely variable.
- Check social media and local sporting goods stores for ice conditions and areas to avoid.
- Avoid traveling on the ice after sundown, especially on lakes that you are not familiar with.
- Carry ice pics and rope in your coat or pants.
- Always fish with a buddy.
- Wearing a floatation coat/suit or a lifejacket is recommended.
- Always let someone know where you are. It is also a great idea to let someone know when you are leaving shore to fish and then let them know often that you are ok.
- Keep your cell phone in a waterproof bag and in a pocket at all times.