Mild winter, thin ice don't stop ice fisherman

Experts say they cannot stress enough how dangerous the ice is right now. A mild winter and a weekend in the 50s doesn't seem to keep the ice fishermen off of the ice as SkyFOX spotted dozens on the ice in Anchor Bay Monday.

As soon as you come to this boat launch, you see a sign on the booth, "Ice not safe." A vehicle fell through the ice this weekend but that, however, did not stop a number of fishermen from going on it.

This fisherman is walking on thin ice and some falling through it.

"I don't know why you would park out here with 40-degree weather," said Brian Nichol, ice fisherman. "That is just ridiculous."

First responders and tow truck drivers pulled six vehicles out of Lake St. Clair over the weekend in Ira Township.

"It's eight inches thick, it's perfectly safe," said Nichol.

Nichol went out on the bay moments later.

"As long as you're mindful about it, you have to be safe," Nichol said. "The wind is blowing this way, nothing is blowing out. You walk with a spud in case it's not safe.

FOX 2: "The sign says ice not safe, what say you?"

"It's safe," said Dave Biscorner, ice fisherman. "It's not safe enough to drive a vehicle out there but safe enough to walk on."

That's likely what a Highland township man may have thought as he took his 4-year-old son to Alderman Lake this morning. They were 10 feet from the shore when they fell through and both died.

"We barely left the area," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "We received a call that an elderly gentleman was coming out on the ice to ice fish - just after we cleared the scene of pulling two bodies out of the lake."

FOX 2: "Why you do it?"

"It's just in you," Biscorner said. "To ice fish, go out and fish."

The warmer weather is weakening the ice and you can't tell how strong it is by how it looks or feels. Officials say you should wear a flotation vest on frozen lakes. The father and son from highland township were not.

"I tell you, I have two kids at home and one on the way,"  Nichol said. "That's tough, my heart goes out to them."

The police department says ice thickness is just one of a number of factors you have to take into consideration before going out on the ice. Four inches for foot traffic, five to six for snowmobiles and ATVs, and eight to 12 inches for cars or small trucks.
 


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