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Officials Urge Caution After Father And Son Fall Through Ice

Ice On Bigger Lakes Can Have Quickly Changing Conditions


State and local officials are warning ice fishermen to check local conditions on frozen lakes after a father and son were killed when their Jeep fell through the ice on Lake Winnebago.

The pair’s vehicle broke through the ice early Sunday morning.

Winnebago is Wisconsin’s largest inland lake and has seen “variable” conditions this winter. That’s according to Lt. Steven Verwiel with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s office.

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“The sheets of ice move with the wind so they’ll blow and blow open an area. A crack that was like a seam now becomes an opening like a small river,” Verwiel said.

Verwiel advised that conditions on larger lakes can change daily.

“The bigger the lake the more treacherous it’s going to be, because these sheets move around,” he said. “People think when they go out on a frozen lake it’s like a skating rink or a small pond and it’s a uniform layer of ice on top. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Hundreds of fishermen are expected on lake Winnebago for the sturgeon spearing season which opens February 14.