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Ice On Some Northern Lakes And Rivers Still Unsafe

Authorities Warn Snowmobilers, Ice Fishermen To Exercise Caution

Waterways like the Wisconsin River aren't necessarily safe to venture out upon quite yet. Photo: Mike Warot (CC-BY).

Authorities are warning snowmobilers and ice fishermen to exercise caution before venturing out on northern lakes and rivers, since unsafe ice could lie under the new snow.

A snowmobile went through the ice Saturday night on the Wisconsin River north of Lake Alexander near Merrill. The two riders were treated for exposure after managing to crawl out of the frigid water.

Lt. Tim Fischer of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department said the ice on some waterways is still dangerous, despite the recent snowfall and the return of cold weather.

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“With the warming temperatures that we’ve had and the amount of rain that we had last week, the ice does get weakened,” said Fischer. “And then when snow gets on top of that weakened ice, it insulates it and doesn’t allow it to freeze up as solid as it should. So yeah, some of the waterways could be potentially dangerous.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department warns that waterways connected to river systems are particularly susceptible to thin ice cover because of currents.