NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- During these winter months, western Massachusetts residents have been spending a lot of time ice fishing, but with temperatures ranging from below freezing to near 60’s it can be hard to know just how thick and safe the ice is.
Fishers determine how deep the ice is by using a drill or other device to make a hole, many said the ice at the Oxbow is currently between five and six inches thick. Thicker than the recommended four inches to fish.
Even though temperatures are expected to be near the 60’s this weekend, ice fishers at The Oxbow said they still plan on fishing.
“I’ve been out ice fishing in 74 degrees one year and the ice was plenty safe. You just have to be careful and watch the conditions and every lake is different so individually you need to be careful at each body of water,” Thomas Woron from East Hartford, CT said.
“Two or three days of warm weather shouldn’t affect it that much. IT’s the edges you have to be careful of if the river comes up so you either go on with a plank or you just stay home,” Conway resident Reggie Odabashian said.
Warning signs that the ice is too thin include cracks, flowing water near the edges of the ice, or frozen ridges.
Any rain will cause the river level to rise and break through the edges of the ice. Clear ice that has a blueish tint is generally the strongest.