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January warm spell causes danger for ice fishermen

January warm spell causes danger for ice fishermen

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The warm spell that has hit the La Crosse area lately is nice for those who hate the cold, but not so great for ice fishermen.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources heard several reports of spotty ice on bodies of water as people were fishing.

“When we have these warm spells, that’s when you see the ice deteriorate around the shorelines first,” DNR Warden Matthew Groppi explained. “Best guidance we have is to consider all ice unpredictable.”

While there haven’t been reports of people falling through, Groppi says there are things you have to bring out, beyond just a pole and bait.

“We recommend carrying some safety equipment like an ice spud to check for thickness, as well as ice picks to pull yourself out if you do fall through,” Groppi said.

Groppi’s advice for how to save yourself after you fall through is to remain calm, grab onto the ice and kick your legs up to crawl out, and crawl away from the hole, rather than stand up.

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