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everythingthatswims

Warm Weather And Safe Ice?

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I assume there are some guys from up north who can chime in on this. The past month in WV has been frigid, it stayed below freezing for several weeks, with lows in the negatives quite often. Most bodies of water developed a pretty good layer of ice.

 

I fished a couple small lakes in the area and they had 5-6" on them. The problem is that we are getting a stretch of 3 days with highs in the 50s-60s. Tomorrow is the last warm day, Saturday's high is 23 with a low of 8. Not going to mess with any ice that was only 5-6" after these warm days, but I have heard that high elevation lakes around here have up to 12" of ice on them. I'm just trying to figure out whether or not the ice will be safe anywhere this weekend after the high temps.

 

We are getting a couple days in a row with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits. Any ideas on how long it takes to re-freeze?

 

Any general advice about the effects of warm weather and various thicknesses of ice would be greatly appreciated. There is a lot of info online but it seems to vary from source to source. Thanks!

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Thawing and refreezing can be hard to predict.  There are factors other than just thickness at this point. A brief warm up won't thin ice as much as it will saturate it.  A lot of strength is lost when water gets into it. That said, it will eventually become safe after refreezing. This where it becomes difficult to be specific.  Test it close to the bank and several times on your way out. Any stratification with slush (think parfait) is bad news.  Be careful.

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You want clear, hard ice. At least 4". If there's slush, stay off it. It's one thing if there's 10" of ice and 2" of slush on top. But if there's 1-2" of ice and 2" of slush....

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We have well over a foot of ice here in the frozen north, but we just experienced a similar situation - a 3 day warm front followed by frigid temps with even some drizzle and sleet in between.  All the ice houses have now frozen right into the ice.  If I were you I'd definitely wait until it gets cold again for a day so everything freezes up good.

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I went out today and there was four to five inches of very clear ice .  This ice scared the holy $#%^ out of me . It was about a  three acre pond and the ice was making all kinds of noise . Not only that the water was moving up and down in the holes . I stayed shallow my pal went out deep . Why would the water be moving up and down in the holes ?  The ice had to be shifting , right ? 

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Ice shifts with temp changes, when the sun hits it, and when weight shifts on it. When it’s only 4” thick, it’ll move in the holes from someone walking by it. I’ve seen it move around on 12-20” of ice when a truck or snowmachine goes by the holes. And it’ll make some god awful noise when it’s real cold and making ice, especially in a big lake. Not usually an issue. 

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I went out today and there was four to five inches of very clear ice .  This ice scared the holy $#%^ out of me . It was about a  three acre pond and the ice was making all kinds of noise . Not only that the water was moving up and down in the holes . I stayed shallow my pal went out deep . Why would the water be moving up and down in the holes ?  The ice had to be shifting , right ? 

 

Noisy ice is strong ice. Dangerous ice is quiet.  It used to make me nervous, too. I've had ice crack right through the hole I was fishing. When ice gets real thick you have to be careful not to trip over the pressure ridges that form from the heaving.  What keeps me off the ice anymore is the cold.  Give me an April day in the 70's.

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