Four inches of solid ice is safe

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminds ice anglers to use caution and common sense as ice-fishing season begins across much of New York State. The DEC outlines these guidelines in a recent release.

Four inches or more of solid ice is considered to be safe for anglers on foot. Ice anglers should note that ice thickness can vary on every body of water and even on the same body of water.  

Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be considered as evidence of safe ice conditions. Testing the thickness of ice is advised and can be done easily with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Feb. 18 and 19 have been designated as a free fishing weekend. The requirement for a fishing license is waived during this period. Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the Ice Fishing Chapter of DEC’s new I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started ice fishing.

Additional information, including a list of waters open to ice fishing, can found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Public Lakes and Ponds map.

The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing, and baitfish may be used in most, but not all, waters open to ice fishing. Visit the DEC website for a list of special regulation by county to find out where baitfish can and cannot be used, and for other regulations that apply to baitfish at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/71546.html.

Anglers are reminded to take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:

— Follow the baitfish regulations to prevent the spread of harmful fish diseases and invasive species (please see: Special Regulations by County);

— Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store, or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught;

— Do not reuse baitfish in another water body if the water the fish were purchased in has not been replaced; and

— Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land.

Anglers are reminded to make sure that they have a valid fishing license before heading out on the ice during non-free fishing weekends. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. To learn more, visit DEC’s Sporting Licenses webpage at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/365.html.

More Community news

  •  VOORHEESVILLE — The First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville is offering these short courses:

    — Friday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m., Prayer 101: an introductory class on prayer; and

    — Friday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., Bible 101: an introductory class on the Bible.

  • GUILDERLAND — Sarah and Guy Bucey, a husband-and-wife team, have been promoted to leadership roles at Inova, located in the Northeastern Industrial Park in Guilderland Center.

  • GUILDERLAND — In recent years, Congressman Paul Tonko has, through the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program, distributed books locally to an English class at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, to the historic library in Rensselaerville — with titles ranging from “American Wino” to “On Edge” — and to the Voorheesvil

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