Even though it has been freezing across Michigan the past few weeks not all of the ice is safe to get on and one man has lost his life fishing on thin ice.

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Just Because It's Been Cold Doesn't Mean the Ice is Safe

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Many anglers didn't get to go ice fishing in 2023 because most of the Lower Peninsula didn't have any ice. I live an hour north of Grand Rapids and I had to drive to Cadillac to find safe ice last year.

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With the cold over the past couple of weeks in Michigan, anglers have been eager to get out on the ice. It usually takes about 3 weeks of below-freezing temperatures to create safe ice on inland lakes. Many of the smaller inland lakes have ice but if they are spring-fed there would be some danger spots, especially if it is snow-covered. Rivers take much longer to freeze because the water is moving.

Michigan Man Loses Life After Falling Through the Ice

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Over the past couple of weeks, we have heard about ice rescues of dogs, people, and even deer as seen in the picture above. If dogs and deer are falling through, odds are ice is not safe in many inland lakes, Great Lakes, and especially in rivers where the water is moving for humans.

Future Publishing via Getty Images
Future Publishing via Getty Images
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Unfortunately, a Michigan man went through the ice on Sunday while ice fishing on the Pine River.

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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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According to WOOD, a 59-year-old from Saginaw went through the ice, and rescue crews were able to locate and recover his body.

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been warning anglers that because water temperatures have been warmer than normal, and even though there have been freezing temperatures most ice is currently not safe.

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I saw a few guys fishing on the east side of the state over the weekend on some smaller inland lakes. I hope to get this weekend on a couple of inland lakes but will be testing the ice before venturing out but will be staying off the rivers.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

The 10 Commandments Of Ice Fishing In Minnesota & Wisconsin

While these aren't the only rules to abide by (see your local Minnesota or Wisconsin DNR regulations, for example), these 10 guidelines go a long way toward making sure you and other ice anglers have an enjoyable hardwater experience.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper