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Snow Weighs Down Ice On Area Lakes

January 11, 2010, 4:49 PM by Cherlene Richards

Snow Weighs Down Ice On Area Lakes
Here in South Dakota, our temperatures are getting back to normal. And that means anglers are hitting the ice in hopes of bringing home fish.

Most lakes in southeast South Dakota have around 14 inches of ice, but with 2-feet of snow on top, there's the potential for problems.

Fishing buddies Tavern Meinberg and Curt Furney are spending their afternoon on the ice, and they say while the weather is cooperating, the fish are not.

"It's slow,” Meinberg said.

With all the snow, it's tough to see anything on their underwater camera and that's not all.

One of the problems that the snow is causing is that the weight is pushing down on the ice, causing water to come up through these holes,

That creates slush, which is a concern when walking on the ice.  The slush adds even more weight.  It can stress thinner areas, where water enters a lake or where snow drifts are piled high.

“With the snow that's on top of the ice too, it's insulating that water, so it's not re-freezing, so we're not getting any new ice forming,” Conservation Officer Greg Hastings said. 

Hastings, with Game Fish and Parks, is reminding everyone to be careful and pay attention on the ice.  Because with changing winter conditions, comes the possibility of changing conditions here.

"Right now, the ice is hard, but if it starts warming up, with all the stress on top of the ice, it could weaken the ice,” Hastings said.

The melting snow and slush caused some trucks to get stuck on lakes over the weekend.  And if you leave your ice shack on the lake, on a day like Monday, the next time temperatures drop it could be frozen in place.

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