MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement officials are urging caution as dangerous ice conditions have led to multiple deaths and rescues across the state. Due to recent rain, wind, and unseasonably warm weather, the ice in central to southern Minnesota has deteriorated, leading to open water in some areas. In Beltrami County, 122 anglers were rescued after becoming stranded on an ice floe that detached from the main ice.
The unstable ice conditions have prompted at least three ice-angler rescues on Upper Red Lake this season, according to the DNR. Additionally, two people have died in December after falling through ice – one in northwestern Minnesota on Big Toad Lake and the other in Lake of the Woods in the Northwest Angle.
Sheriff Jason Riggs of Beltrami County emphasized the importance of checking the weather and ice thickness before venturing out, given the abnormally thin ice caused by this year’s weather. The DNR has also offered several safety tips for those planning to go out on the ice, including wearing a life jacket, carrying ice picks and rope, checking ice thickness regularly, and bringing a cell phone or personal locator beacon.
As temperatures are expected to drop in northern Minnesota, the DNR has warned that ice conditions will remain poor until new, clear ice forms after a string of cold days. It’s crucial for anyone heading onto the ice to stay updated on the latest weather conditions and to have a plan in case of an emergency.
In light of these incidents, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement are urging residents to exercise extreme caution and follow safety guidelines before heading onto the ice, ensuring the use of safety equipment and staying updated on weather conditions. As the state braces for colder temperatures, it is important for everyone to stay vigilant and prioritize safety when engaging in winter activities on the ice.