Ice Safety on Lake Champlain
There are many winter activities to be enjoyed on Lake Champlain. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, ice skating, cross country skiing, ice boating… the list goes on and on. Enjoy the ice safely. If you plan to spend any time on the ice, please stay safe by following these ice safety tips.
General Ice Safety Thickness Guidelines:
For New, Clear Ice Only
- 2″ or less – STAY OFF
- 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
- 5″ – Snowmobile or ATV
- 8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
- 12″ – 15″ – Medium truck
These guidelines are for thin clear ice only; keep in mind that there are factors other than thickness that can cause ice to be unsafe. Snow cover and current also can impact the safety of ice, so it is important to always If you choose to snowmobile, ice fish, ice skate or even ice boating on Lake Champlain, it’s a good idea to talk with local fishermen and bait shops on the lake to see what they say about ice conditions.
No matter what you hear, though, continue to check ice conditions yourself.measure ice thickness before making you way on the ice. Ice is seldom the same thickness over a body of water. Currents, springs, rotting vegetation or school of rough fish can all factor into different variations of ice thickness across a body of water.
There are various ways that you can measure ice thickness. Common tools to measure ice thickness include: ice chisel, cordless drill, ice auger, and a tape measure.
White ice known also as snow ice is typically only about half as strong as new clear ice and the thicknesses listed above should be doubled to be safe.
Enjoy the beauty of frozen Lake Champlain, but do it safely.