Safety tips to keep in mind while ice fishing

WATERTOWN, S.D. A Watertown man was taken to the hospital late Tuesday night after his pickup fell through the ice at Lake Kampeska. Luckily, no one involved suffered life-threatening injuries.

Plenty of vehicles are making their way onto the lakes to get their ice fishing on, but there are some safety tips to remember before your next trip.

"You can't guarantee that any ice is good ice. There are some areas that are prone to thin ice or caution areas," Game, Fish and Parks Regional Conservation Officer Supervisor Kraig Haase said.

Some of those areas include ice heaves.

"Where the pressure would just come together and you can see that line. Definitely stay away from those areas, submerged rock piles, sandbars anything that's close to the surface that will prevent ice from forming underneath of it," Haase said. "When the sun gets into it, it will warm up underneath of it so those are always thin areas."

There's also those good ice rules of thumb to keep in mind.

"You want 3 inches to walk on, you want 6 inches to drive an ATV on, and then you want a foot of ice just to drive a vehicle on," Host of Jason Mitchell Outdoors and Ice Team Pro Jason Mitchell said.

The changing temperature should make everyone double check the ice thickness wherever they plan on going.

"If it's warming up and that ice strength is compromised, typically you'll see that ice turn grey and just dark where clear ice is good ice. If it gets dark and grey and clouds up, usually it's not as strong of ice," Mitchell said.

Taking a few extra supplies could also help.

"Make sure you have a tow rope, make sure you have a life preserver, make sure you have ice picks, just different things that can save your life if the worst happens," Mitchell said.

The owner of the truck that fell through the Lake Kampeska will have to remove it himself with a tow company. If that doesn't happen, the Game, Fish, and Parks will have to take over.