MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After two anglers died in northern Minnesota over the weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding the state’s outdoor enthusiasts to be careful on the ice amid the unseasonably warm temperatures.

“No fish is worth going through thin ice,” said Lt. Adam Block, a DNR conservation officer. “At this point, it is going to take several consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures before enough solid ice has formed to support foot traffic, and even longer before ATVs and snowmobiles should be on the ice.”

The DNR says that Minnesotans shouldn’t walk on lake ice until 4 inches of new, clear ice has formed. Before taking ATVs out, residents should wait until the ice is 5-7 inches thick.

Those venturing out are advised to always were a life jacket.

“A life jacket is the one piece of equipment that exponentially increases your odds of not drowning from cold water shock, hypothermia or exhaustion should you fall through the ice,” Block said.

Over the weekend, two anglers – 29-year-old Zeth Knyphausen and 30-year-old Melissa Seidenstricker – died after their ATV broke through the ice on Upper Red Lake.

Ice conditions on the northern Minnesota lake varied between just a few inches to nearly 10. There was also still areas of open water.

For more information on ice safety, click here.


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