MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The recent mild temperatures have made for uncertain ice conditions in parts of the state.

A pickup truck crashed through the ice in southern Minnesota last week. Thankfully, everyone inside got out OK.

“I’d rather have this winter than last year’s,” angler Sheldon Brown said.

From a polar vortex to the polar opposite, it was 46 degrees on Sunday. A day later, that created a significant amount of slush on Como Lake, but not enough to stop Brown from drilling a hole and dropping a line. His portable fish house was the only one on the ice.

A truck is pulled out of Lake Hanska near New Ulm last week. (credit: CBS)

“Some people are really cautious. Some wouldn’t even be on here right now with the weather,” Brown said.

Como Lake isn’t the only body of water where caution is key. Lisa Dugan with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says there is plenty of proof on Minnesota lakes that ice conditions can change quickly; from several inches of thick ice, to open water in just a few feet.

“There have been reports almost weekly, of vehicles going through the ice. Snowmobiles, ATVs going through the ice,” Dugan said.

Because of the mild weather, the DNR recommends at least 4 inches of ice to walk out on the ice. Dugan says that even if the ice seems safe, it’s a good idea to carry ice picks in case you need to pull yourself out.

“You can’t go by the calendar this time of year. You really need to check for yourself. Make sure you are out there checking the ice as you go,” Dugan said.

John Lauritsen

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