January 31, 2024 at 1:47 p.m.
Ice condition update and warning
Cass County Sheriff Bryan Welk reports that unseasonable and record high temperatures have continued to create potentially dangerous ice conditions and a wide range of ice conditions on all Cass County, MN lakes.
Recent temperature fluctuations have led to unpredictable and unsafe ice formations across various bodies of water within Cass County. The early season rain, recent thawing, and refreezing cycles have weakened the ice, rendering it potentially hazardous for any recreational activities. Several incidents of large ice cracks forming on large bodies of water including Leech Lake were reported over the past weekend, with area resorts utilizing ice bridges to get anglers to safer areas. This week, several days of warm temperatures and sun have led to snow melting on the ice surface and running through the ice creating honeycomb ice conditions on the top layers of ice, weakening its effectiveness. In many areas, current ice is not thick enough for vehicle travel.
The Sheriff’s Office urges caution on all area lakes, but with special consideration to southern Cass County, including the Gull Lake chain area where a hybrid version of the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza will be held on Saturday February 3rd. A wide variety of ice conditions were found on these areas ranging from 5” of ice to 12” of ice. It is extremely important to check ahead, know, and understand the ice conditions in the area you are travelling.
The Sheriff’s Office urges residents and visitors to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions:
Stay Informed: Keep updated on local weather and ice condition reports.
Avoid Risky Behavior: Refrain from venturing onto the ice, especially in areas with uncertain or visibly weak ice formations.
Spread Awareness: Inform friends, family, and fellow community members about the dangers of unsafe ice conditions.
“Your safety is our priority,” Sheriff Welk emphasized. “Please refrain from risking your life and the lives of others by venturing onto uncertain ice.”
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