One of the many ways to enjoy the Montana winters is ice fishing. But with the unusually warm temperatures, it’s important to be safe around the ice and always look at the conditions before deciding to go out.
"If you're just starting out or whether you’ve been ice fishing for years I always recommend people wear ice cleats on their boots. That will help you from slipping and sliding around on the ice and not falling which is important," said Montana FWP Program Coordinator Sara Smith. "Ice picks are a great safety item to have; they’re usually hand-held with picks at the end. You could put it around your neck so if you did fall through, they will help you grip into the ice so you can kind of pull yourself back out, just in case."
Making sure to look at the ice’s color is also a good indicator to tell whether it’s safe or not.
Clear ice means that it’s newer and harder ice. Milky colored ice, or if there’s slush on the ice, means stay off — it isn’t safe.