Game and Parks suggests tips for safe ice fishing


December 29, 2022

Stay safe on the ice this winter while enjoying a day of ice-fishing. Follow these tips from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for safety on the ice:

The minimum ice thickness for supporting one person is at least four inches of clear, solid ice.

Drill holes or use an ice chisel or spud bar to check the ice conditions while working the way out to a fishing spot.

Wear a life jacket.

Avoid falls by wearing ice cleats on boots to maintain traction.

Layer clothing, beginning with a synthetic layer. Wool garments provide excellent insulation and maintain warmth even when damp. Outer layers may include sweatshirts and jackets covered by heavy parkas, bibs or coveralls. Carry at least a couple pairs of gloves or mittens.

Remove layers during periods of activity, such as manually drilling ice holes, to avoid sweating, and add layers back on during periods of inactivity.

Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around a person's neck in case they fall through ice and need something to grip the ice and pull themselves out.

Have some extra dry clothes in the vehicle.

Fish with others in case trouble arises.

Have a long rope available so someone can rescue an individual if they break through the ice.

Before heading out, tell a family member or friend the fishing destination.

Avoid alcoholic beverages. These affect judgment and increase chances for hypothermia.

Fishing permits can be purchased at


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