Wardens caution anglers that ice may not be safe

The weather is getting colder, and when temperatures drop down into the single digits again, it’s easy to forget the extended thaw that we just emerged from.

But forgetting the rain and warm weather might get you into trouble, as sections of many of the state’s lakes and ponds remain unsafe.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is cautioning ice anglers to remain vigilant as they go onto the ice in the coming days. And with two of the state’s larger ice fishing derbies on tap this weekend, that’s some advice worth heeding.

Here’s the text of the press release that the DIF&W issued on Tuesday afternoon:


The Maine Warden Service wants to remind everyone that because of the last two weeks of warm weather, ice conditions around the state can be uncertain, and to use caution.

Corporal John MacDonald says there are some waterways that have seen ice open up or become thin, and he urges caution. “It’s still a smart idea to check the ice as you go and watch out for currents that can undermine the conditions. Please – everyone – play it safe in spite of the cold weather returning.”

Rivers and streams are of most concern, where water is constantly flowing and the warm weather has helped contribute to thin ice. And even with cold weather arriving this week it will be a while before ice conditions firm up on lakes as well, as thin spots have cropped up in some unusual places according to wardens in the field.

In short, ice conditions remain questionable for much of the State of Maine and anyone venturing onto the ice, whether it be for snowmobiling, ice fishing, or just hiking or skating, is urged to use caution.

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.