Area Ice Fishing Underway
BROWN COUNTY-- Some areas, including certain spots on Lake Winnebago, are ready for ice fishing. But the ice is still thin in many other spots.
Experts say thin ice is anywhere between 2 and 5 inches. That's enough to get out and fish, but being out on the ice this early in the winter does not come without risks.
Bret Alexander is a fishing guide with Ice Fish Green Bay, offering fishing trips throughout the year.
"When there is open water out from the ice you can't see if the wind blows the wrong way you've always got the chance of the ice separating and people drifting away on basically a floating ice cake, that's the main hazard you want to watch for this time of the year,” Alexander said.
Alexander said last year was difficult for ice fishing. Warm weather cut the ice fishing season in half.
Further north, ice fishing is underway on Little Sturgeon Bay.
"Once you start going toward the open water I would say but inside here we just got to watch out for the springs," said angler Mason Lemere.
First responders say staying safe starts with common sense.
"Always let somebody know where they are going, what time they plan on returning home, never venture out on the ice alone, have a working cell phone with you, if you run into trouble we'll get the resources out to you to get you off the ice,” said Door County Sheriff Deputy Scott Walker.
For fisherman like Alexander, who make a living from fishing trips, a colder winter and a longer ice fishing season are welcome signs.
Police say if you witness someone fall through the ice, dial 911 immediately, then throw a flotation device or long pole for the person in the water to keep them afloat until help arrives.