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After three rescues on the Bay, more fisherman head out on the ice

Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 09, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — There were three ice rescues for nine people on Thursday on the bay.

  • Sturgeon Bay Coast Gaurd Master Chief, Chris Zahn told me that the rescues took place in three places along the bay.
  • Chief Zahn told me the biggest risk is not falling through, but the ice you're on breaking off and floating away.
  • Veteran fisherman, Brett Alexander said that he went out on a boat today. He would not step out on the ice.

I came out to the bay to find out who's still going out and what the rescuers think about the risk.
Longtime green bay fisherman Brett Alexander hit the bay, but he made sure to be in a boat. He said the ice is very weak.

 “You can feel that ice sponging, it’s almost like you’re riding in the air. You can feel it when it’s giving way,” said Alexander. “It can crack and separate at any time.”

Ice that Coast Guard Chief Chris Zahn says is because of warmer temps.

“It’s not the traditional when we have the bay frozen over,” said Chief Zahn. “We never got the same solid ice that we get typically.”

Despite the warnings, some brave fishermen are still out here.

Chief Zahn says that these rescues are part of their job and although he advises to stay off the ice…

“We understand that this is Wisconsin and ice fishing is a big part of what is going on here,” Chief Zahn said. “So, we do our best to get out in front of it, inform people what the conditions are and inform people on how to act safely.”

But veteran fisherman Alexander is staying cautious.

“Unless you’re a local fisherman that fishes all the time and knows the conditions, I would not step foot on the ice." 

Chief Zahn says that if you do go on the ice, make sure people know where you are and always have two forms of communication.