Author Topic: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines  (Read 8461 times)

Offline SkeeterJeff

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Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« on: Sep 24, 2008, 06:27 PM »
We all know that there is no such thing as "Safe Ice", but like my motorcycling days, we can manage the risk to reduce the chance of the unthinkable happening.  Here is a chart I found on the US Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Labs web page that can be used as a rough guideline:



For those who are new to, or thinking about taking up ice fishing, the ERDC web page has a lot of good information.

http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/ierd/ice_safety/safety.html

See you on the ice soon!!

Jeff

Offline jayswimmer09

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: Sep 24, 2008, 06:41 PM »
thanx for the site, got some good info!!

Offline Flash_King

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: Sep 25, 2008, 05:10 AM »
one/ton ok with 4 in of ice??    will have to take a copy of report with me and explain to the local police that the government say's it's ok for me to be fishing 1st week of december with 2inches ='s 200lbs LOL
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Offline Mainehazmt

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: Sep 25, 2008, 07:51 AM »
one/ton ok with 4 in of ice??    will have to take a copy of report with me and explain to the local police that the government say's it's ok for me to be fishing 1st week of december with 2inches ='s 200lbs LOL
how ya gonna get 17' between your legs   lol    :tipup: :tipup:
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Offline tarbot

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: Sep 25, 2008, 12:03 PM »
Here is the Mass Wildlife Ice thickness info....
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/dfwice.htm

Offline sticks

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: Sep 25, 2008, 12:52 PM »
some really neat information there but what it does tell you is what the surface area for the load, are we talking about a square foot?
Im by no means an expert on weight distribution or the density of ice, BUT and correct me if im wrong, the amount of weight you can place on 1 square foot of ice thats 4 inches thick would be alot less than the amout of weight you could place on 10 square feet of 4 inch thick ice?

Offline Skipper

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: Sep 25, 2008, 05:54 PM »
If the army did it, it would be in reference to men, gear, and vehicles. I don't think the army would be interested on how much weight you could skid out on the ice on a car hood. ;D

I believe that 4'' will hold a ton. I have seen cars out on ice that was no more 4-5 inches thick and it wasn't even sagging much. Clear new ice is very strong.

If you have a brain though, you use the 50% rule to keep yourself safe. If you measure the ice, be prepared for the ice to be 50% as thick on other parts of the lake.

You can drive a small car on 5'' of ice if you feel lucky and have inhaled too many fumes from the sunflower heater. Along the way, you should expect to tread on ice that is 2.5 inches though. :-\

Offline Mainehazmt

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #7 on: Sep 26, 2008, 05:47 AM »
I use my own rule   I dont go out on the ice till there is a good foot   then 14" before I used to bring the truck out   Last few years I just sled out!   Must be getting old!!!!
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Offline jasond37

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2010, 09:15 PM »
If you have a brain though, you use the 50% rule to keep yourself safe. If you measure the ice, be prepared for the ice to be 50% as thick on other parts of the lake.

You can drive a small car on 5'' of ice if you feel lucky and have inhaled too many fumes from the sunflower heater. Along the way, you should expect to tread on ice that is 2.5 inches though. :-\

I like that 50% rule.  Good thing to think about when venturing out, especially on unknown areas/lakes.  I know that ice thickness is usually uneven throughout the lake, but never put numbers to it.  I haven't heard of this rule before, thanks! 

Offline petrgill

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Offline Tainterslayer

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #10 on: Oct 15, 2010, 09:50 AM »
Those guidelines are for clear black ice! I wouldn't trust them around here. I will not drive on less than 10 inches of ice and my vehicle is only 3500 pounds. Remember that it may be 12 inches where you checked it, but 30 feet away it could only be 8 inches...

Offline jiml

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #11 on: Dec 02, 2010, 01:04 PM »
I don't walk on anything less than 6 inches.  I know that 4 inches of clear ice is the guideline set even by most fish and game departments but 4 inches where I am standing could be 1 inch just a few steps away.  If I have to walk around spudding before each step it is way too risky for me.  Even with 6 inches near shore I'll check every few steps and if it goes below 6 inches I retreat and come back another day!
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Offline FishingNewEngland

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #12 on: Dec 02, 2010, 01:10 PM »
how ya gonna get 17' between your legs   lol    :tipup: :tipup:

No problem.  8)
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Offline vermonner

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #13 on: Dec 02, 2010, 01:18 PM »
1"--NO WAY
2"--One may (but it wouldn't be me)
4"--Two may (but I'd have my inflatable PFD and picks)
6"--Kids play all day

How I learned it. 
I have seen a car go through 10" of ice.  I bet it went over a spring or weak spot or whatever.  I also DO NOT drive on the ice after seeing that.
Be safe this year and catch many fish  ;D

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Offline jiml

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #14 on: Dec 02, 2010, 01:35 PM »
1"--NO WAY
2"--One may (but it wouldn't be me)
4"--Two may (but I'd have my inflatable PFD and picks)
6"--Kids play all day

How I learned it. 
I have seen a car go through 10" of ice.  I bet it went over a spring or weak spot or whatever.  I also DO NOT drive on the ice after seeing that.
Be safe this year and catch many fish  ;D

I like this one!!!!  And I will never drive on the ice either.......I prefer the exercize anyway!
"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."
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Offline fishermantim

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Re: Safe Ice? - US Army ERDC Guidelines
« Reply #15 on: Dec 02, 2010, 01:51 PM »
I will not venture out on less than 4" of solid clear ice.
Drive out? Nah, I want to keep my truck!
As for ice thickness, unless you are hitting a new pond, we know all of our spots and know where to avoid.
That doesn't mean we throw caution to the wind and race out onto the ice blind-folded, but rather that we feel more comfortable about the places we will head out on.
When I fish my "regular" spots, I ALWAYS check the ice thickness close to shore to gauge whether or not to proceed. NOTE- I know where, if any, the springs are located so I will avoid those areas during the early and late part of the season. When venturing out onto a new body of water, I will check as I go and ask fellow anglers (when possible) if there are any springs to look out for.
The bottom line is that I check FREQUENTLY for ice thickness to prevent falling thru.
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