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Ice Confusion...


I was fishing on a small farm pond, on Saturday the 8th and we got about 3" of snow on Tuesday the 11th. It has been below freezing (day & night) for 2 weeks and is going to stay below freezing for another 2 weeks.

I went out on this pond today and below the areas of ice that had snow on it, there was 2+ inches of slush. ??? As I walked out onto the pond I drilled 3 holes...none of which had more than 3" of clear ice, but with 2+ inches of slush on top.

How is it that prior to the snow, the ice was 4" to 5" thick and now it's barely 3" thick with 2" of slush? Will the slush refreeze? Will the ice refreeze with the slush and make it thicker?

Here's the real scary part... A friend of mine came out onto the ice to see how I was doing. I warned him of the slush, pointed out the holes that I'd drilled and he walked out to where I was standing. I caught a few fish and released them, but was more concerned with the integrity of the ice. I decided that I'd had enough of standing there in the slush, so my friend and I started to walk off of the pond, toward the shore. As we passed between the 1st and 2nd holes that I'd drilled, I heard a LOUD crack and thought a rifle had been fired. However, my friend knew what it was and gave me a shove toward the shore and shouted, "Keep walking!" He continued to stand in one place while I walked off the ice and then he walked off the ice. :o

Close call? I'd say yes and have heard of the LOUD cracking sound being an ice shift, but have never experienced it. Well, I'd say today was the day. I will NOT return to this pond until it is frozen solid. I believe that I learned a valuable lesson about the ice, today...and without incident. ::) Slush is an indicator of bad and/or thin ice.

Your opinions and experiences are appreciated.
Thank you, Bowhunter57

The weight of the snow will push the floating ice down into the water. The water being warmer will in turn melt some of the ice that was there. You relieving the pressure of the ice trying to push back up will cause cracking. The slush comes from two things, the ice being pushed down under the water and the holes drilled will let the water up on the surface. It will refreeze, but as snow ice which is weaker than blue/black ice. I stayed off the ice this weekend. Let the colder temps lock things up a little, as with snow on the ice it takes a lot colder temps to freeze from the insulation it gives the ice.


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