WIND LAKE - Temperatures were still in the 30s over the weekend when two ATVs went through the ice on Wind Lake. And with temperatures in the 40s and rain in the forecast, ice conditions are only going to worsen.
“There's always some die-hards, but not this one,” Ron Hardy says. He came out to ice fish today, but didn’t even wet a line, “If I get out there on the clear ice with deeper water, I've got a chance of slipping and falling and I'm fishing alone so I want to be careful.”
But Hardy may be one of the cautious few, the frozen water is tempting bait for ATVers and fishermen alike. “A lot more of them paid more attention last year after the first couple went in,” Wind Lake Fire Chief Rob Robins explains to TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka.
Rescue teams are trying to tackle the same problem this year, but the danger could be worse because we had more typical December weather. “They got the sense of security now, don't pay attention to the conditions, come the next time around you're going to walk on something really unstable or drive on it and there you have it. ATV, you're pretty much done, you’re going in, there's no way around it,” Robins says.
The Coast Guard and rescue squads were called out Monday to save ten people from an ice floe near Dyckesville. But despite these rescues and warnings, the lakes remain busy. “It's in their blood, it’s in their blood. Same with me, I've been fishing for since I can remember,” Hardy says.
But Robins wants ice enthusiasts to remember something else whether they are fishing, on an ATV or snowmobile: “If they're going to push it, put on a PFD, a life jacket, it's not the worst thing, put it on. And you can get a set of ice picks for probably $6, have them on there, if you do go through, you've got the picks, you can kind of help yourself out.” Because it could save your life.