The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports that they have received reports of a wide range of ice conditions on area lakes.

The unseasonably warm months of December and January have caused some good early ice conditions to deteriorate and the thaw freeze cycles have opened up large cracks and ice heaves on area lakes.

It was reported that the area of Walker Bay, a popular recreation spot of Leech Lake, is seeing a wide variety of ice thickness from as little as 5 to 15 inches.

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch urges extreme caution on all area lakes while individuals are utilizing these lakes for a wide variety of recreation and shares the following safety information:

1: No ice should ever be considered safe.

2: Check existing ice conditions as you travel.

3: Check with local bait shops, resorts, gas stations, other fisherman for conditions.

4: Consider other means of transportation other than a motor vehicle. (ATV, snowmobile or foot travel are good choices)

5: Do not travel on the lake after dark.

6: Always notify someone of the area you are traveling in and your expected return time.

7: Carry a cell phone.

8: Be familiar with the lake — carry a map.

9: If you need emergency assistance, call 911.

10: Consider a GPS unit to help you on and off the lake.

11: Avoid the use of alcohol.

12: Pay attention to warning signs that are posted. Remember warning signs cannot be posted everywhere.

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