Weather Roller Coaster Creates Ice Concerns

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has some new concerns that came along with the weather pattern this week.

"It's thicker here and not as thick there," said DNR's Joe Wilkinson.

The ice on area lakes and rivers can be deceiving with Mother Nature's roller coaster of weather. One angler found that out when he crashed through the ice at Lake MacBride earlier this week. He's doing okay, but you can still see the hole from the incident.

"You can see the footprints walking out to it," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said rain water flowing into area waterways created some voids below the ice surface.

"The rain is what triggered the erosion of the ice in the last week and then boom, that snow and cold again, that kind of masked it," Wilkinson said.

The snow is also creating a blanket affect, keeping the cold air from refreezing some ice. Still, some say the ice fishing must go on.

"We are fishing for crappie," said Becky Tallman. "We have little grubs attached to little tiny hooks."

Becky and Gregg Tallman found a safe place to spend the afternoon with their fishing poles and bucket seats at Lake MacBride.

"So the water level is, there you can see. It says right at 12, 12.5 inches," Becky Tallman said.

With the weather changes The DNR suggests testing the ice, which is advice the Tallman's know all too well.

"What I usually do is dig a hole close to the edge because at the edge it will be thinner," Gregg Tallman said. "That's where it melts first. And make sure it's at least six inches or more."

"Late winter ice can be a little treacherous," Wilkinson said.

The DNR said it wants people to get out and enjoy the winter activities. It just asks people to heed the warnings and to be careful with the changing ice levels.
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