SPRINGFIELD – If you’re planning to go ice fishing in Illinois this winter, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) wants you to review life-saving safety measures before heading out of the ice, drilling a hole and dropping a line.

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“The IDNR cannot stress enough the importance of safety when ice fishing. Outdoor recreation in the winter can be invigorating and a lot of fun, but can turn into a dangerous situation in just seconds. Being prepared and ready for anything while outdoors this winter, especially if you are headed out on the ice to fish, can save your life,” said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.

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Those planning to ice fish should stay off of ice that is less than four inches thick. New ice is usually stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially thawed ice may not.

It is recommended that anglers carry a rope or floatation device with them to help assist if someone falls through the ice. Wearing a life jacket/personal floatation device (PFD) is always recommended when fishing offshore, including when ice fishing.

For additional information on ways to make your next ice fishing trip a fun and safe one, visit the “I Fish Illinois” website’s Ice Fishing in Illinois information guide at http://www.ifishillinois.org/programs/ice.php.

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