The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Sunday warned ice fishermen to stay off Lake Erie and "exercise extreme caution" during the expected windstorm.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos urged anglers who planned to ice fish this weekend to avoid the lake entirely, citing rising lake levels driven by the wind that could destabilize the ice.
Normally, 4 inches of solid ice is safe enough, but the conditions this weekend could lead to thinning ice that can't support much weight. The state noted that just seeing snowmobile tracks or footprints doesn't mean ice is safe.
"The approaching storm, which is forecasted to bring rain, snow, and extreme wind, is expected to cause lake levels to rise, which may make ice conditions unsafe,” Seggos said. “As a precautionary measure, we are recommending that people avoid ice fishing on Lake Erie until the storm has passed.”