Danger in your backyard: ponds melting quickly

Smaller ponds are melting quickly

The Minnesota DNR warns of rapidly changing ice conditions, especially in backyard ponds and smaller bodies of water.

Warmer weather this winter has made ice anglers extra cautious.

“On some lakes, people have called and said, ‘I only walked 50 feet and I was from 11 inches to six inches’. That’s usually springs and stuff like that. So, you know, we have to be careful,” said Marine General Owner Russ Francisco. “South of Hinckley, everybody’s pulling ice houses.”

Anglers know to check ice conditions, but it is important to be careful even when not fishing.

“With the extremely unusual weather this winter, it’s especially important that kids and adults understand the dangers of ice in the neighborhoods. That includes ponds, creeks and even drainage ditches, which can be a serious hazard for young children,” said Minnesota DNR Ice Safety Coordinator Nicole Biagi. “Talk with your friends, family and neighbors and remind young kids to stay away from the ice unless they’re with an adult.”

According to the Minnesota DNR, at least eight children under the age of ten have died in the past 25 years after falling through backyard ice. All it takes is one gasp for air, caused by cold shock, for a person to drown in water.

“Now is a critical time to talk with your kids about the dangers of walking on ice,” said Biagi. “Children are at a much higher risk because they do not understand the danger and they may not even realize that they are walking on ice when they’re playing near a drainage ditch or a frozen holding pond. If your kids are near the ice, you should be near your kids.”

Pets should also be watched closely near ice as they can be curious and fall through just as easily as a child.