By Sheriff Scott Henriod,WPCSO

Ely’s winter activities are usually surrounded with snow and ice, but year sure has changed that.

The warmer weather we have experienced sure has been enjoyable, but I share my concerns with many about future water levels for our streams, lakes and all around vegetation growth.

As a person who enjoys the outdoors I truly enjoy fishing so with that in mind I would like to address this week’s Sheriff Corner on ice safety.

Usually this time of year our local lakes are frozen and a lot of people are enjoying the outdoors by trying to catch the big one. I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day who stated that he was headed out to do some ice fishing. We talked about the concerns of the ice and to make sure of the proper thickness before he ventured out on it.

So I would like to share some safety tips for all those that are thinking about doing some ice fishing, ice skating or other actives on the lakes.

First make sure the ice is at least four inches thick. If it’s any thinner than that don’t risk it. Second go with a plan. Take a rope and ice pick with you so in case you do fall in someone can help pull you out by the rope or if you’re by yourself you can use the ice pick to try and get yourself out. Wear a life vest under your warm winter clothes, this will keep you afloat if you fall in. If you fall into the water there are many dangers from drowning, to hypothermia. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you plan on returning and if possible always go with a friend.

Ely is a wonderful place to live and enjoy the great outdoors, so make sure your safe while you’re doing so.