We are well into what should be the Ice Fishing season, but with wildly fluctuating temperatures, many lakes and ponds in the area are unsafe to fish. Chad Dolan, Fisheries Biologist at Lake Darling State Park, gave us some tips on how to stay safe when you’re out on the ice. He says to make sure the ice is at least 4 inches thick. To do that, he recommends drilling a hole in the ice to check the thickness, and continuing to drill holes every few feet until you’re about 10 feet out onto the ice. If the ice is 4-6 inches thick 10 feet out, then it should be thick enough further out as well. He says if you are out on the ice and the ice starts to break, to distribute your weight while you make your way back to shore. He says to get on all fours, or even on your stomach and slide. He recommends not taking vehicles onto the ice. He says northern Iowa can usually get cold enough for vehicles to be safe, but Southeast Iowa stays a few degrees warmer, and especially this year, the ice won’t be thick enough to support a vehicle safely.