It's ice fishing season and there are many waterways throughout New York state where you can enjoy this sport. Here are some guidelines and other information you may need to ice fish safely. According to News 10 ABC,  the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is urging New Yorkers to enjoy ice fishing safely on all of the bodies of water in the state. There are a ton of waterways in the state including small ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Plus there are many species of fish to catch while ice fishing. But no matter what you are trying to catch and where you are going, there are important safety reminders.

First and foremost, be sure the body of water is frozen. It may appear to be on the surface but may not be all the way through. The DEC reminds you to make sure the solid ice is a minimum of four inches thick. You can test the thickness of the ice with an auger or a spud bar. When drilling your fishing hole, be cautious that you don't fall in around where you are drilling.

You are also encouraged to go ice fishing with a friend or family member. Local bait and tackle shops are a good source of knowing where the safest locations are for ice fishing. Beware of frostbite. If you go out on the water in freezing temperatures, you run the risk of frostbite. Stay alert of warnings and your surroundings. Don't ever risk your life when ice fishing.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to still social distance even when ice fishing. You are encouraged to wear a mask if you can't social-distance like in parking lots and in walking areas. Also, if possible use your own gear and do not share. Always respect the distance between you and other anglers. Always take out what you bring out including trash.

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