Safety first for activities on ice

Now that winter has finally arrived in northwest Colorado, residents are participating in the usual cold-weather activities, including those that require ice. At the Circle Park Pond in Meeker, freezing temperatures mean new opportunities for ice skating, hockey and fishing.

However, winter time pond usage also means increased concern over potential safety risks. ERBM Recreation & Park District has officially taken a hands-off approach to monitoring usage of the pond both during the winter and summer seasons. Since there is no lifeguard on duty at the pond, residents are advised to use the pond with caution. In the winter, this primarily means ice safety awareness.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has developed a basic guide for staying safe while spending time on the ice at one of the state’s many lakes and ponds. It includes tips for avoiding an emergency incident, along with what to do if you or someone with you does fall through the ice. 

General tips for avoiding an incident include educating yourself on ice conditions, staying off of thin ice, never going on ice alone, carrying personal safety items like ice picks, ropes, and floatation devices, and not attempting improper rescues that could make the situation worse.

If you do fall through ice, CPW recommends staying calm to preserve energy, making slow deliberate actions, not trying to swim, and many others, which you can find at https://www.theheraldtimes.com/ice-fishing-guidelines-for-anglers/rio-blanco-county/

ICE THICKNESS  SAFETY GUIDELINES

•••

2 inches or less – STAY OFF 

​4 inches of good ice for a walking individual 

6 inches of good ice for a snowmobile or ATV 

8-12 inches of good ice for a car or small pickup 

12-15 inches of good ice for a medium pickup truck

•••

What is considered ‘good’ ice?

• Look for clear blue, newer ice. 

• Steer clear of ice around  partially submerged objects (trees, structures, etc.) 

• Be especially careful on ice covered with snow and avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or dark areas of ice.

• Remember, you take a risk any time you go onto ice, so always be prepared to handle an emergency if necessary.


By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com

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