Ice Safety & Stewardship

Ice Safety Chart

It's been said that there's no such thing as safe ice, but ice isn't something you have to be afraid just have to use your head. The strongest ice is clear ice, which may appear as black or dark blue. You should be able to see air bubbles and cracks running the whole way through it. Be more cautious on ice that is milky white, slushy, grey, or snow-covered.

Ice Stewardship

Bluegill On Ice - Recycled FishThe ice season can be a great time to practice selective harvest. Winter panfish taste great. Just remember --- if you plan to release a fish, keep it out of the water for the shortest amount of time possible. In cold air, a fish's gills can freeze quickly, resulting in high rates of delayed mortality.

Keep what you'll use but use what you keep - if you find yourself saying, "I guess I'll have to throw away what's in the freezer to make room for these," something is out of whack.

Never waste fish by leaving them on the ice because you decided you didn’t have enough to clean.

The wind blows swiftly out on the ice, so it's easy for things to get away from you. There's nothing to stop loose bags, cups, or other trash from blowing away. Weight things down to avoid trashing the lake.

The small plastic caps on propane bottles often litter the ice (and then the shorelines) by the end of the season - pick up yours, and any others you see.

Take a kid with you this ice season, or take a "fair weather" fishing friend, and introduce them to the fun of fishing "hard water."

We have more information about Stewardship On Ice in our new booklet. The 16-page, full-color guide gives anglers an overview on how the Stewardship Ethic applies to ice fishing.  .

See you on the ice!

How You Can Help

We have the Recycled Fish "On Ice" Tour "Short Rods" Long Sleeve T-shirt available at our Online Store. You can also get a copy of our new Stewardship "On Ice" booklet.

The Recycled Fish 'On Ice' Tour brings the Stewardship Ethic to waters across the ice belt every winter. It would be impossible without the support of Strikemaster, Clam Outdoors Ice Team, Grabber Warmers and Vexilar.

The Recycled Fish Hardwater Opens also receive support from Scheels of Des Moines, Berkley and Fenwick.