Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports that the Cass County Sheriff’s Office has received reports of a wide range of ice conditions on area lakes.

An unseasonably warm December and January caused some good early ice conditions to deteriorate, and the thaw-freeze cycles have opened up large cracks and ice heaves on area lakes, Burch said in a news release.

It was reported that the area of Walker Bay, a popular recreation spot of Leech Lake, was seeing a wide variety of ice thickness from as little as 5 inches to 15 inches.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office urges extreme caution on all area lakes while individuals are using these lakes for a wide variety of recreation and shares the following safety information:

  • No ice should ever be considered safe.
  • Check existing ice conditions as you travel.
  • Check with local bait shops, resorts, gas stations, other fisherman for conditions.
  • Consider other means of transportation other than a motor vehicle. (ATV, snowmobile or foot travel are
  • good choices.)
  • Do not travel on the lake after dark.
  • Always notify someone of the area you are traveling in and your expected return time.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Be familiar with the lake - carry a map.
  • If you need emergency assistance, call 911.
  • Consider a GPS unit to help you on and off the lake.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol.
  • Pay attention to warning signs that are posted. Remember, warning signs cannot be posted everywhere.