Temps are dropping and soon the Lakes will start to freeze, here is how to stay safe.

Michigan is known for her Great Lakes. With more than 11,000 lakes and boasting to have 247 Lighthouses, safety on the water in the winter is a must. Growing up on the water, I was raised with a healthy fear of it and took safety seriously.

We all love a day on the ice, fishing, skating, or riding and thanks  to shopkarls.com and tariolaw.com, here are some great tips of staying safe while enjoying our frozen lakes...

1. Watch For Snow..."Ice with piles of snow can increase the pressure and decrease the safety on the hard water. Snow can also insulate and warm the ice, slowing the freezing process. Snow is essential to the winter, but can definitely impact your ice fishing safety".

2. Listen To Your Surroundings..."The first sign the ice is bad is cracking. While there are some cracking and planing noises you can ignore (you will learn what these noises are after time), cracking is a sign to move to another spot on the ice".

3. Always go out on the ice with a buddy... "Let others know where you will be in case of an accident".

4. Never travel on a frozen lake in the dark, in a snow storm, or while you are impaired..."You are more likely to miss an open spot on the lake or crash into an obstacle".

5. Know the thickness of the ice...before venturing out on the ice know these few rules of thumb...

2 inches thick The ice is very susceptible to breakage and is not safe to walk on.

4 inches thick It should be ok to stand, skate, and ice fish on the surface.

5 inches or greater The ice should be able to withstand most snowmobiles.

8 and 12 inches The ice should be able to withstand the weight of a small to medium sized car.

Anything above 12 inches Ice lakes with this thickness should be able to support medium sized trucks.

Have fun on our Great Lakes this winter, just be safe!

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