St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning ice anglers, snowmobilers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts to use caution when going onto any iced over lake, especially those that feature aeration systems.
”Open water areas created by aeration systems can shift or change shapes depending on weather conditions," said Marilyn Danks, DNR aquatic biologist. "Leaks may develop in air lines creating other areas of weak ice or open water."
Aeration systems are generally operated from the time lakes freeze until ice break-up in the spring. They help prevent winterkill of fish, but they also create areas of open water and thin ice, which are significant hazards.
DNR officials say two types of signs are used to post aerated lakes: “Thin Ice” and "Warning” signs. This sign warns people approaching the lake that an aeration system is in operation and to use extreme caution.
Some municipalities may have ordinances that prohibit entering into the thin ice area and/or prohibit the night use of motorized vehicles on lakes with aeration systems in operation. These local regulations are often posted at accesses where they apply.