- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - As the weather gets colder, North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is cautioning winter anglers to be careful as they head out onto the ice.

Enforcement Chief Robert Timian says ice conditions shouldn’t be judged by appearance alone, especially this time of year because water edges become solid before the center.

Anglers should drill test holes as they make their way onto a lake, and then use an ice chisel to check thickness while moving around.

Snow can hide cracks, weak areas and open water. Timian says anglers should avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or dark areas, and areas around partially submerged trees.

Winter anglers also should wear a personal flotation device and carry ice picks or screwdrivers to pull themselves back onto the ice should they fall through.

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