Changing conditions pose risk to ice anglers on lakes, rivers

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The unnatural temperatures are giving people a feeling of comfort to be out on the ice already but the real threat is bodies of water that have open flowing water in the middle.

Ice conditions on Lake Wausau on November 13, 2019. (WSAW-TV)

Places like Lake Wausau may be safe by the shore but the further you go the more danger is present.

Experts say it is only going to get worse.

"It's been on average 11 to 12 degrees below average but this last week its been about 20 degrees below average. With warmer temperatures it is going to take a lot away from that frozen lake," explained WSAW Meteorologist Austin Kopnitsky.

"One significant danger in our area is most of our bodies of water are reservoirs or rivers. So you will have moving water underneath with vary ice depths even in the middle of winter you can have two feet in one spot and inches in another. If there is snow on top you can't tell how dangerous it is," said Nick Gehring, Firefighter/Paramedic at the Wausau Fire Department.

Wausau Fire Crews say you should test the ice in front of you to make sure it can support your weight. If you do fall in you should grab the ice on the top and kick yourself back onto the ice staying on your belly.

Temperatures are expected to jump back up into the 40's next week which is good for us but makes for very risky ice conditions.