Ice fishing on Jackson Lake. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — With ice beginning to form on lakes and reservoirs throughout the state, the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails reminds anglers of potential dangers on the ice.

WY Parks wants to remind recreationists that ice is always in a state of flux and driving any kind of motorized vehicle, and in some instances even walking on the ice, is risky. While recreating on the ice, people should be aware that changing thickness of the ice can pose various risks.

  • Ice less than four inches; stay off
  • Four inches: allows for one person with gear
  • Five inches: a small group spread out
  • Six inches: one snowmobile, ATV, UTV
  • 9-12 inches: cars
  • 12-15 inches: pickups

Pressure ridges can cause thin patches in the ice that cannot support a car, pickup, ATV or possibly human body weight, especially on ice that is only a few days old. Those on the ice should also be aware of what kind of ice they are walking on. Clear ice is more stable and can hold more weight than cloudy ice.

Anglers are also reminded that they are responsible for the cost of removing their vehicle from a lake or reservoir in Wyoming’s State Parks. All activities on the ice pose an inherent risk. Remember to practice safety and have dry clothes and emergency supplies in your vehicle.

Buckrail @ Toby

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.