CONCORD - With yet another winter storm now upon us and a fresh bounty of snow ahead, N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers are again urging snowmobilers to use caution, especially when riding on lakes and ponds.
"Conditions on frozen waterbodies are deteriorating fast, especially along shorelines, at this point in the season, and new snow can mask potentially dangerous areas, including thin ice and open water," said Captain Dave Walsh, who coordinates OHRV Enforcement and Safety Education for Fish and Game. "Never venture onto lakes or ponds unless you are absolutely certain of a safe route across the frozen surface. And never simply follow other snowmobile tracks across ice."
Walsh advises that it is imperative to personally check the ice thickness on a waterbody as you venture out either on foot or riding on a snowmobile or Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle. "Don't assume that just because the ice is safe in one location that it will be safe 100 yards farther away. If you don't know, don't go," says Walsh.
Be sure to bring along a rescue rope, ice picks, and a personal flotation device, such as a float coat or conventional life preserver.
Because recent ice conditions have been unpredictable, please do not drive vehicles onto the ice. Those on foot should carefully assess ice safety before venturing out by using an ice chisel or auger to determine ice thickness and condition. Continue to do this as you get further out onto the ice, because the thickness of the ice will not be uniform all over the waterbody.