Ice fishermen on Chautauqua Lake are being urged to be cautious.
The Chautauqua Lake Association said they’ve had reports of “not good ice” in areas all around the lake. They said while most people expect the lower basin to have better ice than the upper basin, that is not the case this year.
The CLA said due to this winter’s unseasonable weather, unusual conditions are being experienced lake wide.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation says four inches of solid clear ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot.
Anglers should be particularly cautious of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice from forming. Checking the ice can easily be done with an auger or spud bar at various spots. In addition, fishing with a family member or friend is also encouraged for safety. The CLA encourages anyone attempting to go on Chautauqua Lake to also wear a life jacket.
For those interested in trying ice fishing for the first time, February 18 and 19th is a free freshwater fishing week in New York State. The need for a freshwater fishing license is waived during these days.