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Delaware Ice Fishermen Make the Best out of Freezing Temperatures

DELAWARE COUNTY (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- There is at least one group of people who have welcomed the arctic blast: ice fishermen.

Chris Valentine is one of the estimated 5,000 ice fishermen in Ohio. He found company online via Ice Fish Ohio and set up camp Friday on Alum Creek, where the wind made the 2-degree temperatures feel sub-zero.

Even though it was freezing cold, the fishermen knew to confirm the ice was frozen solid.

They also knew to not assume that if fishermen set up their tents in one part of the lake, that any part of the lake would be safe. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, ice seldom forms at a uniform rate, especially in large bodies of water.

"The water going underneath the ice may look and be safe one day, and the next day you come back and it has been eroded," ODNR officer Bill Bullard said. "Be careful. Just because you were there yesterday doesn't mean it's safe for today."

Fishermen are advised to take additional precautions, such as carrying an ice awl. If a person falls through the ice, he or she can use the awl to pull themselves onto the surface.

Some also carry a floatation device attached to a rope. That way, if someone ends up in the water, another person can help him or her out.

Because of the danger potential, ODNR experts recommended never going on the ice alone.

As stated in their ice fishing safety tips, "No ice is safe ice!"

For more ice fishing guidelines, click here.

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