The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging anglers to put safety first when ice fishing. Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even within the same waterbody.
Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. DEC strongly encourages individuals to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots as you cross. » Continue Reading.