While the current warm weather continues, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is extending its advisory to stay off the ice on Lake Champlain.
On inland waterbodies that may have better ice conditions at present—and after cold weather returns, on Lake Champlain—caution is advised.
“Lake Champlain ice conditions will remain unsafe until the current warm snap ends,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Commissioner Christopher Herrick. “Even on inland waters that may have better ice conditions, we urge caution while temperatures remain high. That bears repeating: stay off Lake Champlain and be conservative about venturing onto other waters.”
This extended advisory comes after the deaths of three ice anglers on Lake Champlain this month. Department officials say that with highs around 40 ℉ forecasted for much of the state into next week, safety should be everyone’s top priority.
Even on inland waters that may have over 8 inches of accumulated ice, the department reminds the public that the current weather is grounds for caution. On inland waters, it remains crucial to bring safety equipment, check the ice as you go, and leave vehicles on shore.
“No fish is worth risking your life to catch,” said Game Warden Colonel Justin Stedman. “Long range forecasts predict that colder temperatures will return later this month. Now is the time to be patient, smart, and safe.”
For anglers with ice shanties who may be anxious to protect their property, the department recommends careful planning.
According to law, ice shanties must be removed by March 31 or sooner if ice conditions become unstable. Based on the current ice conditions, shanties should have been removed from many of Vermont’s lakes already. Anglers who have not already removed their shanties should prioritize life safety now, and recover their shanties during the next cold snap if conditions then permit.