Now that colder weather has arrived, the winter fishers are beginning to become anxious to get out on the ice. Lake ice is guaranteed in winter in our climate, but the thickness (and safety) of the ice varies year to year. The best ice happens when snow cover develops prior to the ice forming, and then very little additional snow falls while the early winter is very cold. This results in deep ice without many fractures.
The worst situation is when heavy snow falls onto very thin ice. The snow acts as a blanket, trapping Earth's heat in the lake water and keeping the ice thin and dangerous all winter. In reality, each winter is different and each lake has different ice conditions each winter. The key to safety on the ice is to check the ice depth frequently and never assume you know what you cannot see under the snow.