November 28, 2018

Be Safe On The Ice This Winter

With the arrival of colder temperatures, the Government of Saskatchewan reminds everyone to make sure that ice is safe and thick enough before walking or driving on it.

Ice thickness depends on the particular waterbody and the local conditions.  It does not freeze at a uniform thickness and ice strength can vary considerably from one area to another.

To be sure, check the ice thickness before you travel on it.  As a guideline, you need at least 10 cm (four inches) of ice to walk on, 20 cm (eight inches) to drive a snowmobile or ATV on, 30 cm (12 inches) to drive a car or light truck on, and more than 30 cm (12 inches) to support a heavy truck.

Be aware that any activity on ice has risks.  Guidelines are provided to help individuals make a decision about whether to venture on to the ice.  Thickness is just one consideration when evaluating ice safety.  Clear, hard ice is the only ice recommended for travel.

Also avoid ice that:

  • looks slushy;
  • has thawed, then frozen again;
  • is near moving water;
  • is layered, caused by sudden temperature changes; or
  • has structures on it, such as pressure ridges.

For more information about ice fishing, visit to view the 2018 Saskatchewan Anglers’ Guide.

Water Security Agency advises that a reservoir water release is occurring at Grant Devine Dam (formerly Alameda Dam) to draw the reservoir down to its normal February 1 target level.  This release will delay the development of ice on Moose Mountain Creek below Grant Devine Dam, down to its confluence with the Souris River, and on the Souris River near Oxbow.