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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 07, 2012, 06:09 PM

Thin ice on Lake Ashtabula leaves some anglers without an ice house

Lake Ashtabula (WDAY TV) -- Usually, this time of year is perfect for getting those ice houses ready for fishing. But a few anglers found out the hard way that this year is different: their ice houses have fallen through Lake Ashtabula.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Lake Ashtabula (WDAY TV) -- Usually, this time of year is perfect for getting those ice houses ready for fishing. But a few anglers found out the hard way that this year is different: their ice houses have fallen through Lake Ashtabula.

This house is suspended in time, stuck halfway through a frozen lake. Two ice fishing houses on Lake Ashtabula fell through the ice after a winter warm-up and rainfall. The sinking house is a sign of caution to anglers venturing onto the ice.

David Brandenburg/Ice Angler: "I drilled a hole, it was about five inches deep, so I wasn't too concerned about that."

David Brandenburg is fishing on another part of the lake, close to shore.

He says fishing is good, but opts for a pop-up house with that thin ice in mind.

Brandenburg: "It's not where I'd leave a house out on this, because when you get sun it reflects off of that house and it'll thaw that ice again."

The two houses that fell through appear to be permanent ice houses, left out for the season.

Scott Tichy/US Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger: "Those have quite a bit of weight to them, so you probably want to have a minimum of 8-10 inches before you start putting something like that out on the ice."

The problem with the ice right now is that it's very inconsistent. Where it might be four inches near the shoreline, out where that ice house is, it's only about two. And some areas on this lake still have open water.

But the ice is better on some smaller lakes.

Tichy: "From lake to lake, you just need to talk to the locals, find out what's going on before you go out there, and just be very, very cautious."

The owners of those two ice houses will likely need cranes to remove them.

State law says anything left on the lake is considered litter, so after March they could be subject to a citation.

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