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Walking on thin ice; amidst warm temps fishermen take to local lakes

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DETROIT LAKES—Higher temperatures have kept lakes from freezing over, but that hasn't stop fishermen from doing what they love.

The warm weather has kept the ice away around Detroit Lakes, but that hasn't stopped some people from their favorite past time.

Ice fishermen are flocking to small islands around "Little Detroit" where the ice is the thickest, but even these patches can be dangerous.

"There might be 4 to 6 inches out there, but it can be very deceiving so people are going to want to make sure they're checking the ice thickness with a spud bar or actually drilling a hole and measuring with a tape measure is your best bet," said Nathan Olson, Area Fisheries Supervisor.

Even though there are parts of the lake that are frozen enough to walk on, there are still some areas that are dangerous.

Just down the beach aways there are patches of standing water, keeping the fishermen to one side.

"I really wanted to be on the ice already this year, and I've already been out 5-6 times - and I was just like 'dang it! I really don't want to lose the ice just yet'. I was worried, but now I'm out here fishing and it's pretty good!" said John Schumacher, Fisherman.

To stay warm while staying safe on the ice, some fishermen use a portable home, and some just need a bucket.

"This, you just pop up and go, and you can move all day," said Schumacher.

The area DNR say four to six inches of ice is right in that safe range, but you need at least seven inches to take your snowmobile on the lake and 12 inches for your car.