With the arrival of colder temperatures, the Government of Saskatchewan is reminding residents to tread carefully on ice.

Ice thickness depends on the particular waterbody and the local conditions and people should make sure that ice is safe and thick enough before walking or driving on it.

As a guideline, you need at least 10 cm (four inches) of ice to walk on and 30 cm (12 inches) to drive a car or light truck on.

In comparison to lake ice, river ice is often more hazardous and inconsistent, particularly downstream of dams when winter releases are being made. The Water Security Agency is currently releasing water from Reid Lake on Swift Current Creek and there is also flow throughout the Qu’Appelle and Saskatchewan river systems. These flows would impact the formation of the ice covers and these areas should be avoided as conditions can change significantly over short distances.

Residents should avoid ice that looks slushy, is near moving water, or has thawed and then frozen again.

Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness and ice strength can vary considerably from one area to another. Ice should be re-evaluated on every date visited, even if was safe on a previous date

Clear, hard ice is the only ice recommended for travel.

Photo courtesy of the Government of Saskatchewan