Water Patrol: Don't Drive on Icy Lakes Yet

Updated: 01/02/2013 7:39 AM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Joel Reinitc and his brother Jerome have run into a large school of pan fish on Lake Minnetonka.

"I think I have been out fishing the last five to six days in a row," Reinitc said.

Fishing is their passion. For more than 20 years the brothers have set up a fish house, except for last winter. So when it got cold enough this year they headed out to Lake Minnetonka.

"Today is Tuesday? I think we brought it out Saturday morning," Reinitc said.

Picking a spot was tricky because of thin ice.

"You need to keep drilling as you go. We went further up this bay, almost up to the point and there was like a good six here and only four up there. It had changed in almost 500 yards," Reinitc said.

There are 104 lakes and three rivers in Hennepin County. Sergeant Clayton Sedesky of the Hennepin County Water Patrol says, since it's gotten cold, he is seeing more and more fisherman.

"Most of the smaller lakes we started to see the fish houses go out a couple of weeks ago," Sergeant Sedesky said. 

The recommended minimum thickness for ice is two to three inches for walking and a foot for cars.

"You could be walking and you could have ten inches of ice right below you and you could take two steps and have a quarter of an inch and you don't know it."

Joel says, no matter what be cautious.

"Drill holes, that's the safest way," Reinitc said.