MADISON (AP) - Recent warm weather has made ice on some Wisconsin lakes unsafe, and officials warned fishermen to be wary after several broke through over the weekend.
Rescue crews pulled two fishermen from Lake Mendota on Sunday and responded to three other calls of breakthroughs as well, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Monday.
All the rescued anglers were OK, but authorities said their experience should make others wary of the thawing ice.
Dane County Lt. Gerald Hundt said the most dangerous areas were near the mouths of rivers and natural springs because flowing water prevents thick ice from forming.
"These areas are often the most dangerous and have the thinnest foundations of ice present, yet appear to be indistinguishable from those thicker areas of ice around it," Hundt said in a news release. "If you decide to go out on one of the area lakes, we recommend having appropriate flotation and life saving devices present, such as ice picks and life preservers."
Waukesha County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Renkas told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that part of the problem with breakthroughs is that people are trying to squeeze in as much fishing as possible before the season ends.
"Where we end up with a problem is a quick thaw. This year it appears we're having a slow thaw. People don't realize the ice is thawing quicker than it appears," Renkas said.
Fishermen had to have their shanties off the ice by March 3 under state law, but they are allowed to continue fishing after that at their own risk.
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