Experts offer safety tips for ice fishing

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    A pair of hardy souls brave frigid temperatures to angle for their fish dinner now that the ice on Green Turtle Pond in West Milford is finally thick enough.

Ice fishing can be safe, and a lot of fun, if folks just use good judgment and follow certain safety procedures, experts say.

Among the tips they offer are:Don't drive your car or truck on the ice.

Tell someone where you're fishing and when you plan to return.

Wear a personal flotation device.

Don't fish alone.

Carry an ice spud or chisel to check the thickness of the ice.

Bring a fully charged cell phone along.

Carry a safety line and hand spikes in case you do fall through.

Make sure heated fishing shanties have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.

According to the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, ice fishing takes place on ponds and lakes of all sizes with larger water bodies providing a wider diversity of fishing opportunities.

Most state-owned lakes allow ice fishing, whereas county or municipally-owned waters may prohibit this activity.

It is always good to check with the responsible authority to make sure ice is safe and fishing allowed.

Popular northern Jersey lakes include the following:Sussex County: Hopatcong, Swartswood, Little Swartswood, Wawayanda, Musconetcong, Aeroflex, Cranberry and Jefferson.

Passaic County: Monksville Reservoir, Greenwood, Shepherd, Green Turtle Pond and Pompton

Morris County: Budd Lake

Furnace, White, Mountain, Delaware (Columbia WMA) and Deer Park Pond

Hunterdon County: Spruce Run Reservoir

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