Updated: Jan 18
Ice Fishing is in full swing on Eagle Nest Lake this January 2021. If you have recently been to Eagle Nest Lake or you plan to come anytime soon you'll notice an "AREA CLOSED" sign on the South access parking lot and orange cones across the lake that are closing off the South half of the lake due to a recent 4 wheeler going through the ice. The 4 wheeler was traveling near a pressure ridge(video of ridge below). No injuries were reported and 4 wheeler is reported to remain under the ice for the time being. Pressure ridges can be found anywhere on the lake and are known for broken and loose ice where it is growing into itself. On some of the coldest nights in Eagle Nest I've seen the ridges grow as tall as 4-6 feet with broken pieces getting as big as 1-5 feet. Getting close to these ridges is dangerous and a chance you should avoid at all cost. I've seen some unfortunate accidents on Eagle Nest Lake that can become life threatening in moments especially being so far from hospitals and medical care. This is a harsh reminder that we need to be extra careful with every move we make on the ice, because we are enjoying public land at our own risk. In past years I've been lucky enough to get over 60 days fished in a single ice fishing season. During that time I've witnessed fun days of fishing come to a quick stop due to a simple mistake that sometimes can be avoided. Accidents are going to happen from time to time but taking an extra step to ensure our safe return home is our job to hold. The ice is currently very safe and capable of holding foot traffic, but with a large ridge reaching across the lake, we can't help appreciate some cones for warning. So with ridges being common every year during ice fishing we can only spread the word to friends and family to avoid these areas and hope that the current 4 wheeler ban is only temporary. I'll leave you all with a short safety list at the bottom that I follow myself no matter where I'm ice fishing. Be safe out there and good luck on your fishing adventures. Thank you for reading.
BE SAFE ON THE ICE!
Keep auger blade covered! I've seen some terrible accidents involving that sharp blade!
Stay away from pressure ridges! Dangers, open water hazards to fall through!
Use ice cleats if needed! Don't chance slippery ice, very hard falls can happen!
Be safe on 4 wheelers and snowmobiles. Speed = Big injuries