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Officials: Ice still not safe for recreation

The frigid weather the past few days has certainly helped ice things over on Oneida Lake, but not as much as it might appear. If you’re thinking about snowmobiling or even ice fishing on the lake in the next few days, you might want to think again.
Bridgeport (WSYR-TV) -- The frigid weather the past few days has certainly helped ice things over on Oneida Lake, but not as much as it might appear. If you’re thinking about snowmobiling or even ice fishing on the lake in the next few days, you might want to think again.

At first glance, the lakes seems solid, but may not be thick enough in many places for recreation such as snowmobiling, ice skating and/or ice fishing.

"Constantia, like an inch, inch and a half out there, it's really shady, walking out there is like walking on a trampoline. I was poking holes all the way out, it's not safe at all,” said ice fisherman Dave Rogers.

That’s when Rogers decided to check out Sylvan Beach to see if it was good for fishing and even four wheeling.

"We're not going to chance it because we haven't been out here yet, so we're going to walk out and see what happens,” Rogers continued.

"When you look out over the ice it looks like it’s solid, all snow covered, it looks pretty safe, but it’s an illusion,” explained Scott Griffith, Assistant Chief, Bridgeport Fire Department. "The shoreline is usually the solid portion of the lake and the further you go out the thinner it gets. Four inches at shore means there's not a lot in the middle."

Griffith says not only are conditions still dangerous for people to go out on the ice, if they do and they need help, it creates a dangerous situation for rescuers. He says as tempting as it is to go out on the ice, it’s just not safe right now.

Griffith says we need a couple more weeks of solid cold weather for Oneida Lake to be frozen enough for recreation.

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