January 30, 2013 —
Unlike last year, the weather has been cold enough to form ice on most bodies of water in the region, including the Big Eddy in the Upper Delaware River, where a trio of ice fisherman traveled onto the ice on January 28.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says a minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water, so caution should always be used. According to the DEC, two inches of solid ice will support a single person on foot, three inches will support a group in single file, and 7.5 inches will support the weight of a car. Go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7733.html  for more information.
The recommendations of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are a bit more cautious. Their chart says two inches of ice is not safe for anything, three inches will support one cross-country skier, four are needed to support a single angler and eight inches are needed to safely support a single car. Visit fishandboat.com/water/ice_thickness.pdf for more information.