LOCAL NEWS

Unsafe ice conditions keeping people off the lake at Echo State Park

Jan 30, 2024, 6:52 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2024, 8:30 am

COALVILLE — A lot of postcards could be sold with the view of Echo State Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The snow-capped mountains behind the frozen lake is one of the reasons why Cade Pies works as the park manager.

“Yeah, I love it. I don’t have to sit in the office all day,” he said. “It is good to be out in nature. I enjoy helping people and talking to people who are out here recreating and having fun.”

But for as much beauty as there is to see, there is something missing right now.

“Typically, if we have safe ice, we are busy with people coming out to recreate on the ice. Specifically, ice fishing,” Pies said.

There were a few people ice fishing Tuesday morning, but not nearly as many as there normally are in late January.

“Typically, we see 10 inches of ice this time of year,” said Cade Pies, park manager at Echo State Park. “Currently, here at Echo State Park, the reservoir is anywhere from 2 to 6 inches thick. We recommend not going out on the ice unless its 4 inches thick at a minimum.”

Warmer weather has made ice conditions unsafe.

“Typically, we see 10 inches of ice this time of year,” Pies said. “Currently, here at Echo State Park, the reservoir is anywhere from 2 to 6 inches thick. We recommend not going out on the ice unless its 4 inches thick at a minimum.”

Utah State Parks said at this time last year there was a herd of elk on the ice near people ice fishing.

Currently, it’s a different story

Today, though, falling through is a real concern.

Pies recommends people who plan to go out on the ice bring a rope or an ice safety pick.

He also said it’s a good idea to go with a friend or at least let someone know where you are.

“Falling through the ice and getting into the cold water is not safe for anybody,” he said. “No matter if you get out, you are subject to other effects from the cold water rather than just falling through the ice and drowning.”

That’s why ice fishing tournaments have been postponed at Echo State Park, as well as at other lakes and reservoirs in northern Utah.

“Going out on the ice to chase a fish isn’t worth risking your life,” Pies said.

Utah State Parks keeps an updated website on ice thickness at its reservoirs, as well as ice safety tips.

There are other websites to find ice thickness depending on what agency manages the lake. Other websites offer fishing reports, and where some of the best ice fishing is around the state.

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Unsafe ice conditions keeping people off the lake at Echo State Park