By Barrett Phillips
According to Gene Galinat, Regional Fisheries Manager for the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks Department, four inches of ice this time of year is not the same as four inches in December.
When it melts, Galinat said the ice formation hollows-out, making it weaker than normal. He said this time of year, anglers need to take caution and pay close attention to their surroundings.
"Look at the shore lines first to see how the shore lines are. They can draw in some sunlight and heat so you can get thawing going around the shore lines. I would stay away from objects, they can also draw in some sunlight and start thawing going on around those and weaken the ice around objects like trees and branches," Galinat said.
The ice fishing season has ended on the prairie.
Anglers are still fishing at Jenny Gulch at Pactola, Deerfield, and other smaller ponds but the season will likely end by the middle or end of April.