Thin Ice Delays Ice Fishing Season in Maine

The mild December weather has put Maine ice fishermen on thin ice. January 1 should be the official start of ice fishing season in the state, but most Maine ponds and lakes have yet to freeze over.

"It's probably going to be another two or three weeks of cold weather to make this ice safe to go on," said New Gloucester Fire Captain Scott Doyle.

Registered Maine Guide Steve Vose said his New Year's Day tradition is ice fishing, but 2016 has to be the exception.

"This year has been absolutely terrible," said Vose. "Ice conditions are extremely unsafe."

The Maine Warden Service recommends ice be at least four inches thick before a person steps out onto the surface. When Vose tested the ice on Three Mile Pond in Vassalboro, Maine, he said it was barely an inch thick.

"I would absolutely not have anybody going out on the ice at this point," he said.

There have been at least two water rescues in two days due to falls through thin ice in Maine.

On Wednesday, a dog fell through ice on a pond in Raymond. Several departments, including the New Gloucester Fire Department, participated in the rescue.

"We would rather go out and attempt to save the dog, instead of the dog's owner or someone else trying," said Doyle.

On Thursday, another dog fell through thin ice in Fryeburg. Someone watching attempted to save the dog, and got stranded himself.

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