How to determine quality of Ice

Just wondering now that the snow is off the lake, how to determine the quality of the Ice that is there.

Be careful on springtime ice !!!!!

Thanks for posting the question instead of just ending up on the local news. Sailing on ice in the late season can be challenging, because it generally requires knowledge of the specific lake, and knowledge of conditions previous to melt down. Unlike ice after the first freeze, the ice in the later months is subject to a number of hazards, including drain holes, holes from springs, wildly varying thickness, icehouse holes, and pressure ridges that continue to open up. One runner in a hole results in broken boat and/or broken skipper. If you decide to go out, you are best off to stick with a DN or other small boat in the late season to minimize the potential injury risk.

Watch for ice that previously had standing water, but now it doesn't. The water formed drain holes and went below the ice.

Black ice on first freeze indicates strong ice. Black ice in the springtime usually indicates ice that is getting so pourous and weak that it is saturated with water, giving it a dark color.

Never sail alone, but this holds especially true in the late season. After iceboating for over 25 years, I have come to the conclusion that the last few weeks of most seasons are just not worth it. Too many broken boats.......... Looks like we are done for this year. All we can hope for is as much awesome ice next year!!!!!!!!