ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol also has some important reminders on how to keep safe while ice fishing and participating in other activities on Oneida Lake. Right now, due to the recent drop in temperatures, there are good conditions for ice fishing out on Oneida Lake.

Sheriff Maciol says there should be at least 5 inches and make sure you are dressed properly for the cold weather. If there is a significant amount of snow in the forecast, do not go out on the ice because it can become disorienting if you get caught out on the ice with a significant amount of wind.

Maciol also says to always make sure to let people know where you’re going and your expected time of return, so if there is an incident, the Sheriff’s department knows when and where to go to look for you. The sheriff says it’s important to not go out on the ice alone.

“Make sure that you have a cellphone or means of communication. You gotta be aware of when the sunsets. So you’re not finding yourself out there moments before sunset and now you realize you can’t get yourself back in. It’s going to be that much more difficult for first responders to get to you. Obviously, the fire departments will be notified along with law enforcement and obviously, they’re very familiar with dealing with situations out on the ice. Both, in the winter on waterways in the summer. We work side by side with them.” – Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol

Before going out on the ice make sure to check with a local bait shop, fire service, or online to see if the ice is thick enough on all parts of the lake