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Local authorities and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have released ice fishing safety tips.

IDNR officials say before heading out for a day of ice fishing, it's wise to check with local bait shops to make certain the spot you've chosen is sufficiently ice covered and at the thickness needed. Once you have bundled up and made it to your lake or river of choice, state officials say you must thoroughly check the ice thickness for yourself before you drop your lines.

Ice should be at least 4" thick to support your weight. Clear-blue, lake ice is the strongest, while river ice and cloudy ice support less weight. Once the ice turns slushy, it supports half the weight of clear-blue ice. Coal City Fire Spokesperson Nick Doerfler also had this to say.

For more information visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Website.