The End of Ice Fishing in the Poconos?

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- On February days, Joseph Waldron from Gouldsboro says he's usually fishing on frozen water, not walking on land. He says this unseasonably warm weather is putting an early end to his winter activity.

"It's getting pretty thin, the ice is out there. I don't know if it will thicken up or not. If it does that would be good," said Waldron.

At Gouldsboro State Park in Coolbaugh Township, signs are posted to alert visitors that ice thickness and conditions are not monitored in this area. You can see the ice is thinning out.

Waldron says he experienced just how thin it is.

"Well, I walked out the other day, I got a little bit out and then I pretty much fell in. I was like to my waist level and I said, 'Well, it ain't that good,'" said Waldron.

Even though ice conditions aren't monitored, there are safety tools available for people to use in case of an emergency.

Curt Tereschak is a Waterways Conservation Officer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. He says time is up for ice fishing after taking just one look at the ice at Tobyhanna State Park.

"If you notice, everything out there that is solid is radiating heat and it's melting the ice around it. The sun rays combined with the precipitation we've had lately, there's no coming back from this," said Officer Tereschak.

Officials say ice for adults is about four inches thick and looks almost black. But as the weather warms, the ice takes on a milky white color and that is considered too dangerous for ice fishing.

"This type of ice you can't grade. It's just too degraded for you to even venture out on," said Officer Tereschak.

Fish and Boat Commission officials encourage people to check the state website for safety tips on ice fishing.

For that link, click here.