Truck falls through ice on Oconto County Lake

Berry Lake in Oconto County, December 18, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WLUK) -- In some areas, eager people are starting to venture out onto the ice.

And there is a reminder that even with the forecast as it is for a cold snap, it can be dangerous.

A truck had to be fished out of an Oconto County lake over the weekend, after breaking through the ice Friday night.

About 60 yards from the Berry Lake shore, a blue pick up truck broke through the fresh ice.

"It's way early. After last week, it was open on Thursday. The wind hasn't been letting the lakes freeze good. And now the snow covers on top. It ain't cold enough. Too much insulation, there's maybe three inches of ice out there," said Brian Schultz, Town of Underhill.

At Shawano Lake nearby, Tim Welch drilled right through the Monday afternoon ice.

"It's fun. Because you get to catch fish," said Tim Welch, Shawano.

His friend Andy Wage says this is the first time the pair have ventured on the ice this season.

"Just pretty much come out to see how much ice is out here. Seeing is anything is biting. How are the ice conditions? All right. six inches, six and a half somewhere in there," said Andy Wage, Shawano.

"The ice is not consistent. So you can have two and a half, you can have six, you can have five. That's just the way ice forms," said Cory Kuhn, Kuhn's Bait and Tackle Palace Owner.

Kuhn says if it snows six inches or more, ice conditions on the lake will suffer.

"It insulates it. And when you have the thin ice like it is, you get all that weight on the ice. So, if there's any cracks, water is going to come up because the ice, the weight on the ice," he said.

And Back at Berry Lake.

"Saturday they tried pulling it out. Had no luck. Sunday they tried again and they cut the ice, and they were successful to get the truck out," said Schultz.

A frozen piece of plastic is all that remains.

"This driving on right here, it's going to be a long time before this recovers, and heals back up," said Schultz.

Law enforcement officials say that while bait shops often have the best information on ice conditions, still, they warn, no ice is ever considered 100 percent safe.

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