As the snow melts and March is soon ending so will the ice on our waters begin to deteriorate. Early ice and late ice are the times when safety on the ice is the most critical. The bottom line is that fishermen should never let their guard down at any time when on ice, but early and late ice more caution is needed more than any other time. This winter has been a cold one and along with the cold we had a lot of snow. Snow insulates the ice and weighs the ice down. So thickness of ice around the state will vary. Driving on the ice this time of the year is not recommended in most areas. Personaly, I will start walking on the ice, an leave my vehicle at the landing, right now. Let’s have a safe exit from hard water and get ready for the open water season.