safety on the ice


Enjoying Winter at the Lake





Winter is a wonderful season to enjoy a quieter beauty on Koshlong Lake, whether you partake in ice fishing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, skiing or skating and shinny. There are many wonderful snowmobile and ski trails around the Haliburton area, but if your plans include venturing onto the lake surface, please do so safely: according to OPP records, over 1/3 of drownings each year result from falling through ice.



Ice that appears to cover the surface of the lake will not be a uniform thickness, it will vary depending on:

  • overall depth
  • currents
  • runoff from surface streams
  • chemicals such as road salt
  • air temperatures
  • amount of exposure to sunlight
  • any logs, rocks or docks which absorb heat
  • waves or fissures beneath the surface


Generally speaking, blue ice is the strongest, white or opaque is less so, and gray or honeycombed is unsafe. You can test the thickness with an auger, re-bar or test pole.

If someone falls through:

Call for help: even if they are able to get out, they may require medical attention due to the cold.

Avoid going onto the ice to help: try to extend a rope or pole. If you do go on the ice, wear a personal flotation device; lie down to distribute weight across the ice.

Kick to "swim" out of the water onto the strongest portion of ice possible.

More information can be found with the Canadian Red Cross, FOCAOntario Parks, and other regional organizations.

Thanks to KLA member Rob Horsburgh for his photograph of Wallace Island used as the background photo throughout this site

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software