Ice fishing is a popular sport this time of year in Maine. Usually Maine lakes and rivers have a thick coating of ice, making skating, snowmobiling, and ice-fishing safe winter activities. Serious ice-fishermen set up shanties, or ice houses on the lake. Some use a light-weight tent-like structure, some use wooden shacks, some get more elaborate like this:
The purpose of the "house" is to protect the sportsmen from the worst of the cold and wind. Some actually have some sort of small heater in them. Some models come with beds, a kitchen and in some cases, even a bathroom. These types of houses provide the ultimate in ice fishing luxury.
As the season comes to an end, these "houses" need to be removed from the lake and stored for the next winter. Often, the "houses" are large enough and heavy enough that pickup trucks are used to carry them on to and off of the ice.
This has not been a typical winter in Maine. We've had less freezing temperaturess than in previous years. (Yesterday, for example, the temperature was 53 degrees--really a rare occurance in February in Maine.) This has caused concern for the safety of those seeking to remove or even visit their shanties.
The video below shows a Game Warden expressing his concern about the safety of the ice on Sebago Lake, one of Maine's most popular spots for ice-fishing, and the reasons for his concern.. (I apologize that the video starts off with a commercial. I picked up the video at a television station's website, and I couldn't remove the commercial. I was not compensated for displaying this commercial!)
There are a couple of videos regarding ice on lakes in Maine, but the first one is the one I wanted you to see.
The video was made prior to this weekend. On Friday, 4 vehicles went through the ice; one landed on the bottom in an area where the lake is 40 feet deep. Some people just don't show any common sense. Would you drive your car or truck onto a lake?