The warm weather certainly isn't making it easy for the ice fishing season to get underway in southern Saskatchewan.

For the past four days and the foreseeable future daytime temperatures will be above the freezing mark making it tough for ice to strengthen on waterways.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Conservation Officer Kevin Harrison said if fishers are unsure of the ice thickness, it's best to take an auger or axe out with them to test it.

"We recommend that you have at least four inches of ice to walk on," he said. "Eight inches to drive a snowmobile or ATV, 12 inches for a car or light truck, and if you're any bigger than that we recommend you have at least 12 inches."

It's a different story for ice fishing conditions in other areas of the province, however.

"The ones (waterways) north, people are driving on in most areas, so we're seeing lots of guys out there now," he said.

Most ice fishing accidents reported happening at the beginning of the season when the fishermen are antsy, according to Harrison.

"Every year we hear several vehicles throughout the winter that go on too early or come off too late," he said. "So sometimes they're taking their shacks off too late and the ice is getting bad by then."

He also added while fisherman are on the ice they should try to avoid slushy areas, moving water, pressure ridges, and areas that have thawed and froze again.

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