LAKE GEORGE • The winter months offer a new level of activities at Eleven Mile Reservoir, including ice fishing, ice skating, ice boating and cross-country skiing. There is even winter camping – it is limited and availability can be found by checking the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
Ice fishing is quite popular and right now anglers are getting plenty of trout and some Kokanee salmon. The groomed ice skating rink near the marina is open and free. However, all visitors to Eleven Mile Reservoir must have a park pass ($10 per day), which can be purchased at the park’s many self-service kiosks or at the park office at 4229 County Road 92. Call park at 719-748. -3401 for information and schedules.
Ice fishing is a unique experience that gives anglers the opportunity to fish a lake or river without a boat during the winter months. All ice sports participants are advised to use caution when on the ice and to determine the location of existing pressure ridges or open water before venturing outside.
Park manager Darcy Mount said the ice is a little strange this year and not as safe as usual. There are obvious pressure ridges and some people have fallen through the ice. Users are cautioned to avoid pressure ridges and remember that no ice is safe. The weakest areas seem to be near the marina and the south side of Witcher’s Cove.
According to Mount, there are about 100 shacks on the ice and people enjoy the sport, but he urges people to never go out alone. “We can’t see everyone and everyone has to be ready for self-rescue,” he said.
Before going out on a frozen lake, pond or river, it is important to take safety precautions to reduce the risk of falling through the ice. Knowing how to judge ice conditions will also help you make more informed decisions. When changing positions on the ice, always walk at least 10 meters away from your friend. If one person falls through the ice, the other person can call for help. Before you leave shore, let someone know your destination and expected time of return. Always wear a life jacket.
Carry a pocket knife, a whistle, an ice pick, a rope and a mobile phone. The point is to be safe, stay warm, and be ready to self-rescue or rescue your friend.
If you fall through the ice and can’t get out of the cold water on your own, don’t wait to be rescued. Carry and use ice rescue picks to pull yourself onto the ice by kicking as if you were swimming. Once in the ice, roll to thicker ice. Friends should have a rope to throw you to help the rescue from a safe distance.
If you bring your pet with you, keep it on a leash at all times. As much as we love our fur babies, if a pet falls through the ice, don’t try to rescue them. Go get help.