NEW FRANKLIN, Ohio -- Frozen lakes are tempting to many, but experts urge caution when heading out onto the ice.
There's an old saying among ice fishermen -- There is no such thing as safe ice, only degrees of good and bad.
Truer words have never been spoken.
When the temperatures plummet and the surface of our lakes turn to ice, it opens opportunities you just can't experience any other time of year.
It also holds some danger, but there are precautions you can take to keep yourself safe on the ice.
ODNR: Ice fishing safety tips
It's not just ice fishermen who need to hear this.
Hikers, cross-country skiers, snow mobilers and ATV riders should all be aware of the following safety tips.
WKYC's own ice fishing expert -- Photojournalist Carl Bachtel -- brings you the story.
Dale Yurck has 60 years on the ice and has had his share of dunkings.
He says he went through, his boots filled up, so he kicked them off. The ice was 10 inches thick.
Ice should be respected. Portage Lakes is in the jurisdiction of the New Franklin fire department. Winter is a busy time for them.
They say they have a lot of snowmobiles, a lot of ATV's and ice fishermen. They say use common sense and stay away from open water areas.
If someone goes through the ice, the New Franklin Fire department is ready.
They have dry suits, throw bags, and, if needed, dive teams to affect a rescue.
Their advice? Mostly, just use common sense. Don't go on the ice alone, wear a PFD, and if you're so inclined, build an ice rescue board. It could save you or someone else.