Fox River Ice Warning Issued - WBAY

Fox River Ice Warning Issued

Updated:
Oshkosh -

After several sightings of snowmobiles on the Fox River police and fire officials in Oshkosh are warning people to stay off the ice.

The area of concern stretches from Lake Butte des Morts, through the city, and into the mouth of Lake Winnebago.

Snowmobile tracks on the frozen surface are sparking a lot of concern since they started showing up on the Fox River, near downtown Oshkosh. It's a location that's normally avoided because of inconsistent and changing ice.

"What we're concerned about is that some people might see the tracks and think well it was safe for them I can go out there as well. It's not even safe for walking on river ice," said John Holland of the Oshkosh Fire Department. 

While parts of Lake Winnebago may have more than a foot of ice, many parts of the Fox River have less than four inches.

Scott Engel is the president of the Otter Street Fishing Club and he too has noticed people taking chances.

"I know some of these guys are flying and they think they can do it. It's really a crazy thing. There's all kinds of things that can go wrong. Terrible idea," said Engel. 

He added,"It does look like it's solid. It looks like it's safe, but it is not."

Engel says the extreme cold has likely given people more courage.

So far this winter Oshkosh firefighters haven't responded to any ice rescues on the river, but the concern is that could change as we get closer to spring and temperatures warm up.

Holland said,"It's very deceptive because it looks like it's solid, but with the current and the flow of the water it's always eating away at the underside of that ice so even thou it looks like it's solid it most definitely is not safe."

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