Ice fisherman takes cold dip into Blue Mesa

It can be dangerous out there this time of year

[ By Mark Reaman ]

A local ice fisherman had a close call on Blue Mesa Reservoir last week when a slab of ice broke and the angler fell between two ice sheets. The incident occurred Friday, Match 19 on shoreline ice near the Lake City Bridge.

According to Sandra Snell-Dobert of the National Park Service’s Curecanti National Recreation Area, emergency personnel responded immediately as Gunnison Fire and EMS, along with National Park Service rangers came to the scene. She said the local person was evacuated from the ice sheets by Gunnison Fire and EMS with the help of park rangers.

“There were injuries but the extent of them is not known by NPS at this time,” Snell-Dobert said Tuesday. “This is the first incident of cracking ice sheets that I am aware of. People do occasionally fall through the ice of the reservoir, particularly our thin ice, ice skaters, but most self rescue.”

Snell-Dobert said this incident highlights the need for extreme caution on or near Blue Mesa and the other reservoirs of Curecanti. She again emphasized that ice is breaking up along shorelines of both the Gunnison River and the reservoirs creating hazardous situations. She cautioned people to “avoid overhanging ice sheets, keep to solid ground and be suspicious of ice thickness and stability. Ice is receding from shorelines, particularly boat ramp areas,” she said. “Conditions change hourly as the temperatures and wind, as well as direct sunlight work on the ice. Don’t let spring fever put you in the hospital. Assess conditions and use extra caution.”

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