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Observe the ice. Look at the ice to see if you can see any cracks, breaks, weak spots or abnormal surfaces and to identify the color(s) of the ice. You cannot rely on your eyesight alone. This is just an initial look to help you to decide if it is even worth proceeding to the next step of testing the ice. If you see any of these signs, you may wish to ...


Start at the edge and work your way out. The ice will usually be thinnest where the water flows INTO to pond or lake, and will be thickest close to the tail. That's because the ice is being pushed that way. Take samples as you work your way out onto the ice to continue to measure the thickness.

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