MAYFIELD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Though most of the Great Sacandaga Lake remains frozen solid, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says on three separate occasions, they were called to rescue people from the parts that were not Saturday. The first incident happened around 10 o’clock in the morning.
With dozens trying their luck on the lake to catch Walleye and other fish, the only way to get out to the good spots are with utility task vehicles (UTV), ATVs, or snowmobiles. But if the ice is not thick enough, trouble could start.
“The way we went (out on the lake), he’s a veteran, the guy who dropped me off so he knows what he’s doing so it was completely safe and I heard a few people fell in so I was kind of scared but I had a good time,” says James Del Valle.
For those huddled in their shanty’s casting lines, like Bradley Kretser, they say the reward of fishing far outweighs any risk of going through the ice. “Where we were fishing, the ice was fine,” Kretser says, “and I mean we had pretty good luck. We caught a bunch of fish. The wind was brutal. Ice wise? I’m going to say it was good.”
Kretser says when it comes to ice fishing safety or just safety on the ice in general, whether you are on foot, on tracks or four wheels, it all comes down to knowing the water and when it might not be safe to get out there.
Early Saturday afternoon, a UTV and its operator went through the ice on the Great Sacandaga Reservoir Saturday afternoon, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. Their second rescue call in just a couple hours, emergency crews responded to the scene near Lakeview Road and Paradise Point around 12:05 p.m.
Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed that the UTV has since been removed from the water, and that the operator is okay- they declined EMS. This comes after two people fell through the ice this morning, and extremely thin ice was reported in spots of the Great Sacandaga Reservoir.
Pressure ridges on the lake opened up last night, according to Fulton County Emergency Management. This led to spots of open water and posed a danger for ice fishermen participating in Saturday’s walleye ice fishing tournament.