Despite warnings, some Minnesotans refuse to stay off melting lake ice

Thin ice signs are scattered all over Hyland Lake Park Reserve.

Law enforcement says ignore them at your own peril, but Fox 9 found a few people doing just that.

While most of us have been waiting for signs of spring, some people are having a hard time letting go of winter.

Temperatures may have been in the 60s today, but Steve Pflagaar ventured onto the ice on Lake Minnetonka to get lucky at his favorite fishing hole.

"There are places where they've strained the ice, probably going in every different direction, but this is the magic time of the year," Pflagaar says. "No better time to be out here."

But Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek says everyone else should stick to the shore in the Lake of 10,000 Lakes.

"At this point, I would say it's just best to stay off completely," he says. "In the last day or so two to three inches have melted away."

With our warm weather, the ice is melting fast on many bodies of water, and become too weak to support people -- let along trucks and ATVs.

Even ducks are treading lightly on the ice, and they can fly away if the surface beneath them begins to crack.

But people who take a gamble are risking more lives than just their own, as first responders, police, and paramedics are also placed in harm's way when somebody crashes through.

Pflagaar has a pair of ice picks and two whistles around his neck in case he takes a plunge, but he hopes the only accessory he'll need is a cooler to carry his catch of the day.

"You are taking changes out there, there is no doubt about it," he acknowledges.

Hennepin County Rich Stanek says 10 vehicles and four people have gone through the ice this winter. Luckily, nobody has lost their life.

But with spring break coming up, Stanek says parents should keep an extra careful eye on their kids and pets around bodies of water.

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