Photo credit: Jillian Gandsey, Bemidji Pioneer
KELLIHER, Minn. (KMSP) - Wind and poor ice conditions left about 50 fishermen stranded on ice chunks on Upper Red Lake Monday morning, and the Beltrami County sheriff’s office is warning people to steer clear.
Sheriff’s officials received multiple calls from people before 10 a.m. on Monday who were stranded on ice floes on the lake north of Kelliher, about 60 miles north of Bemidji.
Wind caused existing cracks to widen and chunks of ice to break free, leaving about 50 ice fishermen stranded until Kelliher fire crews, Blackduck Ambulance, Beltrami County Sheriff's Deputies, Minnesota DNR officers and the Bemidji Fire Department and resort owners could help establish a safe path to retreat from the lake.
By 12:30 p.m., no one was left stranded, but crews are staying in the area and checking shoreline to investigate any other potential dangers.
Sheriff’s officials advise everyone to stay off the ice for at least the next several days.