Monday, a large piece of ice broke off in Minnesota’s Upper Red Lake, stranding about 200 fishermen. Upper Red Lake is about 120,000 acres big and is about 40 miles from the Canadian border. It is a popular place to go ice fishing.
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On Monday, almost 200 people went to the frozen lake to fish through the ice. But when a crack appeared in the ice, the day took a dramatic turn.
It then got bigger because of the weather. Samantha Youngbauer, a first responder and owner of North Woods Fish Houses, said that when the wind changed, it made the hole so big that it was no longer safe.
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At about 11:30 a.m. CT, first responders got a call that a big piece of ice had broken off the beach and was floating out into the 120,000-acre lake. By the time first responders got there, the open water between the broken piece of ice and the beach had grown to about 60 feet.
Youngbauer looked at the situation and said that the only thing on her mind was the safety of the fishermen who were stuck on the ice and getting them off of it. She said, “That was my top priority, both as a first responder and as a guide.”
Upper Red Lake is used to having a lot of fishermen there. Youngbauer says that about 20,000 people have been on the frozen lake without any problems.
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On Monday, however, Youngbauer told the fishermen that the wind was the main reason why the crack grew and a piece of the lake broke off. She also stressed how important it is to listen to people who know about the lake.
“People who come up here to fish should really listen to outfitters and resorts because we check the ice every day, if not more than once a day,” she said.