Columbia Parks and Recreation has opened Stephens Lake Park for ice skating for the next couple of days. However, conditions at Cosmo-Bethel Park do not meet requirements, so ice fishing at that park is not open.
The ice depth at Stephens Lake, 2001 E. Broadway, measures at least four inches, which is the minimum required by the City before the lakes open for ice sports. Ice depth is checked by drilling holes through the ice at several locations beginning from the shoreline and working toward the center.
Stephens Lake will likely close on Friday, Feb. 1 as temperatures are forecasted to be above 60 degrees this weekend. The ice is not checked on the weekends, holidays or evenings, so the public should be aware that ice that was determined safe one day, may not be safe the next. Parks and Recreation does not staff these areas, so caution should be used. Signs are posted indicating the lakes are open; the signs will be removed when temperatures warm up and the lakes close.
The public is urged to exercise extreme caution on the ice and encouraged to follow these safety tips:
- Never ice skate or ice fish alone.
- Do not gather in large groups in one spot on the ice.
- Ice skating and ice fishing are not allowed after dark.
- Have a rope, ladder or pole available in case of emergency.
- Warn others of dangerous conditions.
- Be aware that ice thickness is not consistent; stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas that signify thinner ice.
- Beware of ice around partially submerged objects, such as trees, logs, brush, embankments or dam structures.
- Children should NEVER be allowed to skate or fish unsupervised.
For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 573.874.7460.