1/31/17 Tioga County Ice Update. Hamilton Lake, Beechwood Lake, Hills Creek Lake

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We spent this afternoon checking ice conditions on Hamilton, Hills Creek, and Beechwood Lakes. Be aware that we have received a couple inches of snow and the lakes are all covered as well. Continued cold weather will keep the lakes in good shape for this weekend too. Share with your ice fishing friends!

Beechwood Lake-

We started at the boat launch and found the first 5 feet or so to be weak, junk ice/frozen slush, but we were able to work our way out farther without getting wet. Beyond this, the lake is in better shape with roughly 6.5" of ice. The top 3/4-1" is junk ice, but beneath is good ice. Bubbled, but overall, hard. No one was out fishing.

Hills Creek Lake- Hills Creek State Park

There were a number of people out of Hills, mostly off the stumps end. Here too, we noticed the edge was solid, but the first few feet is junk. Again, no problem accessing the ice. We worked our way out to about even with the first big cove on the left and found roughly 5" out there with the top layer being frozen junk and the bottom 4+ being mostly good ice. We did not check the Pines launch, but anglers were fishing across from there as well.

Hamilton Lake-

We had hoped to check ice off the boat launch here too, but at the time, the parking lot wasn't plowed and we decided to go to the other end instead. From what we could see, the area to the left of the dock in the creek was wet, and to the right, it looked to be more solid. This was the last area to refreeze on Hamilton. Definitely check it before walking out. On the dam side, we walked down the hill and had no issue getting on the ice. The first 2-3 feet was frozen junk, but past that was nice looking ice measuring a hair over 7" Again, the top layer is junk, but the rest is mostly good ice. A few people were out fishing and there was a handful of other sled tracks on the lake.

Always check yourself before venturing out onto any body of water. These are for reference only and with this crazy weather this year, you will find spots of thinner and thicker ice. Good luck and be safe out there.

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