- As ice forms on most of our New York waters this season, it is important to be aware of ice safety. A general rule is to make sure there is a minimum of three to four inches of solid ice before venturing out to your ice fishing location. Some safety measures to follow are: use a spud and check ice thickness as you walk out, fish with a buddy, and bring a rope and ice-picks. Lastly, use your best judgment when deciding to go out as ice conditions can change daily. Find out the conditions in an area near you by calling our fishing hotline numbers or reviewing weekly fishing reports found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishhotlines.html.