Don't be fooled: Coralville Lake actually on thin ice - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Don't be fooled: Coralville Lake actually on thin ice

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) - Looking at much of Coralville Lake, it seems there's a pretty thick layer of ice to keep you safe, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says don't be fooled by appearances.

"The water level is actually falling below the ice," said Dee Goldman, operations manager.

Extreme cold has caused less water to flow into the lake, forming a pocket of air under the ice.

Right now, the Army Corps says there's about 8 inches of ice across most of the lake, but underneath that there's about another foot of air until you hit the water.

So if you fall through, you're talking about almost a two-foot climb to get back on the ice.

The Army Corps believes its extremely dangerous to be on the ice right now -- though there's never a time they'd recommend being out there.

"We don't allow our employees on the ice," said Goldman.

Despite that, many people use the ice, taking out ATVs or snowmobiles.

Zach Walters has been ice fishing at Coralville Lake his entire life.

"Even in the cold weather, it's great just to be out," said Walters, who lives in Iowa City.

Walters hasn't noticed a pocket of air under the ice and keeps safety equipment on him at all times in case he does fall through. Climbing out of a two-foot hole, however, does worry him.

"If there is actually two feet in between there, it would be kind of a scary issue," said Walters. "It doesn't seem to be."

The Army Corps does not ban ice fishing on Coralville Lake, but wants people to know that conditions are unstable.

"They're taking that risk," said Goldman.
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