Ice fishing demo attracts nearly 3 dozen

* Ice fishing safety tips
* New Germany State Park website
* Ice fishing in Western Maryland

GRANTSVILLE — When Brian White became a newly pinned ranger for the Maryland Park Service in November 2015, he had one of the shortest commutes from the ceremony to his duty station.

Josiah Spradlin, 12, and Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, 8, both of Frostburg, try their ice at ice fishing in a hole they drilled on the lake at New Germany State Park.

That’s because New Germany State Park was the location of the ceremony, and it happened to be where White was to be assigned. A post in Mountain Maryland was, White said, as close to providence as was possible. It also offered the best chance for a taste of home. The Minnesota native and avid ice fisherman requires very cold weather to participate in one of his favorite outdoor hobbies, and near the Eastern Continental Divide is as good as it gets in Maryland in terms of elevation and, by extension, sustained cold temperatures.

On Saturday, White offered a glimpse of home to nearly three dozen visitors to New Germany State Park by way of an ice fishing demonstration. The first 35 minutes took place inside Recreation Hall and focused on the importance of safety — highlighting the required gear and distinguishing safe ice from thin ice.

“There is no 100 percent safe ice,” White emphasized during a presentation that preceded a quiz and a question-and-answer session.

A boy waits in anticipation in hopes that the orange flag pops up – which would mean a fish is on the other end.

Only then, once every aspect of safety was discussed, did White and volunteers lead the nearly three dozen park visitors onto the lake surface, on which White determined the ice was approximately 8 inches thick.

White and volunteers lent their personal gear for fishermen and fisherwomen of all ages to try out. White noted that normal licensing requirements were waived for the activity.

New Germany State Park volunteer and ice fisherman John Steinbach shows how sonar can be a tool for ice fishing. But one of the most important pieces of equipment is a 5-gallon bucket, which can carry supplies and serve as a seat.




Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors

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