Mountain View County is recommending that people accessing Winchell Lake for recreation purposes exercise caution in using the ice-covered water body and is further urging users to not take vehicles out onto the surface due to current insufficient thickness of the ice.
The County has placed a barricade on the access road with posted notification of the unsafe ice conditions for vehicle access. According to an Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) measurement taken recently, the Winchell Lake ice thickness is currently between 20 and 24 centimetres (cm) at their testing holes.
According to the provincial code of best practices for working on ice, it is recommended that thickness should measure a minimum of 38 cm to be able to hold a three-quarter ton pickup truck.
Also, of note is the presence on the lake of an ACA aerator which typically results in thinner ice in its direct vicinity. Users are reminded to not come in close proximity to the aerator for their own safety.
Users are asked to observe all signage in the area and watch for updates on conditions on County social media and website. Please note that fluctuating weather conditions also impact the thickness and stability of ice.
Users are also reminded that accessing any of these natural features is done at the users’ own risk and they should take all necessary precautions to avoid injury or death.
Winchell Lake is located south of Water Valley and is a popular location year-round for anglers and other recreational users.