WESTBOROUGH, Mass. – Even though it is January in New England, the weather sometimes makes it seem otherwise. The on and off cold temperatures have made it difficult for local ice fishers and ice skaters to get on to Lake Chauncy or Mill Pond and Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon is warning them to stay off.
Gordon said the police department doesn’t directly monitor ice over the town’s lakes and ponds but instead rely on local ice fishers as a good way to gauge the strength of the ice.
“The ice fishers know how thick the ice is because they’re the ones cutting holes into it. Ice skating can be a bit more dangerous. It has been cold so for awhile the ice was safe but now it’s warm and I would have to warn people to stay off the ice,” Gordon said.
It’s important to remember that many of the bodies of water in Westborough are spring-fed, Gordon said. Because of this, the ice near the edges of the lakes and ponds might be safe but once you get further in, the ice could be very thin. According to Gordon, the best way to know for sure if the ice is safe is if you see people ice fishing on it.
The police department has had to deal with issues in the past, mostly with snowmobiles falling through the ice, Gordon said.
“It does happen where we’ll have to rescue people but we’ve been fortunate that no ice skaters have fallen through,” Gordon said. “Most of the time, we just have to warn people about not going on the ice.”
Gordon said the most important thing to do is be careful.
“We lost all of our snow cover this week. We got several inches of snow over the weekend and it’s already gone. That’s indicative of the warm weather,” Gordon said. “The rain may make the ice look pretty but it also wears away a lot of it.”