LAKE PARK, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Great Lakes provide numerous opportunities for winter entertainment but with six inches of snow dropping throughout the area Friday, it’s causing concern for snowmobiles during the weekend.

The frigid cold and single digit temperatures couldn’t keep outdoor enthusiasts away from Okoboji Saturday as hundreds loaded up their ice fishing gear and recreational vehicles to enjoy time on the frozen lakes, but Greg Harson of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advised caution especially with the fresh snowpack on top.

“Up until now, you could see the bubbles through the ice and kind of gauge how thick the ice was. With this snow on top of the ice, it’s going to be very difficult to see thin ice and if it’s skimmed over, you will not be able to tell thin ice from thick ice,” said Harson.

Harson wanted to remind people that no ice is ever 100% safe, referring to two incidents that occurred Thursday night before the snow hit when both an ATV and snowmobile broke through the ice on West and East Okoboji Lakes, respectively. Harson explained what to look out for when sledding.

“The other things that you always want to stay clear of are the pressure ridges that are located out across the lake. If you see a heave, then you don’t want to be going across that because that could collapse on you and you’ll be going into the water,” said Harson.

Silver Lake in Dickinson County has a winter aeration system running throughout the season benefitting ice fishers, but causing another danger for snowmobiles.

Harson said because of mild temperatures throughout the fall and winter before the weekend, another source of potential danger is something no one can control.

“Be aware that the geese have stayed longer than normal and there’s going to be pockets of open water on Spirit, East, and West Lakes, Okoboji. The chance of a hazard is always out there so we need to watch out for that,” said Harson.

Locals at Lake Park said Silver Lake’s ice thickness is variable at this point with fluctuating temperatures throughout the winter causing the quality to decline.