Ice Strength Table

This table of ice strength is presented for the benefit of ice anglers and other winter sports people. The figures are for clear, blue ice on lakes and ponds. Reduce strength values 15% for clear blue, river ice. Slush or snow (white) ice is only one-half the strength of blue ice and can be very treacherous. "Honeycombed" ice, which occurs in the spring or during major winter thaws as the ice is melting, is the most dangerous ice, and best avoided unless the angler is certain there is a safe layer of solid ice beneath the honeycombed surface. Anglers should also be aware that many lakes and ponds contain spring holes and other areas of current that may create deceptively dangerous thin spots in areas that are otherwise safe. Always use caution, and don't venture out onto unfamiliar waters without checking ice thickness frequently.



Thickness of Ice

Permissible Load



2 inches

One person on foot

3 inches

Group, in single file

 5 inches

Group (6-8 people) together

7-1/2 inches

Passenger car (2 ton gross)

8 inches

Light truck (2-1/2 ton gross)

10 inches

Medium truck (3-1/2 ton gross)

12 inches

Heavy truck (7 to 8 ton gross)

15 inches

10 tons

20 inches

25 tons

25 inches

45 tons

30 inches

70 tons