SHERWOOD — The 42-year-old Sherwood man who died Saturday after his all-terrain vehicle sank in open water on Lake Winnebago has been identified as Chad E. Davis.

Calumet County Medical Examiner Michael Klaeser said the cause of death was accidental drowning.

Davis was driving his ATV on the ice of Lake Winnebago near the High Cliff State Park marina when he encountered a span of open water. Another ATV driver in front of him made it across the opening, but Davis did not.

The Calumet County Sheriff’s Department said Davis was under water for an hour before he was located and removed by the Calumet County Dive Team.

via Sherwood man who died in Lake Winnebago is identified | Green Bay Press Gazette | greenbaypressgazette.com.



OSHKOSH — Rescuers used a Husky airboat Sunday to retrieve a fisherman who was stranded overnight on the ice of Lake Winnebago.

The fisherman, Ronald R. Derr, 47, of Oshkosh, was not injured in the ordeal.

A spokesman for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department said Derr had gone to his shanty Saturday night and became stranded as high winds pushed apart the ice. At 7:45 a.m., a passer-by spotted Derr on the ice about a quarter mile offshore near the W. 24th Avenue boat landing. About 200 feet of open water was between the shore and Derr.

The sheriff’s department said high winds have created an impassable crack in the ice extending from Merritt Avenue to Black Wolf Point in the southern part of the county.

via Ice conditions leave fisherman stranded | Appleton Post-Crescent | postcrescent.com.



Monday’s incident on the Bay of Green Bay, where people were stuck on ice that separated from the shore, raises the question of how safe local ice is right now. It’s an important question as we get closer to the ice fishing and sturgeon spearing season.

Each year thousands of people flock to Lake Winnebago to take advantage of it in its frozen state. This year is no different. And with fairly cold temperatures recently the ice seems to be in pretty good shape.

“We have about five to eight inches on Lake Winnebago and there isn’t any open holes,” says ice expert Don Herman.

He adds, “We took snowmobile around the whole lake yesterday, so the lake looks actually in excellent condition, but with the warm weather coming that could change in a hurry.”

Those changes could come this week when temperatures are expected to be above freezing.

The warm-up, according to Herman, will definitely have an effect on the ice and delay any preparations for opening these gates to allow for heavy vehicle traffic on the lake. Those delays could linger into the season.

“Most of the events start at the beginning of February, and sturgeon spearing is a month away yet, but if we don’t get cold weather it can affect all of that.”

Even though conditions out on Lake Winnebago right now may be pretty good for foot, four-wheeler, and snowmobile traffic, the sheriff’s department warns ice is never 100% safe and those who venture out on it need to protect themselves.

Lt. Greg Cianciolo with the sheriff’s department says, “We just don’t see a lot of use of personal flotation devices in the winter, and certainly if somebody goes through the ice that is going to increase their odds of survival and their odds of being recovered quickly if they can stay afloat. So one of the things I always try to do is persuade people to wear a PFD even during the winter on the ice.”

Because with changing conditions, it’s always best to be safe.

via Lake Winnebago Ice Conditions – WBAY.



In Neenah, a free presentation will take place January 23rd at city hall.

As more people venture on to Lake Winnebago and other frozen bodies of water, Neenah-Menasha firefighters hope to have a captive audience for the ice safety presentation two-and-a-half weeks away.

The public forum will be a chance for people to ask questions.

Assistant Chief Mike Sipin said, “We’re going to be looking at ice conditions in general. We’re going to be looking at some of the statistics. I know the gentleman, the firefighter, who’s putting this together has some good video from a recent ice rescue that took place in California where just literally one person after another kept falling through the ice.”

The class is something Neenah-Menasha firefighters have never conducted before.

Instructors will review safety tips and also let the public view the equipment that’s used by firefighters to respond to an ice rescue.

“Just because you have ice that looks clear, which is always a good indication that it’s good ice, there really is no such thing as ‘good ice,'” said Sipin.

Last year the Neenah-Menasha Fire Department did not respond to a single legitimate ice rescue call. The department credits its educational effort warning people about unsafe conditions.

“I really believe that it was the marketing that we did as a department, as a community, to raise the level of awareness with people going on to the ice,” said Sipin.

The presentation on January 23rd starts at 6:30 at Neenah City Hall. There’s no cost.

It should last about an hour.

via Firefighters to Hold Ice Safety Presentation – WBAY.