Candlewood Lake officials are warning the public to be extremely cautious before venturing out onto lake ice.

Back when I was a kid we lived across the street from the Erie Canal in Fairport NY, and when the canal froze over, a bunch of us with skates and sticks in hand couldn't wait to clear off a patch of ice for a pickup hockey game.

That's the day I learned a valuable lesson, don't go marching out onto the ice without checking it first. I could hear the ice begin to crack as I was shoveling snow out near the middle of the canal. As I ran towards shore, the ice gave way and all of a sudden I was chest deep in freezing water thinking my mother was gonna be pissed! Luckily a friend of mine came running through the backyard and was able to help me out before it was too late.

The Candlewood Lake Authority wants you to be aware that Candlewood Lake ice doesn't freeze in uniform thickness because of lake levels that rise and fall through cold winter months according to the NewsTimes. First Light will be lowering the lake levels again this week plus the temperatures will be rising into the upper 40's by week's end. No need to take a quick dip this time of year not to mention the shrinkage factor.

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