The red circle shows the location of a truck that plunged through the ice Saturday in Lake Winnebago. Fond do Lac Sheriff's Office photo

FOND DU LAC — After a truck plunged through the ice Saturday on Lake Winnebago near Fond du Lac, authorities are warning people to be careful of shifting ice conditions.

The driver was rescued, but the truck remains at the bottom of the lake.

On Saturday a Fond du Lac resident survived a near-tragedy when his truck broke through the ice on Lake Winnebago, according to a news release from the Fond du Lac Sheriff’s office.

“Don’t let the cold temperatures we’ve had in recent weeks fool you” the department wrote on Facebook. “There are some serious cracks and areas of thin ice on the lake again this winter, so follow the local fishing club pages. They do an excellent job posting current updates on the ever-changing ice conditions, placing bridges and marking roads.”

The sheriff’s office said they flew a drone, equipped with a camera that can take both photographs and thermal images, over the lake after the incident.

These photos were taken approximately 3/4 of a mile north of Lakeside Park, looking north, according to the sheriff.

However, this crack spans far beyond that location, and there are miles of cracks similar to this throughout all of Lake Winnebago.

A popular Facebook group, Fishing the Bago System, posts frequent updates of ice conditions.

The photograph with the red circle in the sheriff’s office Facebook post indicates the location where truck broke through the ice, and the truck is currently sitting on the bottom of the lake.

The other three images were all taken from the same location and include a photograph, thermal image, and combination photo/thermal image.

You can clearly see the cracks in the thermal image and the shades of bright yellow indicate the most heat.

These yellow heat signatures indicate areas of very thin ice or even open water.

The Wisconsin DNR website has an ice safety page https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/IceSafe.ty).

With sturgeon spearing season right around the corner, authorities encourage everyone to monitor ice conditions through their local fishing club and follow the ice safety guidelines so everyone can have a safe (and hopefully successful) spearing season.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.