UNDATED (WJON News) -- As temperatures get colder, area lakes, ponds, and rivers are starting to freeze.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it is one of the most dangerous times of the year when it comes to recreating on the water.

There have been numerous reports of anglers out on the ice, but the DNR says conditions this time of year are highly variable, and falling through the ice can be deadly in just minutes. Authorities say a few fish in the freezer isn't worth risking your life.

Also, the DNR says parents need to talk with their children and other neighborhood kids to stay off retention ponds, rivers, and other bodies of water unless an adult checks the ice first.

There should be at least four inches of clear ice before walking on it. The ice must be thicker for any vehicles to travel on it.

Anglers should check the ice thickness with a spud bar, auger, or other device, wear a life jacket, and have a set of ice picks with them.

Also, don't go out alone and let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.

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