Man Dies Ice Fishing In Sanders County

According to Montana Right Now and the Sanders County Montana Sheriff's Office Facebook Page:

  • A Montana man, Jim Chambers, from the Trout Creek area, was deemed missing on February 8, 2024 after not returning home
  • Sander's County Sheriff's Office reported finding the deceased ice fisherman on the afternoon of February 10, 2024
  • Chambers belongings were found on and around the ice and his vehicle was located at the site.  It took a bit longer than law enforcement would have liked due to unsafe conditions at the time
  • Chambers was located with the help of the Sander's County Sheriff's Office along with Sanders County Search and Rescue and Flathead County Sheriff Office Specialized Divers

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mr. Chambers at this sad and difficult time.

Ice Fishing Safety

Different thickness of ice and it's safety
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks//Canva

While no ice is ever one hundred percent safe, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has some tips to keep you safer on the ice.

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  • Check the weather
  • Tell someone where you're going.
  • Bring a friend - for company and safety.
  • Look for signs that others have been out on the ice first. Never be first on the ice!
  • Check ice thickness and clarity
    • There should be at least 4-6 inches of clear ice
  • If there's snow on the ice, use caution. It can hide the ice condition.
  • Don't approach open water.
  • Stay clear of pressure ridges and/or large cracks.
  • Be extra cautious around areas that can make ice weaker such as docks and other structures. inlets and outlets, and springs.
  • Spread out if you have a big group.

Even after all of that, things can go horribly wrong.  Always practice safety when fishing Montana's icy rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs.

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