It's good to see the plan for dealing with anyone who goes astray on the ice this season is a little more about planning and a lot less about bluster.
It's also good to see the plan was arrived at with the involvement of people who actually go out on the ice, and can be expected to know about doing it right: Ice fishermen and ice-fishing guides.
Last February's ice rescue fiasco off Crane Creek in Ottawa County resulted in an army of safety forces (and an air force, if you include the Coast Guard cargo plane from the East Coast whose expenses were counted despite the fact it was on a previously-scheduled training flight) pulling people off the ice who may not have been in actual danger -- although one is free to question the wisdom of people who cross a gap in the ice to go with the floe.
Law enforcement, it seems, will be more about keeping order on shore rather than heading out on the ice. And though we understood then, and still understand, Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton's frustration that landed him in the national spotlight, we hope communication from said law enforcement is more about information than consternation.
Yes, we know the official position of safety forces, from Coast Guard on down to constable, is: Don't go out on the ice. But people are going to, and people who come here to dunk a frozen worm contribute to the local tourist economy. So as long as we have ice, we'll have ice fisherfolk.
We hope common sense prevails -- both from those seeking fish and those whose job includes seeking wayward fisherfolk.