Unstable Ice on Coralville Lake

Published Jan. 23, 2019

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Coralville Lake is asking all visitors including ice fishermen and snowmobilers to stay off the ice for safety reasons. Recent fluctuations in warm and cold temperatures, along with rain and snow have decreased the stability of the ice. Ice formation on the reservoir is different than small lakes and ponds because moving water under the ice slows the freezing process. 

Water levels on Coralville Lake can also fluctuate daily causing ice to weaken. Parts of the reservoir may not be supported by lake water and are at risk of cracking, breaking, or giving way at any time. As the ice shelf begins to drop, it can cause dangerous slopes along the shoreline and make it difficult to return safely to shore. Additionally, conditions are suitable for developing ice bridges, where air pockets are created between the ice and surface of water. These ice bridges are extremely unstable and leave little chance for escape or rescue. 

Due to these unsafe conditions, the public is advised not to venture onto the ice at Coralville Lake and to use extreme caution along the shoreline. For up-to-date information follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/coralville or contact the Coralville Lake Administration Office at 319-338-3543 ext. 6300 or Coralville.lake@usace.army.mil.

Leah Deeds
319-338-3543 x6308

Release no. 19-006