STANDISH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's early in the season, but Maine has already seen one death caused by thin ice conditions.
Last week, seventeen year-old Joshua Wardwell died when he fell through the ice on Chapman Pond.
Game warden have seen anglers venturing out onto very thin ice across the state. Lately, cold nights have been creating thin layers of ice on some of Maine's small ponds. But wardens don't have the legal authority to force people to get off the ice in unsafe conditions. So they rely on education, hoping it's enough to prevent another death.
"Why anybody would want to risk their life for a fish is beyond me," warden Peter Herring told NEWS CENTER. "But it becomes problematic. I mean these people, they're anxious, they want to get out and start their season of ice fishing early, but it's got to be done safely because not only does it put them at risk, but it puts us at risk when we have to come in after the fact and rescue them."
Wardens typically consider four inches of ice to be thick enough to stand on.