River ice makes me uneasy, personally... as the current and water level can change the ice from one day to the next.
Glad you got it out and everyone was okay!!
As for tips for lake / ice riding.....
At 8-10" inches you'll be just fine.... 4-6"+ should be more then adequate for an ATV.
Other things to look for, some may already have been mentioned, but worth mentioning again:
- dark ice = weak / unsafe ice.
- pressure ridges = ice sheets that has heaved up as they 'grow' and move.
- area's near river / contributory inlets = current will cause thin or weak ice conditions.
- I'd also stay away from any area's with rushes or cat tails = as these can also cause the water to not freeze properly and create slushy or weak point/area's.
- Also watch out for frozen obstacles on the ice, examples being: ice fishing holes or spear house ice blocks (which should be put back when house is moved).
Enjoy have fun and be safe!!