As the summer crawls our way, Ontario’s Conservation Officers are giving a heads up to remove fishing huts off the ice.
The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is reminding anglers to think ahead and prepare for the ice fishing season’s approaching end.
OCOA officials say huts should already be removed in fisheries management zones 17 and 20. They will need to be removed by March 15 in zones 14, 16, 18, 19 and below the Lake Timiskaming dam in zone 12 and March 31 in zones 9, 10, 11, 15, and above the dam in zone 12.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Management, zone 14 includes the waters of Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron and zone 15 includes Parry Sound, Muskoka, the region east to Pembroke and south to Port Severn as well as Algonquin Park.
According to Matthew McVittie, OCOA President, anglers can continue to ice fish as long as ice conditions are safe, but ice huts must be removed from the ice by those dates.
After the ice hut removal dates, McVittie says anglers may fish without an ice hut or use a portable fish hut that is made of cloth or synthetic fabric that is seven square metres in size or less.
“While ice safety should always be a top consideration before heading out fishing in the winter, this is especially true near the end of the winter season,” says McVittie. “Areas with moving water or shallow areas, including shorelines, sunken points and mid lake shoals can be safe one day and virtually ice free a day or two later.”
You can find more details about natural resources regulations and enforcement on the OCOA website at http://www.ocoa.ca