ice hut on frozen lake
An ice hut on Chemong Lake in February. (Photo by Jason Bain)

The end of ice fishing season draws near and the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is reminding anglers to plan to remove their ice huts.

“Ice fishing huts must be removed from the ice by the prescribed deadlines, with the exception of portable fish huts that are made of cloth or synthetic fabric that are seven square metres in size or less,” OCOA President Sean Cronsberry stated.

“Ice huts that are left or abandoned on the ice can eventually fall through the ice and pollute our lakes, causing hazards to boaters during the open water season.”

Deadlines drawing near

• March 1 in fisheries management zones (FMZ) 17 and 20
• March 15 in FMZ 14, 16, 18, 19 and below the Lake Timiskaming dam in FMZ 12
• March 31 in FMZ 9, 10, 11, 15 and above the Lake Timiskaming dam in FMZ 12

“Many of our waterbodies have less ice this year compared to the last couple years and in some areas the ice may be gone before the ice hut removal date,” Cronsberry added. “Anglers must ensure they remove their ice fishing huts while the ice conditions are still safe to do so.”

Anyone with information about a natural resources or public safety related offence is encouraged to call the MNRF violation reporting line at 1-877-847-7667, contact their local Conservation Officer, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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