Ontario Family Fishing Weekend returns

by Meghan Sutherland | February 12, 2020
a group of people around a drilled ice fishing hole
Participants engage in a past Family Fishing Day event. (Photograph courtesy of the OFAH)

The province encourages families to once again wet their lines this weekend with the return of Ontario Family Fishing Weekend from Feb. 15 to 17.

The event is one of four license-free fishing opportunities planned for 2020; others are on the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends. Family Fishing Week also runs from July 4-12, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) stated in a release.

OFAH event returning

Meanwhile, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) hosts its 11th annual Family Ice Fishing Day on Chemong Lake just northwest of Peterborough on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 10-2.

“This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who doesn’t have a fishing licence to come out and try fishing maybe for the first time,” said OFAH Fishing Programs Outreach Liaison Taylor Stark, who was at the site Wednesday, Feb. 12 to ensure conditions are safe.

“Make sure to enter the grand prize draw for your chance to win a portable ice hut and power auger generously donated by Rapala,” she said. “Ice thickness is confirmed at 15 inches, so we are set for a fun-filled day in the great outdoors.”

Holes pre-drilled

Ice fishing holes are drilled in advance. Fishing equipment, plus bait, are provided curtesy of the TackleShare program. Furthermore, there is a shuttle service onto the lake every 15 minutes. Participating children will all get prizes.

There is also an after party at the Mario Cortellucci Hunting & Fishing Heritage Centre on McNamara Road south of Peterborough. Free activities there will include a barbecue lunch with hot chocolate, an archery range, a movie in the amphitheatre, entry to unique wildlife displays, and more.

For more information and to register, click here.

Anglers make big impact

Recreational anglers contribute approximately $2.2 billion to the provincial economy every year, the MNRF stated.

The cost of a one-year conservational fishing license is $15.07, plus the cost of an outdoors card is $8.57. This is the minimum requirement for fishing in Ontario if the angler is 18 or older.

Veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces are both exempt from licensing fees.

For more information on Ontario ice fishing, click here

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