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Fish for free this Family Day
February 17, 2017
Families and fishing enthusiasts across Ontario can fish licence-free from Saturday, February 18 through Monday, February 20.
This Family Day weekend, anglers can go ice fishing without a licence, so head out to one of Ontario’s provincial parks that are open during the winter to give it a try. Learn the ropes of ice fishing at one of the many events happening across the province, including:
Locally the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Family Ice Fishing Day will be held on February 18 at BEL Rotary Park in Ennismore.
Remember to follow the rules for ice fishing in Ontario and stick to the daily fishing limits to help protect our province’s fish populations.
Recent mild weather may have made ice on many bodies of water unsafe, so be sure to check with local ice hut operators before venturing out and make safety a priority.
Anglers Encouraged to Stay Safe on the Ice
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
No matter what the winter weather, ice conditions can be deceptive and unpredictable. Ontario is reminding anglers to check local ice conditions before heading onto the ice to fish.
Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers, and can be hazardous at the start of the winter season when near-shore ice is often much thicker.
• Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you move further out on the ice.
• Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice.
• Clear blue ice is the strongest, white or opaque ice is much weaker.
• Ice that has a honeycombed look, common during thaws or in the spring, should be avoided.
• Heavy snow on a frozen lake or river can insulate the ice below and slow the freezing process.
Travelling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be dangerous and precautions must be taken. At least 20 centimetres (eight inches) of clear blue ice is required for snowmobiles and 30 centimetres (12 inches) or more is needed for most light vehicles. This thickness should be doubled if the ice is white or opaque.
Before Heading Out:
▪ Check ice conditions with local ice hut operators or other anglers.
▪ Let others know where you’re planning to fish and when you plan to return.
▪ Appropriate clothing and equipment are critical to safety and comfort. Many anglers wear floatation suits and carry a set of ice picks.
▪ Register your ice hut where required: