Get Ready to Reel 'Em In! The Lake Friendly Way...
As the snow falls and the lakes and rivers freeze, many Manitobans are excited to get outdoors. Ice fishing is just one of the many winter activities that can be enjoyed on the lakes of Manitoba, but did you know that it can be harmful to both the lakes and the aquatic species if not done properly?
The Manitoba Wildlife Federation encourages the Four Rs of ice fishing: Rest, Relaxation, Rules and Regulations.
Purchasing fishing licenses and stamps is essential to be able to participate in ice fishing activities. Money from the licenses goes towards supporting fish stocks, habitat protection and restoration, education, and research programs. More details on these sustainability initiatives as well as information on seasonal closures, daily catch and possession limits, size restrictions and bait restrictions can be found in the Manitoba Anglers' Guide. Rules and regulations are enforced to protect and conserve Manitoba's fisheries, and to support maximum rest and relaxation for everyone.
When fishing, live bait usage guidelines depend on the particular lake or body of water you are fishing on and the kind of bait permitted, in order to reduce the risk of invasive species spreading.
Leftover bait must be disposed of properly to prevent the spread of invasive species into our lakes. Dispose of all bait in a secure trash area away from the water and make sure it doesn't make contact with the water. Be aware of the kinds of bait you are using as conservation officers will be inspecting bait buckets this winter.
Your safety is just as important as sustainable fishing practices! Remember to dress warmly, wear bright or reflective gear, and ensure frozen surfaces are safe to walk on.
Ice fishing is a wonderful way to enjoy the Manitoba winters, to experience what our beautiful lakes have to offer, and to relax with friends and family on your time off. Make sure you are using safe and lake friendly practices and enjoy ice fishing this winter.
Ice fishing the Lake Friendly way
Here are a few Friendly suggestions to help improve everyone's ice fishing experience
Follow recommendations concerning bait, limit and restrictions from the Manitoba Angler's guide
Dispose of excess bait in secure trash area away from water
Make sure oils, gas, solvents, cleaners and other hazardous materials do not go in the water or on the ice
Pickup and dispose of all garbage and recyclables including pet waste in proper receptacle
Photo Credit: Hunt Fish Manitoba