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Ice fishing season 'quickly coming to an end', here are Ontario's ice hut removal dates

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The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is reminding anglers to start preparing to remove their fish huts from the province's frozen waterbodies.

This comes as temperatures start to rise, the OCOA says. It notes the season is "quickly coming to an end."

“While some lakes in the province are just starting to form safe ice, anglers need to remember that ice huts must be removed from the ice by the prescribed deadlines,” said Derek Hebner, president of OCOA. 

“After the ice hut removal dates, 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.”

Here are the ice hut removal dates:

• 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

Hebner notes that people who have an ice hut out on the lake should monitor the weather conditions closely.

“The ice hut removal deadline are set in legislation but they do not take into account the different ice conditions each year. Many lakes in the province will be ice free before the hut removal deadlines and any huts that fall through the ice are a danger to anyone who has to remove them or to boaters in the summer if the huts are not removed prior to ice out.”

Anyone with information about a natural resources offence is asked to contact their local conservation officer directly, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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