Anglers reminded to stay safe on the ice this winter

Archived Release

Anglers reminded to stay safe on the ice this winter

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

TORONTO, Dec. 23 - With the ice fishing season about to move into full swing across the province, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay is reminding winter anglers to make personal safety a top priority at all times. "By all means enjoy this fabulous winter sport, but bring your common sense with you," said Ramsay. "Ice conditions can be deceptive, they can change in an instant, so stay alert, stay aware - stay alive." With over 250,000 lakes teaming with fish, Ontario is a paradise for ice fishing enthusiasts from across North America. Anglers should always check ice conditions with local ice hut operators before venturing out onto a frozen lake. It's also a good idea to let others know where you're planning to fish and when you plan to return. Appropriate dress and equipment are key. Many anglers now don floater suits and carry a set of ice picks. Other important ice facts include: - Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers. Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you go; - Not all ice is created equal. 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 (thickness levels should be doubled); and ice that takes on a honeycombed look - common during thaws or in the spring - should be avoided altogether. - Travelling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be particularly dangerous and added precautions must be taken. For instance, at least 20 cm (8 inches) of clear blue ice is required for snowmobiles and 30 cm (12 inches) or more is needed for most light vehicles. Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Jolanta Kowalski, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2198; Wil Wegman, Ministry of Natural Resources, (905) 713-7730