The Ministry of Environment would like to remind anglers that the 2013/14 ice fishing season ends on March 31 in southern and central areas and on April 15 in the northern areas.
The ministry also reminds anglers that all fishing shacks in southern and central Saskatchewan must be off the ice by the end of the month. In fact, ice-fishing shacks south of Highway 16 were to be removed by March 15 and shacks in areas north of Highway 16 must be removed by March 31.
Every spring, a number of ice-fishing shacks are abandoned on the ice of Saskatchewan lakes, creating identification, cleanup and potential environmental challenges for the province. Any litter or debris, including fish offal, must also be removed when ice shacks are taken off the ice.
"If shelters are not removed, owners may be prosecuted and the structure and contents may be confiscated or destroyed by the ministry," Ministry of Environment Compliance and Field Services Executive Director Kevin Callele said. "The Saskatoon office is currently investigating one of these cases at Blackstrap, where the owners chiseled their name off the wall, removed all gear and left the shack on the ice."
Anyone travelling on the ice should take extreme caution. Slush indicates that ice is eroding from above and below at an advanced rate and changing temperatures can cause thermal cracks and pressure ridges, which are indicators of unsafe conditions.