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Ice fish hut owners asked to "Take it off"

Ice fishing huts must be removed from lakes by April 1, 2017.
(Lacombe County)

Ice fishing huts must be removed from lakes by April 1, 2017. (Lacombe County)

Ice hut owners are being urged to remove their ice fishing huts from area lakes before spring thaw arrives.

 

Although ice huts do not need to be legally removed from the lakes, including Gull Lake, Buffalo Lake, and Sylvan Lake, until March 31, the Sylvan Lake Management Committee (SLMC) says it’s important to get them off the ice before the surface deteriorates.

“On behalf of the committee, I urge owners to think of safety and the health of the environment when they consider their decision,” said SLMC Chair Keith Stephenson in a release issued Monday. “We want all our lakes to remain healthy so we can enjoy them — safely — all year round.”

During the spring thaw, ice fishing huts are often abandoned, leaving them to settle on the bottom of the lake, which is detrimental to lake health. Debris, from wood to furniture as well as gasoline and plastic, can cause serious contamination of the water, which affects fish and waterfowl habitat.

The safety of summer lake-goers is also put at risk, with debris either settling, or floating across the surface of the lake.

The reminder comes as part of the “Take it off” program where anglers are encouraged to register their huts. The program started several years ago on Sylvan Lake, and saw much success. The first year, about 20 huts were left on the ice, but in 2016, not a single hut was left.

Registration is free of charge year-round, and the process only needs to be completed once. The form can be completed online on the Lacombe County website (www.lacombecounty.ca) or by calling the County Office at 403-782-8959.

Those on Sylvan Lake can register at www.sylvanlake.ca/take-it-off.

­— BARRETT 



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