Warm weather prompts early ice hut removal recommendation

The annual deadline for removing ice fishing huts off the lake is March 31, but due to recent warm weather

The annual deadline for removing ice fishing huts off the lake is March 31, but due to recent warm weather, the Sylvan Lake Management Committee is concerned that could be too late.

The committee last week released an advisory encouraging ice fishers to remove their huts as soon as possible.

“One of the main reasons is our ice condition, particularly this year with our nice weather,” said committee chair Keith Stephenson. “It’s just easier to get [the huts] off and it’s more convenient for the people who have them out there.”

Stephenson said there were three huts left on the ice last year. The aim this year, he said, is to reduce that number to zero.

Huts remaining on the ice past the March 31 deadline must be removed by trained ice rescue personnel.

When huts are left on the lake, debris including wood, gasoline, furniture and plastic can settle at the bottom of the lake or remain floating on the water’s surface. The potentially resulting water contamination can endanger fish and waterfowl habitat, and create safety hazards for other users of the lake.

Any huts removed after the deadline will be sent to the Sylvan Lake waste transfer station and destroyed if not claimed.