Joe Spichtig / Submitted photo

Facts and checklist before heading to ice

While out fishing on the lake, there are certain recommendations to keep in mind.

The Town of Sylvan Lake’s Tourism Marketing and Development Coordinator Natasha Bhola said, “Sylvan Lake is home to walleye, whitefish, burbot, perch, and pike,” adding, “Information on fishing regulations can be found in the Alberta sportfishing guide including season open and close dates, catch limits, licenses, and more at albertaregulations.ca/fishingregs/.”

Bhola said that each year is different and ice freezing is impacted by natural weather patterns and usage. She suggests people take precautions and test the ice thickness before use.

“The public should be aware that the use of the lake ice is always at their own risk. The Town of Sylvan Lake only monitors ice thickness and quality near the public lake skating rinks at Lakeshore Dr. and 49 St. and does not monitor ice quality or thickness for other areas around the lake,” said Bhola. “The only public lake access for driving onto the ice within the municipality is located at Lakeshore Dr. and 49 St.,” she added.

The Town of Sylvan Lake will host Winterfest and The BIG JIG events over the Family Day long weekend from February 18-21, 2022.

“Winterfest is a longtime favourite event in Sylvan Lake and is a winter festival with outdoor and winter-themed activities the whole family will enjoy,” said Bhola. “The BIG JIG…is a competitive ice fishing derby for all ages. Last year, over $4,500 was won in cash and other prizes,” she added.

Feb. 19 to Feb. 21 is Alberta Family Fishing Weekend that encourages people to try fishing without having to purchase a fishing license. For more information visit mywildalberta.ca/fishing/family-fishing-weekends/default.aspx.

All events are subject to evolving provincial public health actions and may be modified or canceled at any time, reminds Bhola. Guests are expected and encouraged to follow all current provincial public health recommendations in place at the time of the event, she added. For event information, stay tuned at visitsylvanlake.ca/events and all social media @visitsylvanlake.

If you are putting an ice shack on the lake this winter, it must be identified with the owner’s WIN number or name, address, and phone number shared Alberta Environment and Parks. All huts must be removed while ice is still safe, before spring break-up.