Winter has certainly set in and with it the ubiquitous ice huts are sprouting over all the favourite fishing holes.
Once again, Sylvan Lake Management Committee is promoting its ‘Take It Off!’ campaign and asking anglers to register their ice fishing huts.
“Registration allows for increased protection of property and our beautiful Sylvan Lake,” said a media release issued last week.
You only need to register a structure once, so registrants are asked to keep record of their registration number from year to year. “This ensures a proper investigation of property should it fall victim to theft or vandals,” said the release. “Registration also helps officials contact owners in the spring if the structure is found abandoned on the lake after Mar. 31, the last day of the ice fishing season.”
To register, fill out a simple form that identifies contents of the structure, users and contact information. Forms are available at Sylvan Lake town hall, Lacombe County office and Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment.
Online registration is available at http://sylvanlake.ca/take-it-off.
Last year just a few huts were left on the lake at the end of the season, a vast improvement from a few years ago. That’s also an indication that the message is getting through to responsible users.
If huts are abandoned on the lake during the spring thaw, debris can include wood, gasoline, furniture and plastic that ends up settling to the bottom of the lake, or floating to the surface. “Careless disregard for the lake and for others results in serious contamination of the water, which is detrimental to fish and waterfowl habitat and creates safety hazards for other users of the lake,” said the release from Beverly Anderson.
For those interested in conditions at the lake, there was a new post on the Alberta Outdoorsman Forum on Sunday from Zip-in-Z which includes pictures. To take a look see or follow the thread check www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?p=2240612.
Among the pictures were those showing vehicles on the lake while others cautioned they weren’t going to drive through the slush which is under the snow, but would instead walk to their huts. One report stated there’s between 5-12” of ice and some flood water in areas.
Another internet search found someone renting ice fishing huts on the lake. Sounds like quite a set up. “Gas and stove furnaces in huts. Underwater camera hooked up to 27 inch flat screen TVs for the ultimate fishing experience. Can accommodate up to four anglers for day use only, no overnight stays.”