The Sylvan Lake Management Committee is reminding anglers to remove their ice huts before the March 31 deadline.
While ice huts are legally allowed to stay on the lake until the end of March, the Sylvan Lake Management Committee (SLMC) says it is important to remove them before the ice surface deteriorates.
“…I urge owners to think of safety and the health of the environment when they consider their decision,” said Roger Dufresne, SLMC chair.
Most ensure their structure is removed from the lake before the spring thaw makes it difficult or dangerous to do so.
In the past, there have been instances where a hut was not removed in time and, unfortunately, sunk to the bottom of the lake.
Last year, a few remaining huts stayed out on Sylvan Lake for too long; Big Bear Energy came to the rescue and voluntarily removed the structure before it could be claimed by the lake.
An abandoned hut is detrimental to the health of the lake and for those who enjoy it year round.
SLMC says debris remaining on the ice surface during the thaw, which can include wood, gasoline, furniture and plastic, can become hazardous to the ecosystems in and around the lake at items either settle at the bottom of the lake or float to the surface.
“We all want our lakes to remain healthy, so we can enjoy them – safely – all year round,” said Dufresne.
The Take It Off campaign ensures each hut is accounted for at the end of the season to reduce the likelihood of pollution after the spring melt.
The program is supported of the five Summer Villages of Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake RCMP, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Sylvan Lake Fish and Game Association, Lacombe County and Red Deer County and the Town of Sylvan Lake.
Take It Off is followed on Sylvan Lake, Gull Lake and Buffalo Lake.
A hut can be registered year-round at www.sylvanlake.ca/take-it-off.