Manitobans will be able to get outside and try their luck ice fishing at many of Manitoba’s world-class lakes and rivers during this year’s Winter Family Fishing Weekend, running from Saturday, Feb. 13, to Monday, Feb. 15.
“The free family fishing weekend makes it easier than ever for Manitobans to get hooked on the winter tradition of ice fishing,” said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “Manitobans are encouraged to grab a rod and reel and safely head out onto the ice to catch a good time this weekend, while exploring the many fishing opportunities this province as to offer.”
From Saturday, Feb. 13, to Monday, Feb. 15, anglers may fish without a licence throughout the province, except in national parks where a federal angling licence is still required. Anglers may retain up to a conservation licence limit of fish, which includes four walleye/sauger, four northern pike, two smallmouth bass, one lake trout, one channel catfish and two stocked trout. Regular limits apply for those who already have a regular angling licence and all other angling regulations apply during this weekend, including regulations for individual waters. For more information on all provincial fishing regulations, refer to the 2020 Manitoba Anglers’ Guide at manitobafisheries.com.
Manitobans looking for fisheries information such as contour maps, fisheries assessment summaries and stocking information can use the interactive Lake Information for Anglers website, which provides valuable information in an easily accessible format. The Lake Information for Anglers website can be found at manitobafisheries.com.
The province is also offering free entry into provincial parks throughout the month of February. Vehicle permits are not required in any provincial park this month, but Snopasses are still required for snowmobiles using groomed trails in the parks, said Pedersen.
Anglers are encouraged to check ice conditions before travelling onto the ice. It is important to let someone know where you are fishing and to wear appropriate clothing so that your ice-fishing adventure is enjoyable.
Anglers are also reminded that aquatic invasive species (AIS) requirements are in effect year-round. The winter (ice-covered) season checklist is a step-by-step resource that can help you comply with the Manitoba government’s AIS Regulation. For more information, visit manitoba.ca.
Anglers cannot kill and remove live bait from an aquatic invasive species control zone and reuse the dead bait for future use.
Bait taken into an AIS control zone must be discarded before leaving the shore, if it:
- is live bait;
- has been handled (e.g. hooked); or
- has come into contact with surface water from the control zone.
These requirements apply even with a valid three-day live bait fish transfer and use receipt. Additionally, all water from the bait container must be drained before leaving the shore.
Outdoor gatherings continue to be restricted to five people. However, anglers are strongly encouraged to limit their groups to members of a single household. Anglers who are not from the same household are required to maintain a minimum separation of at least two metres from each other. Travelling in separate vehicles and/or on separate snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles is recommended. A mask should be worn if anglers cannot physically distance at outdoor locations, such as waterbody access points.
All Manitobans are reminded to continue to follow public health orders while angling. For more information, visit gov.mb.ca.