It’s ice fishing season in the Ottawa River watershed!

Fishing villages are popping up on the frozen rivers and lakes in our watershed with crowds of fishermen and women eagerly awaiting a nibble on their lines.

unnamedThere are many species actively swimming under the ice on the Ottawa River. In and around Ottawa/Gatineau the most common fish caught include crappie, pike, walleye and sauger. Ice fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy the beauty of our watershed’s rivers and lakes and you don’t need to be an expert to be a part of the fun. All you need is a valid fishing license from the province where you are fishing.

Get a License in Ontario

Get a License in Quebec

If you have never ice fished before, we recommend connecting with an ice fishing outfitter who can hook you up (no pun intended) with a safe place to fish, equipment, a pre-drilled fishing hole, and/or a hut for a fee. A quick search on the internet can put you in touch with a number of outfitters in the watershed.

Always be aware of the ice conditions in your area before you go out on the ice. Consult local authorities on ice conditions and make sure you review ice safety tips.

Get out and try it!

You can fish without a license in Ontario this coming Family Day long-weekend: Saturday, February 13th – Monday, February 15th, 2016.

Challenges with Huts and Ice Fishing

As great as it is to see people in our communities out there enjoying the watershed, the huts that spring up along the river bring their share of challenges. While most people who ice fish are respectful of their surroundings, there are always a few who need to be reminded that their actions have an impact on the environment and those around them. Garbage, debris, and huts left on the ice can become obstacles to navigation and/or a source of fish habitat degradation once the ice melts.

Reporting Ice Hut Issues

Ontario:  In Ontario, ice huts have to be registered with the Ministry of Natural Resources with the registration number posted on the outside of the hut.  Call MNR at 1-877-847-7667 and report the registration number of the hut and its location.
Quebec:  Ice huts are not registered in Quebec.  Issues can be reported to SOS Poaching at 1-800-463-2191.  The more information you have about the location and owner of the hut, the better.


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