OFAH FILE: 842
For Immediate Release
Have fun, be safe while on the ice
Anglers urged to use caution as ice fishing season kicks into high gear
As the ice thickens on Ontario lakes and winter fishing enthusiasts spread out across the province, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) remind anglers to ensure that conditions are safe before venturing out.
"Winter fishing is a terrific way to spend time in the outdoors, but ice safety should be the top priority for all anglers," said Lezlie Goodwin, O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator. "Practicing some simple safety measures could save your life. This is particularly important in the Kawarthas, where anglers are enjoying ice fishing for the first time in 80 years, and are still getting accustomed to reading local conditions."
"Conservation officers across Ontario regularly come across groups or individuals who are ill-equipped should trouble occur," said OCOA President and Conservation Officer Dan VanExan. "We strongly encourage everyone out on the ice to make sure someone knows where you are at all times and what time you expect to return. Should an accident occur, that critical information could greatly increase your chance of rescue and survival."
The O.F.A.H. reminds anglers to carry all valid fishing, snowmobile and ATV licenses with them at all times. Anglers should also be sure to review the 2010 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available online and at MNR offices and license retailers.
Ice safety tips:
- Check ice thickness and conditions frequently
- Clear ice should be a minimum of 10 cm (4 inches) for walking
- Fish with a buddy
- Carry/wear ice picks to help you climb out of the water onto the ice
- Carry/wear a whistle and/or a cell phone for emergencies
- Let someone know where you are and when you plan to return
- Use extreme caution around locks, where ice is likely to be thinner and less stable
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 660 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org. To learn more about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca or contact your local Conservation Officer.
O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 270
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
- Ice Fishing Operators for Ontario
- Recommended Minimum Ice Thickness for Loads on Sound Ice (Source: Ontario OUT OF DOORS)