WINTER ICE FISHING OPENS JANUARY 1
The New Year brings in well wishes and resolutions for Islanders and for many it also means that the winter ice fishing season is once again underway and runs from January 1 to March 31, 2009.
In preparation for winter ice fishing each fall O'Keefes Lake and Glenfinnan Lake are stocked with rainbow trout. In 2008, 9,000 fish were stocked in O'Keefes Lake and 4,000 in Glenfinnan Lake.
George Webster, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry advised that, although the season is underway, anyone going fishing should be sure to check the safety of ice conditions.
Ice should be at least 15 centimetres (six inches) thick where individuals or small groups are fishing and should be at least 25 centimetres thick where snowmobiles, trucks or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are being used.
To ensure a safe fishing experience, Minister Webster recommends that anglers fish with a friend and that children on the ice be supervised. Warm clothing, a rescue rope and a personal flotation device should be close at hand for anyone fishing on or near ice.
Islanders are reminded that there is a public safety advisory in place for trout caught from O'Keefes Lake. Mercury levels in some of the lake's fish can be above recommended guidelines.
The Department of Health has advised that children younger than eight years of age and women of childbearing age should avoid eating trout from O'Keefes Lake. Toxic effects from mercury at levels found in O'Keefes Lake do not occur unless the fish is eaten frequently.
Anglers who have a valid 2008 trout fishing licence are free to participate in the winter ice fishery. Anglers must also have a valid Wildlife Conservation Fund permit. Licences are available online at www.gov.pe.ca/go/fishing; at PEI Access Centres; and at select community retailers. Anglers under 16 years of age do not require a licence for the winter fishery.
For more information on the winter ice fishing season please call the Provincial Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division at (902)368-4683.
Source: Government of PEI
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