Manitobans will be able to go ice fishing without a fishing license this coming weekend.
Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt announced today that the Winter Family Fishing Weekend will run from February 18-20.
“Everyone can enjoy ice fishing for free this weekend without the need for a fishing license,” says Nesbitt. “There’s no better way to spend a winter day in Manitoba than ice fishing with family and friends while enjoying free admission to provincial parks during the month of February.”
The exception this weekend is national parks where a federal fishing license is still required.
In Portage la Prairie, the most popular ice fishing spot is just north of the community in the Delta Beach area. People on the lake this year are reporting good conditions and lots of fish if you find the right spot and have a little luck.
Anglers may retain up to a fish conservation license limit, which includes four walleye, four walleye, two largemouth bass, one lake trout, one channel catfish and two stocking trout. Regular limits apply for those who already have a regular fishing license and all other fishing regulations apply this weekend, including regulations for individual waters.
Wade Duncan of MacDonalds Sporting goods notes that this season has been more than ideal for ice fishing.
“It’s slowed down a little bit in February, but most people have been doing pretty well. The weather’s been good. So we can’t complain.”
He also mentions that he has quite a few favorite spots to fish around Portage, besides Delta Beach. He says Rock Lake, Stephenfield, Lake of the Prairies and Lake Winnipeg are also very popular this time of year.
He makes sure to note that when you go out on any type of ice, you should always keep two things in mind.
“Be careful with the ice conditions because it’s not always what it seems, and be sure to pick up your trash.”
For more information on all provincial fishing regulations, see the 2022 Manitoba Fishermen’s Guide at www.manitobafisheries.com.
To ensure ice fishing is safe and enjoyable, anglers should always check ice conditions before traveling to the ice, wear appropriate clothing for the weather, and notify someone where they will be fishing.