Questions & Answers Related to Ice Fishing and Public Health Orders in Manitoba

EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 2, 2021

SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS CHANGE

Outlined below are frequently asked questions answered by the Manitoba Government regarding how the new Manitoba public health orders (In effect February 2nd, 2021) apply to ice fishing activities. Some of which includes ice shelters, travel to Manitoba, Guides, lodges, and Outfitters, as well as travel north of the 53rd parallel.

Is ice fishing allowed in Manitoba under the new public health orders announced on January 21, 2021, and which will come into effect on January 23, 2021?

Yes. Outdoor activities such as angling can continue and are not prohibited under the Orders of the Public Health Act.

Outdoor gatherings continue to be restricted to five persons. 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. This means 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.

Can I invite people from outside my household to fish in my ice fishing shelter?

In Northern Manitoba (north of the 53rd parallel), ice fishing shelters are strictly limited to members of the same private residence.

In all other areas of Manitoba (south of the 53rd parallel), ice fishing shelters are limited to members of the same residence and up to two people who have been authorized to attend said household under the current public health orders. As a reminder, no residence may have more than two persons authorized to interact regularly in this manner.

For more information, please consult the provincial website for information on current restrictions under the Pandemic Response System: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/index.html

Can I travel into Manitoba to go ice fishing?

Anyone travelling into Manitoba to go ice fishing will be required to self isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Self-isolation may not occur in an ice fishing shelter. The current public health order states that individuals requiring to self-isolate must travel directly to a home, hotel or other residence where they intend to reside. An ice fishing shelter is not considered a residence.

If a person wishes to travel into Manitoba to remove their ice fishing shelter, they should contact a conservation officer for more information.

Can I continue to sell bait, tackle and other products related to hunting, trapping and angling?

Yes, angling, hunting and trapping products can continue to be sold by retailers who remain open. Retail businesses must follow all public health restrictions in place.

Can I still use angling guide services from licenced angling outfitters?

Yes, licenced angling outfitters can still provide guide services; however, outfitters and guides must follow all public health restrictions.

Outdoor gatherings continue to be restricted to five persons. As such, guided groups must remain at five people or less, including the guide. It is strongly encouraged that groups are limited to members from one household.

Anglers who are not from the same household are required to maintain a minimum separation of at least two metres from each other. This means 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.

 

Can I visit a fishing lodge?

Yes, fishing lodges can remain open and are not prohibited under the Orders of the Public Health Act; however, lodges must follow all public health restrictions in place.

A mask must be worn in all indoor public areas of the lodge. It is recommended that a mask be worn in public outdoor areas if a distance of two meters cannot be maintained between people not from the same household.

Can I go fishing at a lodge located North of the 53rd parallel?

Travel north of the 53rd parallel is not permitted, except for purposes as described under travel restrictions and under certain restrictions. One of the purposes that travel is permitted is as follows:

A person may travel to a cottage, cabin, provincial park, campground, or hunting/fishing lodge North of the 53rd parallel in Manitoba if they:

  • Are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Travel as directly as possible to and from their intended destination; and
  • Limit their use of local services to the minimum required given the circumstances of their visit.

Only members from one household can be in the same cabin/unit.

For more information, please consult the provincial website for information on current restrictions under the Pandemic Response System: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/index.html

Is the ice safe to travel on?

Check ice conditions before going on the ice to make sure ice is thick enough to travel on. Ice thickness can vary from location to location.

What are general ice fishing safety tips?

Dress for the weather as conditions can change quickly. It is recommended you dress in layers. Let someone know where you are going and the time you expect to return. Bring a cell phone and safety kit in case of emergency. Bring food and water. Be aware of the risks associated with carbon monoxide poisoning when using heaters inside an ice fishing shelter.

Do I have to dispose of bait after a day of ice fishing within an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Control Zone?

The department and all water resource users have a responsibility to stop the spread of AIS across Manitoba. Anglers must ensure AIS and water is not transferred from one water body to another. As well, set fines for AIS offenses are in effect year-round.

When using bait in an AIS Control Zone, only bring the live bait you are going to use on that water body.

Any bait you take with you to an AIS Control Zone MUST be discarded BEFORE you leave the shore if it:

  • Live
  • has been handled (i.e., hooked )
  • has come into contact with surface water from the control zone.

Anglers cannot kill live bait in an AIS Control Zone and then remove it for any future use.

These live-bait disposal requirements applies even if you have a valid 3-day live bait fish-transfer-and-use receipt. Also all water from the bait container must be drained before leaving the shore.

Only commercially-supplied dead bait used on an AIS Control Zone can be retained by anglers for future use IF it has NOT:

  • been handled (i.e., hooked) or
  • come into contact with surface water

*For More Information on Covid-19 social distancing measures, visit the Manitoba Government Covid-19 website.