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

UPDATED MARCH 5, 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 (updated March 5th, 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 under the new public health orders, which came into effect on March 5, 2021?

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

Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 10 people. However, anglers are strongly encouraged to limit their groups to members of a single household and members of their household bubble. A household bubble includes either two designated persons who have been authorized to attend said household or a designated second household.

Anglers who are not from the same household or household bubble 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.

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

In all areas of Manitoba, ice fishing shelters are limited to members of the same household and only one of the following:

  1. Two additional people who have been authorized to attend said household; or
  2. A designated second household.

Can I travel outside Manitoba to go ice fishing?

Manitobans that travel outside of Manitoba to engage in recreational angling would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Manitoba. Prior to travel, Manitobans should be aware and follow all public health orders in the jurisdiction they plan to travel to.

Can people from outside Manitoba 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.

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

Non-Manitobans who reside in areas that are close to the Manitoba border and who regularly travel into Manitoba can attend to their property in Manitoba, but they are not able to recreate beyond their property and therefore are not allowed to go ice fishing in Manitoba without first self isolating for 14 days. Additionally, all non-Manitobans that don’t reside in an area close to the border and who don’t regularly travel into Manitoba as noted above must ensure they have completed a mandatory self isolation order of 14 days in southern Manitoba prior to entering northern Manitoba and be free of any COVID-19 symptoms.

Can I travel within Manitoba to go ice fishing?

Non-essential travel to Northern Manitoba is restricted. The public health order allows Manitoba residents from Southern Manitoba to travel to Northern Manitoba to attend a cottage/cabin/provincial park/campground/hunting or fishing lodge. They must be free of COVID-19 symptoms, travel directly to their intended destination and limit their use of local services to the minimum required, given the circumstances of the visit.

The public health order does not allow for a day trip for ice fishing. If Manitobans travel north and stay at a lodge overnight then it would be permissible. Individuals should follow all other public health orders such as wearing a mask in indoor public spaces. 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 

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 10 persons. As such, guided groups must remain at 10 people or less, including the guide. It is strongly encouraged that groups are limited to members from one household and members of their household bubble.

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 or household bubble.

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.