Deep snow covering the ice is delaying the start of smelt fishing this season.

Summerside fisherman Elmer Williams says he’s waiting until this weekend before erecting his shack. The ice fishing season usually begins mid-December.

“There's a lot of snow, it's very deep, up to your waist,” Williams said. “And under the snow, when you get out to your site, there's a layer of ice, the original ice, then there’s a layer of water, then there's more shell ice plus much more snow."

“It’s just so messy. Then when you cut your hole, because of the weight of snow, the water is forced up through and makes it worse.”

Last year also saw delays, but those were because the ice wasn’t frozen enough to hold the shacks.