Thunder Bay

OPP say ice fishing allowed, but no staying overnight in ice huts

The confusion over lockdown rules in Ontario is making its way onto the province's frozen lakes.
Under provincial regulations, ice anglers cannot stay overnight in their huts, say OPP. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

The confusion over lockdown rules in Ontario is making its way onto the province's frozen lakes.

Regulations imposed by the provincial government have left many anglers wondering if they are able to stay at their ice shacks overnight. The quick answer is no.

During the day, fishing is allowed, said Sgt. Mike Golding, with the OPP in Thunder Bay. He said if you are outside, anglers have to be in a group of five or less.

However, once an ice shack gets involved, the answers are a little more complex.

"You have to be there for less than 24 hours, you cannot spend the night, and then travel back," said Golding.

He said the rules apply to anglers who have their own ice hut or those who had booked a rental prior to the lockdown.

"It's basically the same idea here. We don't want people going out for non-essential travel, period. The point is, you go out, you get your exercise, you enjoy nature, you enjoy fishing, but then you come back at the end of the night." 

Golding said in the ice shack itself, only people from the same household are allowed to be together, with the exception being for a person who lives alone can join a family group.

Golding said police are responding to COVID-19 complaints, including those that take place on the ice.


Jeff Walters

Former CBC reporter

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff worked in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario.


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