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Manitoba expanding overnight ice fishing program to more bodies of water

Ice fishing

The Manitoba government is expanding its overnight ice fishing program to more bodies of water throughout the province.

Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt announced the expansion on Wednesday, saying commercial tourism operators will be able to provide overnight accommodations on 20 waterbodies beginning this winter. This expansion allows both new and existing resource tourism operators to apply to offer this service.

“Last year was the first time Manitoba resource tourism operators had the chance to offer on-ice overnight accommodations to anglers on Lake Winnipeg and it was a resounding success,” Nesbitt said.

“I know Manitobans are enjoying summer right now but winter will be here before we know it and our government is pleased to expand the eligibility of this innovative program, which offers anglers and eco-adventure tourists a world-class winter experience.”

For the 2023/24 season, resource tourism operators will be able to offer overnight ice fishing on the following lakes:

  • Lake Manitoba;
  • Lake Winnipeg;
  • Athapapuskow Lake;
  • Cedar Lake;
  • Cormorant Lake;
  • Joey Lake;
  • Kississing Lake;
  • Lac du Bonnet;
  • Lake of the Prairies;
  • Lake of the Woods;
  • Lake Wahtopanah;
  • Oak Lake;
  • Ospawagan Lake;
  • Partridge Crop;
  • Pelican Lake;
  • Rock Lake;
  • Rocky Lake;
  • Tramping Lake;
  • Upper Opawagan Lake; and
  • Wekusko Lake.

More information on which tourism operators are eligible to apply for permits for a portable camp on ice for angling and ecotourism activities can be found online. “We have heard loud and clear from our members, their guests and Manitoba anglers that there is demand for overnight accommodations on ice in our province,” said Mat Hobson, president of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association.

“We are overjoyed that the Manitoba government has worked with us to develop the safe and sustainable framework that they are rolling out across our province.”

The expanded program will also include the following provisions:

  • Restricting permits for certain lakes to existing operators;
  • Increasing the buffer distance from developed areas to 200 metres;
  • Requiring operators to affix multi-directional safety reflectors to all four corners of each accommodation unit; and
  • Allowing operators to include a storage structure as part of the portable camp application.

Resource tourism operators still must meet all other environmental, safety and recreational vehicle construction standards. Top Stories

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