The snow and cold temperatures are the lingering indicators of winter, but no doubt about it, the days are stretching, and the temperatures will soon climb to the plus side. The spells a wrap-up to this year’s ice fishing season. The time is approaching to remove fishing shacks and a heightened awareness of ice thickness when skidding those sheds off.  

In all areas of Saskatchewan south of Highway 16, ice fishing shelters must be removed from waterbodies by March 15, and by March 31 in the north. But whatever the deadline, know the conditions in your area and plan to remove your shelter while the ice is still safe.    

A release from the Environment Ministry reminds fishing enthusiasts that every year, ice fishing shelters are abandoned on Saskatchewan lakes with predictable results. The structures can break up and wash up on shore along with litter that's often left behind, creating environmental hazards and an ugly mess. Submerged debris is dangerous to boaters, water skiers and others who want to enjoy our lakes in the summer. There can be other costs too, negligent owners can face hefty fines, and the structures and contents can be confiscated. 

Owners must remove all structures and litter from the ice and transport them away. Shelters may not be left on the shore.  Slush, thermal cracks and pressure ridges are all signs of unsafe ice. Ice thickness and strength can vary from area to area, so always check to make sure conditions are safe.   

Ice fishing season closes on March 31 in southern and central Saskatchewan and on April 15 in the north. For more information, check the Anglers Guide, available online at