If you haven’t been out sport fishing this winter, or for a few years, or ever for that matter, then next weekend will give you a shot at reeling in a big one. February 18-20 is Free Fishing Weekend in Saskatchewan - the perfect opportunity to give ice fishing a try, without having to purchase a fishing licence.
"We have world class fishing in Saskatchewan, and we don't let the cold temperatures prevent us from taking full advantage of it," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "Free fishing weekend is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at one of our province's favourite pastimes."
While a fishing licence won't be required for residents or visitors angling during the Family Day weekend, all other regulations apply. For example:
Possession limits remain in effect, including reduced limits on certain waterbodies.
Free fishing weekend only applies to provincial waterbodies outside of national parks.
Anyone planning on transporting fish outside of the province will require a valid Saskatchewan angling licence.
Safety is key to an enjoyable ice fishing experience. Tell someone where you will be and when you can be expected back. Dress for the weather, as frostbite and hypothermia can happen quickly. And of course with the warmer temperatures, be aware of ice thickness, as water does not freeze uniformly and can be unpredictable - you need at least 10 cm of good ice to walk safely and at least 30 cm of good ice to travel in a light vehicle.
For more information on sport fishing regulations and ice fishing safety, download the Saskatchewan Anglers Guide (aussi disponible en francais), or visit saskatchewan.ca/fishing.