Ice fishing huts doomed for the depths

Any ice fishing huts left on Sylvan Lake will either be taken down by provincial officials or find a watery grave.

Any ice fishing huts left on Sylvan Lake will either be taken down by provincial officials or find a watery grave.

March 31 was the deadline to have all huts removed from Sylvan Lake as the warmer temperatures put an end to the fishing season.

Starting April 2 representatives from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development will try taking them down. If it isn’t safe for them to get out on the ice and take them down, the huts will remain out there and sink into the lake.

Beverly Anderson, Sylvan Lake management committee, has been encouraging people to get their huts of the lake as soon as the can.

Anderson and a few other people were tasked with counting the number of huts on the lake and turn those numbers over to ESRD.

If ESRD crews are able to retrieve some of the huts, they are left on the shore for a week for owners to claim, however after that week they will be disposed of.

“We don’t want to be a service for people to just let the government pull their hut off,” said Anderson. “Anything we take off is in really bad shape because we often have to drag it off or it may come off on its side … they may even have to dismantle it. There’s no guarantee anything brought to the shoreline will be in a usable shape.”

Because of the weather huts are more likely to be buried in the ice as with melting and freezing of March they become stuck in the ice.

After a week of resting on the shore the huts left over are demolished.

This year was the second of a program that allowed ice hut owners to register their hut. Anderson said it has been a success this year, more so than last, in part because the Town of Sylvan Lake had provided some resources, including online registration through their website.

Last year was the first for the ice hut registration and 21 were registered, this year another 49 huts were added to the registry.

There are eight municipalities around Sylvan Lake with several of ice huts still on the ice.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com