Ice fishing hut removal supported by county

Red Deer County will throw its weight behind a resolution urging the provincial government to make registering ice fishing huts mandatory. A resolution going to the Central Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties zone meeting also calls for more education and enforcement around ice fishing. Council voted on Tuesday to join Lacombe County in taking the resolution forward.

Red Deer County will throw its weight behind a resolution urging the provincial government to make registering ice fishing huts mandatory.

A resolution going to the Central Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties zone meeting also calls for more education and enforcement around ice fishing.

Council voted on Tuesday to join Lacombe County in taking the resolution forward.

The Sylvan Lake Management Committee made the request as part of an ongoing effort to crack down on ice fishers who leave their huts on the ice past the end of the season.

In the spring of 2011, two dozen huts were abandoned on the ice at Sylvan Lake and had to be hauled away. Left too long, the huts sink or are blown to shore and can become environmental and boating hazards.

The Town of Sylvan Lake, the committee, RCMP and the provincial government joined forces this winter to encourage voluntary registration of huts so owners can be notified when it’s time to remove them. Visits were also made to ice fishers and the initiative seems to have paid off.

Only a handful of huts were left on the ice after the fishing season was over at the end of March.

“It’s important these ice fishing huts are removed from the lakes,” said Mayor Jim Wood. “What we’re trying to do is work with other municipalities in the area to come up with a solution.”

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