Just wanted to post a link clarifying the new rules last year. For anyone who is getting into ice fishing this year and is confused by the rules that came out for last season. Or for anyone ( like myself ) who is in the market for a portable ice hut and did not pay too much attention last year when all the hoop-la happened.
Here is the link to the ofah website that has a pdf of the fisheries guy who does a great job explaining the spirit of the law and as far as i can tell is saying that portables are ok without the numbers.
I hope it is ok that I posted the link here. I just thought it would be informative. I copied the contents of the letter below. I also am not sure if that is ok either, I dont know what the protocol on such things are. If it isn't ok I figure an administrator could zap it fairly quickly.
February 1, 2008
Mr. Jeremy Holden
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Ontario Conservation Centre
4601 Guthrie Drive
Peterborough ON K9J 8L5
Thank you for your letter of January 23, regarding the application of ice hut registration requirements in Ontario.
The regulatory direction regarding placement of huts on ice for the purpose of fishing is set out in Sections 37 and 38 of O. Reg. 664/98 (Fish Licensing) under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. The regulation, among other things, describes the size of the ice hut registration number (6.3 cm or 2.5 inches in height) and exempts tents made of cloth or synthetic fabric that have a basal area of two square metres (21.5 square feet) or less when erected. Regulations to register ice huts in certain areas of Ontario have been in place for many years. Recent amendments to this regulation expands the requirement to register ice huts to certain Fisheries Management Zones and identifies the dates when ice huts must be removed for those zones.
The regulation allows for the identification of the owner of the ice hut for management purposes, requires the removal of a hut before it becomes a navigation hazard in the spring, and allows for enforcement action against the owner for violation of these provisions and may help in the prosecution of various other offences (e.g. littering).
As pointed out in your letter, it is the first time that the regulation pertaining to ice huts made of cloth or synthetic fabric and the size restriction have been placed in the Fishing Regulations Summary which has led to questions from manufactures and anglers about portable ice huts. I want to confirm that the intent of the regulation is for the registration of ice huts that remain on the ice for the season, or parts thereof, and is not intended to apply to anglers who take portable, cloth or synthetic ice huts with them when they go fishing, and take them off the ice at the end of the fishing day.
This has not been an issue since the regulation has been in place, but I agree that by putting the size restriction in the fishing summary that it will cause confusion amongst anglers on whether they have to register portable ice huts that fold out to larger than 21.5 square feet.
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MNR supports your recommendation of consulting with anglers and the angling industry, to create a definition that properly excludes portable huts from the registration process. This will also involve a review of how other jurisdictions deal with this matter.
In the interim, however, the regulation is in place and cannot be ignored. In the mean time our Enforcement Branch will update Conservation Officers concerning this issue and the purpose of the provision which will assist them in making good judgements in the field when encountering potential violations. However, our best advice to anglers at this time is to ensure that they have registered all ice huts which meet the present criteria and to display their registration number as provided for in the regulations To help achieve this, the registration procedure has been simplified and anglers may apply in person, phone, fax, or e-mail the MNR office to receive a free registration number. The number assigned is valid for all ice huts owned by the angler and is valid anywhere in Ontario and is not restricted to MNR District or Fisheries Management Zone boundaries.
We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss ways of consulting on this subject and to hear your ideas so we can incorporate changes at the next opportunity to amend O. Reg 664.
Senior Fisheries Biologist
c: L. Deacon, Enforcement Branch