Despite ice cover, March 31 ice hut deadline still stands

MANITOULIN—Despite the colder-than-average temperature trends of this spring, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is reminding ice anglers that the date for the removal of ice huts on Manitoulin lakes is still March 31.

“The ice hut removal deadline for Manitoulin, which is in Fishing Management Zone 10, is March 31,” Jolanta Kowalski, senior media relations officer with the MNR, told The Expositor. “The deadlines are set in legislation and don’t change from year to year. So if the winter is colder or milder than normal, the dates remain the same. In milder winters we tell anglers that they should check weather conditions and get the huts off before ice conditions deteriorate, even if it’s before the calendar deadline.”

Portable, fabric huts don’t have to be off by the March 31 deadline, she added, but again, ice conditions should always be checked.

As of press time Monday, there was still upwards of two feet of ice on most of Manitoulin’s inland lakes.