Ice Hut Regulations and Laws
Ice Hut Registration
All ice fishing huts at Petrie Island must be registered with the local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources office and the registration number must be clearly visible on your hut. Your registration numbers must be at least 6.3 cm (2.5 in.) in height and clearly displayed on the outside of the hut. Registration is necessary for any type of hut except for tents made of cloth or synthetic fabric that has a base area of seven square metres (75.4 square feet) or less when erected.
For complete information on ice registration or to register your hut online go to The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website.
The Two Line Limit
In our area, as well as most of Ontario, there is a two line limit for ice fishing. One or both of the lines may be tip-ups for ice fishing, but you must remain within 60 m (197 ft.) of any line with which you are fishing. At all times, you must have a clear and unobstructed view of the lines being used.
A word of caution: MNR officials consider this a serious infraction and give heavy fines to offenders. For more information on the subject, check out The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website
Fishing Permits and Outdoors Cards
Everyone fishing in Ontario must have a valid fishing permit and an Outdoors Card. An Outdoors Card is a plastic, wallet-sized, identification card to which your Ontario fishing license tag is affixed. Ontario Outdoors CardIt acts as a durable carrier for your license tag for three calendar years. Most Canadian residents need an Ontario-issued Outdoors Card and fishing license tag to fish in Ontario if they are at least 18 years old but have not reached their 65th birthday.
Although the outdoors cards and fishing permits are not sold at the Oziles Tackle Shop, they can be purchased at Sail Bass Pro Shops and other outdoor stores. Make sure that all people in your hut have a valid Outdoors card and fishing permit as the Game Wardens make regular visits to Petrie Island. Remember to carry it with you at all times when you are on the ice.
Alcohol Consumption on the Ice
The OPP reminds us that alcohol consumption is illegal on the ice. They did say that they are typically lenient if the place looks neat (no bottles all over the place), there is no rowdiness or personality issues going on and no expected driving. Final decision is up to the officer though. Just a word of caution....
Ice Hut Launching and Storage
Before the Season Begins
All huts stored at Petrie Island should be put up on blocks before the ground freezes. This facilitates moving the huts at the beginning of the ice fishing season.
When the ice in the Bay reaches a minimum of 30 centimetres, Oziles will start hauling huts out on the ice. Depending on the weather, this usually begins in late December or sometime in January.
- Your hut storage fees must be paid in full before the boys from Oziles will even think about hauling your hut on to the ice.
- Contact Oziles at 613-841-0778 to make arrangements to get your hut hauled on the ice.
Season ending Hut Removal
Here are the guidelines for the removal of your hut at the end of the season as recommended by The Oziles Tackle Shop. This takes a lot of coordination with you and Oziles as all huts must be off the ice by March 15.
- Your hut storage fees must be paid by the end of February. At time of payment for storage, a card will be given to you to put in your hut window. They say, "No pay, no pull, no storage".
- Hut storage is on a first come/first paid/first to pick your best storage spot basis. Oziles will do their best to accommodate everyone's request, but there are no guarantees.
- When hut removal begins, it will be on an hourly basis, ½ hour intervals for the smaller huts.
If you are not using the towing and storage service of The Oziles Tackle Shop, your ice hut must be removed from the ice before March 15. When removing your hut, make sure that you leave your area totally free of all debris including bottles, garbage, old wood and cigarette butts.
Etiquette on the Ice
Except for permits and regulations of the MNR, there are very few rules for ice fishing. There are however, the rules of etiquette which could help to avoid conflicts with friends and neighbors on the ice.
- Keep a respectful distance between you and your neighbor: When setting up your hut at the beginning of the season, keep a reasonable distance between you and your neighbor. The suggested minimum distance between huts should be at least 8 meters. This allows space for equipment, extra vehicles and fishing.
- Avoid drilling holes at 5:00 a.m.: You would be surprised to find out how many people sleep over in their huts on week-ends. Some wake up early, while others might sleep in. Avoid conflict and keep the noise down early in the morning.
- Keep your speed down: Even a quiet ATV or snowmobile can seem noisy; it depends on how and where you ride it. Keep the RPMs and speed low and steady when you're near the ice hut village. ATV and snowmobile drivers have a right to use the ice as much as fishermen, but some could be more polite. Besides rattling the ice, ATV's and snowmobiles can spook the fish and ruin an afternoon of fishing.
- Keep your area clean: Remove all debris from around your hut including garbage, cans, bottles and construction material.