An Ontario Provincial Police issued a press release on Monday warning ice fishermen that alcohol consumption is illegal on the ice. "Members of the public who are found to be in contravention of the Liquor License Act could be faced with a fine."
In the press release, the OPP say officers will be out on snowmobiles over the next few weeks visiting ice fishing villages through-out Ontario. They say it's not unusual for officers to be out and about the ice roads, noting many of them are familiar with all of the roads leading to and from the Ottawa River. "The officers in our marine and trail unit do spend a lot of time on the ice roads and familiarize themselves with the ice roads from the main roads right down to the smaller offshoots that are out there as well."
The past few years have proven to be sketchy regarding alcohol consumption on the ice. While the general rule used to be absolutely no alcohol on the ice, it seems they eased up on the law back in 2011.
Here's what we know: consuming beer or alcohol in an ice hut is permitted if the hut is considered to be a residence. It should have sleeping and cooking facilities to be legal. It is very illigal to drink outside of an ice hut at any time, and that's what the OPP will be looking for.
If you decide to have that beer or shot, keep in mind that R.I.D.E. checkpoints are set up on Trim Road from time to time. Enjoy that beer but stay safe, do not drink and drive.
For all the fans of our favorite walleye, Wally the Walleye is still making the headlines. In case you missed it, Wally was our entry in this year's Santa's Parade of Lights in Orleans. Soon after the parade members took the 22' parade float and parked him in the middle of the ice in Baitshop Bay.
At the time, Wally sat alone on the ice but garnered a lot of attention from passersby. Weeks later, when the ice thickened, ice huts started moving out to begin the 2014 ice fishing season. Wally finally had some company on the ice.
With the many colorful huts on the ice, Wally still seemed to be the center of attention. With ice thickening in and around Petrie Island, members of the Petrie Island Ice Fishermen's Association moved Wally out beyond the seclusion of Petrie Island's Baitshop Bay to where he could be seen from highway 174.
It was quite the scene from the 174! Almost immediately, traffic was seen slowing down to take a look a the huge oddity. Wow! A huge walleye on the ice at Petrie Island!
Within hours, someone from The Ottawa Paramedic Service tweeted the photo of Wally from the 174 and media outlets in the Ottawa area jumped on it. Friday, January 10, saw most local media outlets on the ice looking to be first with the story of Wally the Walleye. It was then that our big guy was no longer just an old parade float, that was the day he became a media star!
In case you missed it, here are some links in local media featuring Wally:
We're getting some great photos from the ice fishermen of Baitshop Bay but we want more photos for our 2014 Anglers Gallery. How was your week-end? These people had a great time. We wanna see your photos!!! Send us your best pics using the email link at the bottom of the page.
By now, you're very familiar with our 2013 entry in the Orleans Santa's Parade of Lights. In case you were on vacation, a few boys from PIIFA constructed a giant fish and entered it in this year's parade. They named the fish Wally the walleye.
The fish turned out better than expected and was a huge hit at the parade. But what do you do with a giant fish after the parade is over? Bring him back to Petrie Island and milk him for all he is worth! He is now the center piece of where we fish in Baitshop Bay. Many people took pics and videos which we have compiled into a video and uploaded it to Youtube.
Check all the PIIFA videos on Youtube...
Big Al is collecting Canadian Tire money again this season to help buy a few more door prizes for the Petrie Island ice fishing derby on February 15th. Al has bought some great door prizes over the past few years and it was your donations of Canadian Tire money that helped!
Check your drawers... check your pockets... check your glove box... and drop off your spare Canadian Tire money at Big Al's hut early in season.
Remember, it's all for a good cause because all profits money made at the derby go directly to a good cause somewhere in the Ottawa area.
As we sit back, put our feet up on a chair and take in what we have accomplished in the ten years of PIIFA, we have decided NOT to organize an ice fishing derby this year! We loved organizing the derby over the years but decided to take a break this year.
Don't worry as Yves Grandmaitre and the good people at the Oziles Marina and Tackle have stepped up and will be organizing this year's event. We don't know too much yet but we do know that they will be changing the rules a bit to accommodate more ice fishermen.
Yves from Oziles mentioned that they are looking for donations for the event. If your company or organization can help out, contact Yves at Oziles, 613-841-0778.
In keeping with tradition, Big Al will collecting Canadian Tire money to buy prizes for the derby. Clean out your drawers, glove box, back seat and trunk and bring your Canadian Tire money to Big Al as soon as you can!
The 2014 derby will take place during the winter edition of Family Fishing Week-end on February 15, 2014. For the latest updates and information on the 2014 Oziles Ice Fishing Derby at Petrie Island, check out the events page.