The 2015 ice fishing season is here! After just a few huts made it out early in the new year, we got deluged with mild weather, ice pellets and rain. The temperature has plummeted and we can expect many more huts to be moved out over the next few week-ends.
We remind you that the ice is still thin and the village is not really open to most vehicle traffic. Visitors should park their vehicles on Trim Road and walk on to the ice. Hut owners and guests should use caution when heading out on the ice and always stay on the established ice road.
For the third year, PIIFA and Oziles had a float in the Orleans Santa's Parade of Lights. Part of our float last year was a giant fish called Wally the Walleye. We did not win a prize last year for best float but when we parked Wally on the ice after the parade, he made headlines from coast to coast in Canada!
Wally took quite a beating last winter so the boys from PIIFA gave Wally a makeover for this year's parade. New skin, new fins, new tail, a complete paint job and Wally was better than ever, ready for the 2014 parade.
The parade took place on Saturday, November 29 with an estimated 140,000 people watching along the parade route. Volunteers from PIIFA and Oziles handed out 4,500 candy canes and chocolate candies to kids along the parade route.
It looks like Rick Beaudoin painted a smile on Wally because our float won first prize for best commercial float in the parade! Great going guys and thanks to everyone who helped make this possible! Special thanks to the guys at Oziles for providing the trailer for the float and driving it in the parade. A special thanks to Sylvain Perrier and Ann Guay for letting us use their great looking hut on the float! Thanks all the guys at PIIFA for the help in building the float including Rick Beaudoin, Christine Tessier, Richard, the father and son team of Brian and Brayden Masse, Big Al, Sylvain, Dan and Tom.
Thanks also to our corporate sponsors who donated candy canes, lighting and decorations. They are Orleans Landscaping, Hosie and Brown Auto Electric and Marathon Drilling of Ottawa.
If you missed the parade, smiling Wally will be on the ice at Petrie Island for the entire ice fishing season.
At the beginning of every ice fishing season, we check the long range forecast on several weather related websites to see the type of weather we can expect. This year we checked AccuWeather, The Weather Network, Environment Canada, WeatherBug and the Farmer's Almanac to see what their long range winter forecasts would say.
None of the websites had the same outlook but the consensus of the five websites says we are in for a similar winter as we had in 2014 with colder than average temperatures but less precipitation. AccuWeather says we can expect more polar vortex episodes but a milder spring. The old Farmer's Almanac is predicting below average temperatures and below average precipitation from January to March.
Predicting the weather is never easy, even for the experts. If we have weather similar to the 2014 season it will be an awesome ice fishing season!
With the cold and snow of November, a reminder for all who store their huts at Petrie Island to jack 'em up! Your hut should be placed on blocks before the ground freezes. Failing to do this could lock your hut in ice and cause serious damage to your hut when it comes time to tow it on the ice.
If have been working on your hut in the hut storage area, it is important to clean up all construction material, debris and garbage. Failing to do this could result in serious injury to others or damage a vehicle from debris under the snow.
Looking forward to seeing you on the ice very soon and don't forget to send us your early season photos for the 2015 Anglers Gallery!
We don't know the circumstances of this photo, but all kinds of things were going through our heads when we received it. Is it owned by Oziles and they forgot about it? Did it float in from somewhere else and got frozen in the ice? Did the owner just abandon it? Did the owner die or is maybe going through divorce or something? Whatever the case, it is still there for the taking at the end of the point between Baitshop Bay and the South Chanel. Let us know how it turns out.