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.
If you haven't already done this, someone might have done it for you. With news of the temporary closure of the marina until the beginning of the ice fishing season, several PIIFA members went around and jacked up many of the huts in the week before the closure.
The marina is technically closed until the beginning of January, but marina employees are sometimes there working. John tells us, when they are there working, the gate will be open. Get lucky, find the marina open and go check your hut!
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 two square metres (21.5 square feet) or less when erected.
For the list of local offices where you can register your ice hut, go to The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website.
After 14 years as owner of Oziles Marina, Yves Grandmaitre has left. The Marina has been sold to Eric Theriault, owner of The Rockcliffe Boathouse.
Details of the sale are unknown but the Marina and the land around it had been for sale for several years.
Yves had quite the history at Petrie Island, having grown up there in the 1960's. His grandfather, Donat, operated a sand and gravel extraction business on Petrie Island and Yves' Father, Gerard built three cottages there for his family. When the business closed in the early 1980's, Gerard sold the island to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and one of the cottages became the interpretation center for Petrie Island Park.
In 2004, Yves Grandmaitre returned to Petrie when he took over The Petrie Island Marina and Tackle Shop from the Fournier Brothers. Over his years as owner, he made many improvements to the area including a new store/bait shop and boat ramp for large boats.
With the purchase of the Marina by Eric Theriault, we should expect no changes to marina operations for the foreseeable future. We will miss Yves. He was a popular guy on the ice and as owner of the Marina was very generous and accommodating to the members of PIIFA. We thank you Yves.
The quick thaw and many rainstorms saw some of worst spring flooding in the area in more than 50 years. The affected area was much of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. It extended from the Great Lakes to Quebec City and the entire Ottawa River and The Rideau water system. Many areas saw water levels up to 4 meters higher than average spring levels. Many communities were flooded and some were actually under water.
Petrie Island was up to 90% under water and was inaccessible for a month. Many ice huts close to the water were flooded but everything else was saved thanks to the boys at Oziles.
See footage taken by a drone at the peak of the flooding. The boat storage area and ice hut storage area are seen near the end of the video. It shows how the boys from Oziles managed to save all of the boats by moving them to the highest portion of land. Not all at Petrie went unscathed as a dozen or so ice huts in the ice hut storage area were caught in the flood.
Al Macintyre took some captivating raw video of the flooded Petrie Island ice huts at the peak of the spring flooding. See Al's video on YouTube.
It took a while, but all the damaged ice huts have been repaired and ready for the 2018 season.
As Canada turns 150 years old, there will be celebrations and events of all kinds throughout the year from coast to coast.
In Ottawa, the Citizen's Bruce Deachman has put together a list of 150 local headliners, newsmakers and special people who make our city proud. In Bruce's words, "People's stories of life and death, hope and love, obsession and fear."
One person on Bruce's list was Allan Macintyre, the President of PIIFA. Big Al is number 35 in Bruce's Ottawa Citizen series called Capital Voices. This special series run in conjuction with Canada's 150th birthday runs in the Ottawa Citizen from February 2 until Canada Day.
Sarah Freemark from CTV Morning Live Ottawa joined us on the ice to help us promote our 2017 Derby. Sarah showed up at Big Al's hut at 5:00 AM and she was ready to go! The two did four live remote segments for the show from 6:00 to 10:00 AM. Check out one of the clips of Sarah and Big Al very early in the morning.