Don’t leave your garbage on the ice when you pack up your ice fishing shelter

Attention, winter anglers: all good things must end and the deadlines to get your fishing shelters off the ice are coming up quickly. But make sure your plan to remove your shelter is solid because, before you know it, the ice may not be!

In all areas of Saskatchewan south of Highway 16, ice fishing shelters must be removed from waterbodies by March 15, and by March 31 in the north. But whatever the deadline, know the conditions in your area and plan to remove your shelter while the ice is still safe.   

Every year, ice fishing shelters are abandoned on Saskatchewan lakes with predictable results. The structures can break up and wash up on shore along with litter that’s often left behind, creating environmental hazards and an ugly mess. Submerged debris is dangerous to boaters, water skiers and others who want to enjoy our lakes in the summer. There can be other costs too, negligent owners can face hefty fines, and the structures and contents can be confiscated.

Ice fishing shelters must be marked on the outside with the owner’s complete name, address and phone number in legible letters at least 2.5 cm high. Owners must remove all structures and litter from the ice and transport them away. Shelters may not be left on the shore.

Take care while travelling on ice. Slush, thermal cracks and pressure ridges are all signs of unsafe ice. Ice thickness and strength can vary from area to area, so always check to make sure conditions are safe.

Ice fishing season closes on March 31 in southern and central Saskatchewan and on April 15 in the north. For more information, check the Anglers Guide, available online at

If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations, please call Saskatchewan’s toll-free Turn In Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or report online at You don’t have to give your name and you may be eligible for cash rewards from the SaskTIP Reward Program.