Lacombe County reminds ice hut owners to remove the ice fishing huts before the spring thaw arrives to protect the sensitive lake environment.
While ice huts do not need to be legally removed from local lakes – including Sylvan Lake, Gull Lake, and Buffalo Lake – until March 31, the County emphasizes the importance of getting these structures —and all garbage collected over the season—off before the ice surface deteriorates.
“Our lakes contain sensitive ecosystems, and by removing your ice hut from the ice before the lake begins to thaw will protect the animal and plant life, as well as the water quality,” said Jennifer Berry, Environmental Coordinator for Lacombe County. “We all want our lakes to remain healthy, so we can enjoy them safely all year round, and not have people swimming or boating in contaminated water.”
Most anglers on Lacombe County lakes ensure their ice fishing huts are removed before the spring thaw, but unfortunately, some huts do sink. The effects associated with abandoned huts left to settle to the bottom of the lake are detrimental to lake health and the safety of those that enjoy the lake, particularly in the summer. Debris can include wood, gasoline, furniture and plastic, which ends up settling to the bottom of the lake or floating to the surface, and are hazardous to the many ecosystems living in and around the lake.
Take It Off for Gull Lake and Buffalo Lake is managed by Lacombe County, in partnership with Camrose County, Ponoka County, Stettler County, Summer Village of Gull Lake, Summer Village of Parkland Beach, Summer Village of Rochon Sands, and Summer Village of White Sands. People can register their huts on at www.lacombecounty.com/take-it-off.
For Sylvan Lake, the Sylvan Lake Management Committee manages the Take It Off program, with the support of the five Summer Villages of Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake RCMP, Alberta Environment & Parks, Sylvan Lake Fish & Game Association, Lacombe County and Red Deer County, and the Town of Sylvan Lake. People can register their huts year-round at http://www.sylvanlake.ca/take-it-off.
For more information, please contact Lacombe County:
Environmental Coordinator Lacombe County