Manitoba Expands Overnight Ice Fishing Program

The government of Manitoba has announced that their overnight ice fishing program will be expanding to more bodies of water throughout the province.

Greg Nesbitt, the Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development, announced the expansion last month. He mentioned that around 20 bodies of water will be open for commercial tourism operators to arrange overnight stays starting this upcoming winter season. This increase creates an opportunity for both established and new resource tourism operators to seek permission for providing this service.

“Last year was the first time Manitoba resource tourism operators had the chance to offer on-ice overnight accommodations to anglers on Lake Winnipeg and it was a resounding success,” Nesbitt said.

“I know Manitobans are enjoying summer right now but winter will be here before we know it and our government is pleased to expand the eligibility of this innovative program, which offers anglers and eco-adventure tourists a world-class winter experience.”

During the 2023/24 season, resource tourism operators will have the opportunity to provide overnight ice fishing experiences on these lakes

  •  Lake Manitoba;
  •  Lake Winnipeg;
  •  Athapapuskow Lake;
  •  Cedar Lake;
  •  Cormorant Lake;
  •  Joey Lake;
  •  Kississing Lake;
  •  Lac du Bonnet;
  •  Lake of the Prairies;
  •  Lake of the Woods;
  •  Lake Wahtopanah;
  •  Oak Lake;
  •  Ospawagan Lake;
  •  Partridge Crop;
  •  Pelican Lake;
  •  Rock Lake;
  •  Rocky Lake;
  •  Tramping Lake;
  •  Upper Opawagan Lake; and
  •  Wekusko Lake

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The whole Fish’n Canada team is very excited for the upcoming season!

Additional details regarding the eligibility criteria for tourism operators seeking permits for setting up portable ice camps for angling and ecotourism activities can be found here.

“We have heard loud and clear from our members, their guests and Manitoba anglers that there is demand for overnight accommodations on ice in our province,” said Mat Hobson, president of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association.

“We are overjoyed that the Manitoba government has worked with us to develop the safe and sustainable framework that they are rolling out across our province.”

The enhanced program will also encompass these provisions:

  1. Granting permits for specific lakes exclusively to operators already in operation.
  2. Extending the buffer distance from developed areas to 200 metres.
  3. Mandating operators to attach multi-directional safety reflectors to every corner of each accommodation unit.
  4. Permitting operators to incorporate a storage structure within the portable camp application.

Nevertheless, resource tourism operators are still obligated to adhere to all other environmental, safety, and recreational vehicle construction standards.


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