Prepare to get your hut off the ice.

That’s coming from Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Derek Hebner, who says that you should start planning on doing so before it’s too late. Hebner, who works out of Pembroke’s district office, says that the deadline (Zone 15) to get your hut off the ice is March 31st.

He adds that anglers are reminded to make sure they do a bit of spring cleaning before they leave. He says they are responsible for cleaning all of the debris and garbage in the vicinity of their cabin. Failing to do so could result in an investigation. He adds that if their hut stays on the ice past the March 31st deadline, charges could be laid which start at $180 and can go up to $25 000 and possible imprisonment.

“There’s no extension, the laws are in place, we ask them to start developing a plan to block it up and get it ready for removal” he says and adds “don’t wait till the last minute”. Hebner reminds anglers that it’s their responsibility to verify ice and weather conditions in order to make sure they are not caught should a quick thaw happen.

He also encourages the public to help the MNRF should they see any violations occur in order to lend a helping hand in protecting the Province’s natural resources. If you would like to report a violation, call 1-877-847-7667.