Lacombe County, in partnership with Ponoka County, the Summer Village of Gull Lake, and the Summer Village of Parkland Beach, is expanding the ‘Take it Off’ Program.
Starting this winter, anglers fishing on Gull Lake can register their ice hut online by visiting the Lacombe County web site or by calling the County office at 403-782-8959.
Registering the ice hut ensures that each hut is accounted for at the end of the ice fishing season; this reduces the likelihood of ice huts falling through the ice in the spring and polluting the lake.
“The reason we are expanding this program to Gull Lake is the amount of success we’ve seen on Sylvan Lake,” said Monica Boudreault, environmental coordinator with Lacombe County.
“Before the ‘Take It Off’ program was implemented in Sylvan Lake, there was an average of about 20 huts left on the ice every year. Last year was the first year of implementing the program and there were no huts left on the ice. That’s why we’re bringing it to Gull Lake – we want to see that same success and not to see any huts left on the ice for spring.”
Registering the huts not only helps to protect the environment, but also ensures the safety of the animals who depend on that water source, as well as lake users throughout the year.
It also helps to identify the owner of an ice hut in the event of any issues related to ice hut property, such as vandalism and theft.
The registration process is quick, easy and free of charge.
Once registered, a number will be given to each angler. These registration numbers must be clearly displayed on the outside of each ice hut, either by placing the numbers on wood blocks or by spray painting them on the side of structure.
“It’s extremely easy for people to register. They can go online to our County web site or call me, and it’s a one-time registration. Once you’re assigned a number, you can use that number for years to come,” Boudreault said.
Anglers are only required to register once, as previously issued ice hut numbers continue to be valid.
Lacombe County asks that people inform them about any changes to contact information by calling the Lacombe County office.
Lacombe has a similar partnership with Sylvan Lake for the registration and removal of ice fishing huts. To register an ice hut on Sylvan Lake please visit www.sylvanlake.ca/take-it-off. For more information, visit www.lacombecounty.com, or call 403-782-8959.
“We’re hoping that at the end of this year with the registry and increased education for anglers and fishermen that we will have no debris and no leftovers of the huts on the ice. We’re hoping to see that success in our program, too. We’ve had a few people register so far and we hope that as the information gets out to the public we will see registrations coming in quite soon.”