Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Fishing Trash

 While surfing the fishing blog nation today I stumbled upon an article published by the CBC that discussed something that has really bothered me for some time now: trash left behind by anglers. Increasingly over the years I'm seeing more and more garbage in my favorite places, but most obvious of all are the piles of refuse on the frozen lakes and rivers. I find it unbelievable that anyone could walk out on a frozen lake with a coffee and leave the cup to blow in the wind when they leave. Any ways, read the article and see what you think.

Solutions sought for ice fishing trash

Diapers, alcohol bottles and human waste among things left behind

Last Updated: Thursday, November 25, 2010 | 12:00 PM CST

A village of ice fishing shacks sets up every winter along the frozen Red River.A village of ice fishing shacks sets up every winter along the frozen Red River. (CBC)About 200 people gathered in Selkirk Wednesday night, searching for ways to clean up the mess left behind every year by ice fishers on the Red River.
Garbage left behind from thousands of anglers and hundreds of their ice shacks has angered residents.
Last winter, more than 500 shacks showed up on the Red River near Lockport, just north of Winnipeg. When they were removed, much of their trash remained, making the area look like a garbage dump.
The garbage includes diapers, gum and chocolate bar wrappers, pop bottles, beer bottles, whiskey bottles and even old furniture. And when the ice melts, it all drops into the water.
Claude Provencal lives near Selkirk and fishes every winter. He said the problem is getting worse.
"Last spring I was out here and there was a five gallon pail of human waste left there," he said.
'Last spring I was out here and there was a five gallon pail of human waste left there.'—Claude Provencal
Angler and fishing guide Bob Check thinks people who use the river have to step up and clean up.
"Individual fishermen gotta take ownership — and also policing. I mean, we have a tip program that works very well for poaching and stuff. Maybe we should have a tip program for ice fishing too," he said.
The problem was so bad in 2009 that the Rural Municipality of St. Clements called for a ban on ice fishing shacks.
The Manitoba government said it is looking at a number of options.
Provencal suggested the province start with fines and track the ice shacks.
"Licence the shacks. Charge them $200 and put the money towards operation Red River Cleanup," he said.
Brian Gillespie of Manitoba Conservation said anglers have to start taking personal responsibility.
"You can't legislate and fine people enough to change their ethics," he said.
 No you can't legislate people's ethics, I wouldn't want to, but something has to be done. People... it's time we clean up our sport and "call out" those few that are ruining it for all of us. I'm sure that one reason for the Hassle at Haynes Lake the other day was due to inconsiderate anglers using the roadside as their own personal trash disposals. If our community doesn't clean up it's act, we will start to see more restrictions to water and ice access.For years I've brought home more than I've taken, never giving a second thought to spending a minute to pick up a few cups, bottles, line or whatever. Perhaps my time would have been better spent reminding people rather than picking up after them! What do you think?


  1. some people have no respect and theres nothing you or i will ever be able to do to fix it. do somthing good for the environment and kick a litter bug's ass

  2. It's a shame that so many people that fish are just pigs. I guess that's why most of us carry bags to pick up others trash.


  3. Hi, John, could not agree with you more and looks like there were some decent suggestions on how to try to cope. I mean it's everywhere (trash). Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Those that leave the garbage are a "special kind of Stupid"! We have our work cut out for us.