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Early end to ice fishing season

Chris Dawson, Reporting
March 26, 2012 — Ice hut owners have had to be attentive in northern Ontario this March. Milder conditions have forced them to rush to get their huts off the ice.

Ice huts are normally still standing on Lake Nipissing in late March, but a recent warm spell this year has forced people in North Bay to get them off before the annual deadline.

"The weather in the past week has been significantly warmer than usual causing ice hut owners to remove their ice huts prior to the March 31 deadline," says Kent Moxam, enforcement officer with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Officials admit that while the recent March heat is unusual, it hasn't caught ice hut users in the area off guard.

"Two years prior to this year, the ice conditions were deteriorating and we were recommending that hut owners remove their huts from area lakes prior to the deadline as well," says Moxam.

He adds that ice hut users are also responsible for any debris left near their shack.

Anyone caught leaving their hut on the lake past the March 31 deadline will face a fine.

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