Manitobans embracing winter activities despite mild temperatures

Ice fisherman embracing the season. Michael Draven/Global News

From ice fishing to snowmobiling and everything in between, Manitobans are known to get outdoors and enjoy winter.

Due to warmer temperatures, its been difficult to reach ideal conditions for many activities. Outside the perimeter, things have gotten to a point where it’s safe for some winter sportsman to enjoy their pastimes.

Eric Stone is the owner and operator of Red River Cats and he says ice fishermen in the area are happy to get out and get the season going.

“Typically this is definitely slower again because that warm weather, it was hard to build ice right out the bat, but now that we’re starting to move, guys are starting to come out and enjoy the year,” Stone said.

In Lockport, anglers are refraining from bringing their vehicles on the ice for now as it is approximately 12 inches thick in some spots. Stone is glad people are taking precautions.

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“Everyone is being really smart and taking it safe and this is what we recommend doing,” Stone said. “Walking out and drilling a couple holes before you just decide to trust the ice.”

Meanwhile, snowmobilers across the province are looking to get out and enjoy the season, too. Yvonne Rideout with Snoman explains while it’s hard to wait, the amount of trails currently open is typical for this time of year.

“It would be an extraordinary year if we had a bunch of trails open in December, that never happens,” Rideout said.

Many trails along the 13,000-kilometre network are opening daily thanks to clubs around the province.

“A lot of volunteer clubs are getting the trails ready, brushing, doing some packing to firm them up,” Rideout said.

Back in Winnipeg, Larissa Peck, director of communications with The Forks says although not every activity is open for visitors, the warmer weather is bringing out those who may stay away due to the cold.

“It is really nice to see our site nice and vibrant and a place where the community can come and experience winter, even when we don’t quite have all our amenities ready,” Peck said.

One activity is the popular river trail. Peck explained that crews are working along with Mother Nature in order to ensure it’s open as soon as it’s safe to do so.

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“Our teams are working really hard to test the ice on a daily basis, do some flooding where possible, but we’re not ready yet,” Peck said.

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