The recent mild temperatures in southeastern New Brunswick have prompted warnings from first responders to take caution if you’re on the ice.
The temperatures have been of concern to Gratien David, an ice fisher who typically spends several hours in his shanty about three or four days each week.
“A small little 6′ by 9′ wooden shack, and you’re just there with a little wood stove, and just the smell of the woodstove enjoying just the moment,” he says.
He headed out on his ATV to haul in his shacks Wednesday morning after being away on a trip. But he was met with snow and slush on top of the ice.
“It’s exciting to bring the shack on the water, but it’s a challenge to bring them out,” he says. “If you’re too late, like, actually we are this year, you’re caught with the slush and the water that comes even with the bottom of your shanty.”
That slush and water prevented him from hauling the shacks to shore.
New Brunswick’s Department of Environment and Local Government initially had a deadline for people in the south to remove their ice-fishing gear on March 15th, and March 31st for people in the northern part of the province.
However, “considering this week’s weather in the south,” the date for people to have their shanties removed from that part of the New Brunswick has been bumped up to March 10, according to Anne Mooers, the department’s director of communications.
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“Right now, we’re experiencing warm temperatures that continuing day after day after day,” Capt. Boudreau says.
“At this time of year, and especially this year, where we’re having abnormal warm temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on the thickness and to be safe on the ice,”
As for David, he’s hoping for cold weather between now and then to help freeze the slush, then he’ll come back to jack up the shacks, then start the countdown until next winter.