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Province of New Brunswick bumps ice shanty removal deadline amid ice warnings

Mild temperatures prompt ice warnings, province bumps ice fishing deadline
WATCH: Mild temperatures have recently prompted warnings regarding ice safety. As Callum Smith reports, an ice fisher is also putting out his own warning; move ice-fishing shacks soon.

The recent mild temperatures in southeastern New Brunswick have prompted warnings from first responders to take caution if you’re on the ice.

“Because of [the temperatures], we’re going to be seeing the ice get thinner and thinner, so we’re recommending that people be very cognizant of that and take precaution,” says Shediac Fire Department Capt. Julien Boudreau.

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.

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“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.

READ MORE: 1 man dead after ATV falls through ice near Clifton Royal, N.B.

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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READ MORE: Thin ice warnings issued in Greater Moncton

“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.

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