Manitoba families and visitors to the province won’t need a fishing licence to enjoy ice fishing during the third annual Winter Family Fishing Weekend that runs tomorrow until Monday, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

“Whether you live in the country or the cities of our province, there are excellent fishing opportunities all around us,” said Mackintosh. “I hope many families take the opportunity to spend time together enjoying the beauty and bounty of our many lakes and rivers.”

From Feb. 16 to 18, no licence is necessary anywhere in the province, except in national parks where a federal licence is still required. Standard Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship limits apply to those fishing without a licence.  While summer Family Fishing Weekends have been offered since 1992, this is only the third winter Family Fishing Weekend.

“Ice fishers are expected to ensure conditions are safe before venturing onto the ice,” the minister said. “It is also important to ensure someone knows where you are fishing and appropriate clothing is essential to enjoy your outdoor experience.”

For the second year, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation is holding an amateur photo contest to promote ice fishing as a fun family activity.

“Families can take a picture of their ice-fishing experience and post the photos to our Facebook page by Feb. 22,” said Reid Woods, president of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. “Three winners will be drawn at random for a chance to win some terrific prizes.”

The minister also noted promoting winter recreation opportunities supports the implementation of TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, the government’s eight-year strategic plan for protecting the environment while ensuring an environmentally conscious economy.

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