When do Ice Fishing Shacks have to be off in Manitoba ?

Ice fishing in the cold weather of Manitoba can be overwhelming at times. The cold climate and the chilly breeze can take away all the fun from your fishing expedition. If you want to catch fish in the cold climate, you can consider using ice fishing shacks. They are a great way to fish in the cold climate.

If you are planning to have an ice fishing trip in Manitoba, you may like to keep an ice fishing shack there. Then again, as per the regulations, you will need to remove your ice fishing shack. You may like to know by when?

You need to remove the ice shelters from different places from the second week of March to the second week of April. This is as per Manitoba’s Department of Agriculture and Resource Development. For the year 2022, the dates were 13 March for the Red River and 31 March for the rest of the southern division. For the Northeast, Northwest, and North Central Divisions the last date was 15 April. You may also have to remove your ice fishing shelters before if requested by the authorities.

Ice Fishing Shelters or Ice Fishing shacks need to be removed from the Manitoba fishing sites as and when mentioned by the authorities. If you plan to go to Manitoba or are a resident, you may want to know when you can keep your shacks. After all, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law. In that case, this is the perfect article for you. We bring to you a detailed discussion on the matter. Read on to find more.

Ice fishing shelters and Ice fishing in Manitoba

Ice fishing shelters or shacks are small, portable sheds on a frozen lake to provide shelter during ice fishing. They range from lightweight tarpaulin sheds to heavy-weight wooden structures. Whereas lightweight structures can be packed up or moved, heavy ice fishing shelters become a permanent feature of the place. The lightweight sheds have basic features. The heavy structures come with heating, bunks, electricity, etc.

At times, ice fishing shelters need to be removed from the frozen lake or the river. This happens if the lake defrosts in the summers, or the ice becomes too weak to support the structure once the cold climate diminishes. Hence, collapsible ice fishing shelters are preferred by the licensing authorities. There are laws in several Northern communities on how to operate them and when to remove them.

If you are focusing on ice fishing in Manitoba, you will need to remove your ice shelters by the given dates. These dates are declared every year by the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development. You will need to adhere to them and remove your ice fishing shacks by the given dates. You may also have to remove your ice shelter as and when requested by the local authorities, or face heavy penalties.

Why remove Ice fishing shacks in Manitoba?

Manitoba has a year-long ice fishing season. People purchase year long licenses to do fishing in the icy conditions. Then the question comes up, why remove the ice fishing shelters in the first place. Why not continue using them and enjoy the year-long fishing cycle? There are a couple of reasons for that.

Ice fishing is a licensed activity

Ice fishing is a licensed activity in Manitoba. You will need to remove your shelter about the time your license expires. Generally, the licenses are valid from May 1 to April 30. So you will have to remove your shelters just before the licenses are set to expire.

Ice gets weak

At times, due to changing climatic conditions, the ice cover may become weak. This leads to unsafe conditions for you and your ice shelter. You don’t want to accidentally break through the ice cover and be in harm’s way. Hence you will be advised by the authorities to remove any shelter that you may have erected on the ice.

So you can understand that removing the ice fishing shelters in Manitoba is governed by both safety and regulatory reasons. These rules are strictly followed and anglers are expected to adhere to them as well. There are guidelines on the type of shelters you can erect for ice fishing purposes. For details, contact the local office of Manitoba’s Department of Agriculture and Resource Development.

Ice fishing licensing in Manitoba

You would have understood why and by when you need to remove your ice fishing shacks in Manitoba. Licensing is a key reason behind it. So we will briefly explain the ice fishing licensing policy in Manitoba.

Everybody in Manitoba engaging in angling has to acquire an Ice fishing license. There are a few categories of licenses in the licensing policy. They are:

Resident Senior License

Anyone over the age of 65 can fish for free up to the conservation limit. Beyond that one has to purchase a regular resident license.

Manitoba Resident License

Anyone who is living in Manitoba and is between the age of 16 to 64 needs to purchase a resident license. It is of two subcategories: Conservation type and Regular type.

Canadian Resident License

Any Canadian resident within the age of 16 to 64 needs to purchase the Canadian resident License. It is of two subcategories: Conservation and Regular.

Non-resident License

Anyone else above the age of 16 needs to purchase a non-resident Conservation or Regular license.

Do note that there is an administration fee on and above the licenses when being purchased. There are a few exceptions to the ice fishing licensing policy in Manitoba. They are:

Any status Indians

They don’t need a license. They don’t have a season limit or gear limit if and when they are fishing for food.

Any Canadian or Manitoba resident under the age of 16 years

This exemption is for youth is residing in Canada or Manitoba for the past six months. He or she does not need a license for angling in Manitoba.


We have provided you with the requirements for ice fishing shacks in Manitoba and hope you found this article useful. Read our other articles to further your knowledge on ice fishing.

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