Thin ice and open water on aerated water bodies can pose a safety risk.
A number of Alberta lakes and ponds are aerated through the winter to improve the survival of stocked fish. Aeration systems are delivered through the Alberta Conservation Association and Alberta Environment and Parks.
“As winter sets in, Alberta offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and hunting. While we aerate these water bodies to support stocked fish populations, our first priority is public safety. I encourage Albertans to take extra caution and follow posted instructions at Alberta’s aerated lakes and ponds.”
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
Alberta’s aerated water bodies are:
- Beaver Lake
- Birch Lake
- Cecil Thompson Pond
- Coleman Fish and Game Pond
- East Dollar Lake
- Fiesta Lake
- Figure Eight Lake
- Hansen Reservoir
- Ironside Pond
- Millers Lake
- Mitchell Lake
- Moonshine Lake
- Muir Lake
- Spring Lake – Stony Plain
- Spring Lake – Grande Prairie
- Sulphur Lake
- Swan Lake
“Without a viable lake aeration system we would have significantly fewer recreational angling opportunities in Alberta. We applaud the efforts of those who have worked so diligently to ensure that safe and comprehensive aeration requirements are in place to help maintain stocked fisheries for public enjoyment.”
Peter Little, Trout Unlimited
Changes to the Criminal Code of Canada have specified that those who create holes in ice have a duty to both warn and protect the public from this danger.
In order to balance the use of lake aeration techniques to improve fish survival, while maintaining public safety, Environment and Parks has developed new minimum requirements that must be satisfied to operate aeration systems on publicly accessible waters in Alberta.
These requirements include:
- Public notices must be placed in local and regional newspapers;
- Signage must be erected on every public access to aerated lakes;
- Fences must be erected around aerator(s);
- Signage must appear on all fences located on ice; and
- Winter fishing events on aerated lakes require the posting of a guard(s) at fences.