Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ice Fishing on The River

Yesterday was a mild, sunny day here and many people took advantage of the weather to spend part of the day outside. Hubby and I were on our way to check out a fitness equipment store when we stopped in to a local wharf area, to view the insane ritual of ice fishing.

The next 4 photos were taken in a sweeping motion to show you a panoramic view of the area. I understand the dedication people have to sports or activities they love but wonder some of the finer points of playing on ice.

There are 3 "streets" of these fishing shacks now out on the ice. I'm sure there are more than 50 time I'm out I'll be sure to count them. Inside each of these stand-tos a hole is cut out to fish from.

This a right-side view of the ice fishing area. You can also see a road with vehicles parked on it. Way out in the distance there are people cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, quadding and yes... even a car was driving to the Pennisula on the far side of the picture. Yes, driving a car out there.

This is a closer view of the road the vehicles are parking on. That road is actually an ice road meaning the entire foreground is ice over water. The vehicles had to drive through a fairly deep, large body of water to get to the "high and dry" section to park.

Here's a closer shot of the right edge of the fishing village. It is quite colourful and residents put their shacks up year after year.

These were among the first shacks to go out about a month or so ago.

Now here is what I'm wondering...being new to the area and all, I just don't know all the ins and outs. How do these people know how much weight the ice will stand before breaking? If you look at all of the pictures there are many vehicles in a small area, plus the shacks and the people around and in them, the skaters on the ice rink on the left side of the the snowmobilers and quads that passed through this area. The winter has been mild with very few cold days, by which I mean in the minus teens or twenties (Celsius).

When do these folks know when to get OFF the ice? Does it start cracking and then everyone moves quickly? Does the local fire department test the ice? I do recall a few years back that a few of the shacks (with fishermen inside) when for an unexpected trip out into the river, when sections of ice broke off and drifted off.

I, for one, am a chicken and proud of it. Perhaps one day I will gather enough courage (gumption?) to stroll among the shacks and take some pictures very close-up... but considering a month ago my son and his cousin were throwing ice chunks into open water just beyond that ice won't be this year! My luck would be that by walking out, the maximum load of the ice would shift and we'd all hear that dreadful cracking noise....


Sasha @ Cherished Moments said...

These are great photos! Living in tropical northern Australia, I have sometimes wondered if such things as walking on the ice actually happen, or whether they are figments of northern-hemisphere folk-lore! Now I know! And I for one love your new-look blog. The header is just gorgeous.

Susan said...

We have ice-fishing along the Ottawa river too - not as much as you, only a shack or two, because the river is fast-flowing, but it does cover up. I'm with you, I think ice-fishing is for maniacs, and driving cars on ice? NO WAY!!! Plus being out in the cold......I have co-workers who love ice-fishing, b-r-r-r. They are all French, it's very big in Quebec.
I've never seen streets like that though, in your photos! Cool!!!
Toby wondered if you were missing the -48c windchill factor in Edmonton this winter :-) I said now, but you weren't enjoying the record snowfalls either, in NB!
love ya, Susan

onelittlemustardseed said...

I've only ever gotten the courage up once to walk on the ice...the kids were amazed! I've seen them out there with their cars with layers of water on top of the ice...some like to hold out to the very last minute before they take their stuff down. However, there have been a few shacks lost to the river...