Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ice Fishing Update

Today is the first official day of spring. Yahoo! Can someone please let Mother Nature know ~ as our area undergoes yet another winter storm, I fear she forgot...

In February I showed you the temporary fishing village that sets up yearly on the frozen Kennebecasis River. Saturday was the cut off for removing the fishing shacks as the ice on the river is supposedly soon to start breaking up. So, on Sunday I went back to see how the place was doing.

Here is a "before" photo, when the fishing party was in full swing:

This is what it looked like on Sunday:

Most of the shacks were gone and the rest were removed that day. In the centre of this photo you can see a couple of people on the More on that later. On the right side of the photo you can see some sheds in the process of being removed. Next I will show you those sheds actually coming off the ice.

These sheds are almost off the ice. The truck is about to drive through a depression in the ice, filled with water. I wondered if the weight would cause the ice to break up but it did not. Some shantys were dragged off the ice without anything beneath the structure ~ once on the concrete, they were pulled to the side until something with wheels could be shoved underneath the structure for the road home. Another structure was on skiis!! Once that one moved onto solid ground the harsh grating sound caused your eyes to water and your ears to cringe with the frightful noise.

Here another shed is coming off. This fellow had a bit of difficulty when his building tipped a bit going into that hole in the ice. When he tried to gun the engine the vehicle's wheels spun madly and the truck slid backwards towards the shed. I was hoping for some true excitement for your viewing pleasure but ~ alas ~ he got everything under control and drove off safely with his ice house. Sorry, no drama here!

Remember this photo our intrepid fisherman? I introduced you to Norman last month. He is a die-hard fan of ice fishing and is one of their champion fishermen. He assured me last month that he would be still out there on the ice when the village was removed. Let's go see if we can find him...

...wait a minute...LOOK! Look what I see in the distance!

...holy smokes, could it really be Norman??

It is! Hi Norman! Still sitting on his white pail and catching smelt! He and his buddy were pulling in a LOT of fish; in the few minutes I visited he caught these ~

They made eating these little suckers sound so good I almost convinced myself to try one someday. Note that I said ALMOST...

Now Norman worked hard to clean up his fishing area; earlier that day he had tried to burn his leftover wood and other stuff. Someone, he never said exactly whom it was, ran out horrified and said he couldn't burn anything on the ice: an environmental hazard apparently. By this time the fire had reduced his leftovers to ashes so no problem. He threw water on the fire and kicked some snow to douse it. So, think about that for a minute. He had some ashes left over. That might blow about, sink a bit.

What about this stuff?

I'm not referring to the chair. Look at the other garbage left out. Is that left to sink to the bottom when the ice breaks up? Who cleans that up? How is it anyone is allowed to leave their site with any garbage/wood/hay left behind?

Norman thought about dragging that chair over to his fishing hole, for something nice to sit on. Although it looked inviting, I couldn't help but wonder how many birds might have thought so too.

Thus ends the ice fishing season for this winter. This is what some Maritimers do for fun during our long, cold winters. Those who love this sport, swear by it and already look forward to getting back out there next winter. For the rest of the shivering folk, like me (your friendly tour guide), I'll keep to my camera and hot chocolate if you don't mind!


Julie said...

A man and his son fell through the ice on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on Sunday. I saw the rescue on the news. People, read the thin ice signs!!

It snowed here today. I had to go to book club tonight and it wasn't fun driving there but at 11:00 they had sanded the major streets so it wasn't bad. Sooutheastern ND is supposed to get 9 inches tonight.

onelittlemustardseed said...

I've enjoyed your posts on the ice shacks...I've taken the whole scene for really is a neat thing to take an interest in.