Ontario Offers Free Fishing Weekend

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The Ontario government and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters are encouraging anyone looking for some winter fun to get outdoors and drop a line during the first winter Ontario Family Fishing Weekend, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said today.

"Many Ontarians enjoy winter fishing as a sport and social activity, and parents and others across the province can take this opportunity to introduce children and young adults to the fun of fishing," said Ramsay. "The winter family fishing weekend is a great time to learn from experienced anglers about fishing, safety and conservation."

Canadian residents can fish licence-free in any public waters across Ontario on Saturday, February 24, and Sunday, February 25. Events offering free instruction on ice fishing and safety on ice will be held where ice conditions permit safe fishing opportunities – mostly in Northern Ontario.

Through a new partnership arrangement with the ministry, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) will be taking on more responsibility for organizing Ontario Family Fishing weekends.

"Ontario Family Fishing Weekend is the province's flagship outdoors event that works to promote recreational fishing. The original concept for Ontario Family Fishing Weekend was presented by the OFAH and we are pleased that the Ministry of Natural Resources has increased opportunities to participate in this outstanding program," said OFAH President John Ford. "Ice fishing is good family fun, and the OFAH is proud to expand our partnership with the ministry and the outdoor industry to help introduce the new winter edition of Ontario Family Fishing Weekend."

During the family fishing weekend, anglers must follow the conservation licence limits set out in the 2005-2006 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, which is in effect until future notice. Information on these limits will be available at each participating site.

"Taking part in outdoor activities such as fishing raises people's awareness of the environment," said Ramsay. "We look forward to working with the federation in the future on more fishing events to promote a conservation-based approach to recreational fishing."

For more information on the Ontario Family Fishing Weekend, or if your organization would like to host an event, visit www.familyfishingweekend.com.