Ice cover on lakes and rivers throughout the region could cause havoc for the start of upcoming fishing seasons.
The opening weekend of the walleye season, which is less than four weeks away, is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for fishing.
Brenda Baughman, vice-president of the board of directors for Natural and Outdoor Tourism Ontario, on Tuesday said a delay of one week could result in a loss of several million dollars of revenue for the area’s tourism economy.
The season for walleye opens on the Saturday of the Victoria Day long weekend, May 17, and many bodies of water are still blanketed by ice. Baughman estimates there could be as much as three to four feet of ice on some lakes.
“I’ve been out in less harsh winters and sometimes have ice on the lakes for the openers,” said D & R Sporting Goods sales associate Jim Vescio said. “This year could be even worse.”
Some warm weather would be welcome but that does not look to be in the cards at this point.
Environment Canada’s forecast as of Tuesday afternoon did not project a high temperature in double digits for the next week, with flurries expected this weekend.
The impact has been felt at local sporting good stores with Veschio saying there has been a clear impact on business so far this spring.
“The sales have been down because people haven’t been going fishing,” Vescio said.
“It’s just starting to pick up because people are preparing for the days when the ice has gone out.”
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