TRURO - Cold weather and dangerous ice conditions will keep many eager anglers from dropping a line Tuesday on the first day of sportfishing season in Nova Scotia.
© Gwydion Morris - Special to the Truro Daily News
Dave MacKay shows some of the different weights available to anglers this season at his store, MacKay’s Wild Outdoor Adventures.
Most lakes and rivers in the province are still frozen over, and many present a danger, as ice thickness varies from one spot to another.
"It'll keep a lot of us old bags home," said Bill Yarn, president of Cobequid Salmon Association.
"I'll wait a few days. It's too dangerous."
With all the ice and snow covering the water, falls become more likely, which can result in hypothermia quickly setting in, said Yarn.
"If you go in, you may not get back out."
The cold water will make for a slow day too as the fish will be less active, said Yarn. In a week or two they'll be back to normal.
"My advice is to wait."
Meanwhile, business has slowed for MacKay's Wild Outdoor Adventure store. Fishing gear was quickly being sold in anticipation for the season, but last week's snowstorm has turned people off for the time being, said owner David MacKay.
His advice for anybody venturing out today is to wear a floater suit in case of an accident. A personal floatation device won't help much in this frigid water, warned MacKay.
"Stay off the ice and dress appropriately," he said.
Lakes in the area that are still frozen over were ice-free this time last year, said MacKay.
"The weather's behind quite a bit."
For those who do venture out, the tackle they require won't have to change too much. Additional weights may be needed against the increased water flow and water height, MacKay said.
More than 100,000 anglers fish every year in Nova Scotia.
"We are fortunate to live in a province with an abundance of fishing opportunities," said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. "Sportfishing is a great way for families to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors. It also plays an important role in Nova Scotia's economy, contributing $58-million in direct expenditures each year."
A licence is required to fish and they can be purchased at most gas stations, hardware, convenience and sporting goods stores, or at any Access Nova Scotia location.