After years of warmer temperatures and unpredictable winters, safe ice fishing in Southern Ontario could become a distant memory. The list of disappearing fishing huts, lost trucks and snowmobiles falling through wafer thin Lake Simcoe ice could fill a book. Last March, a group of 26 people had to be rescued when they found themselves stranded on a rapidly melting ice floe.
A new proposal calls for a network of liquid nitrogen pipes to be laid down on the bottom of much of Cook’s Bay. At the beginning of winter ice fishing season, the piping would be floated to within 3-feet of the surface and a flow of liquid nitrogen would speed up and stabilize the lake freeze.
“We’d be able to to guarantee a full fishing season from January through to March 15″ said Anderson White, spokesperson for the Lake Simcoe Fishing Authority.
As part of the plan, the system would reclaim thousands of tons of nitrogen run-off from area farms. “Capturing waste nitrogen would improve water quality of the lake, White noted. “Best of all, we’d be able to start and end ice fishing season just by flipping a switch”.
The $25-million project would be funded by a special lot levy on new development around the lake. “There are so many proposed developments that will place added stress on the Lake’s eco system, we think a special $40,000 lot levy will be supported by all homeowners and developers in the region.”