For some, it is way too early to even think of how cold the weather will turn in the coming weeks…for others (including myself), the cold nasty weather that turns lakes into giant ice sheets – can’t come soon enough.
Each winter, thousands of ice anglers throughout this province will literally hit the ice by year’s end. (If I have any say in the weather, I expect to have a few trips under my belt before year end.) At Valens, we can expect to see our share of these winter ice fishers from the Greater Hamilton Area. Plus, with the advent of better outdoor wear and specialized ice fishing equipment, the number is growing beyond your typical stereotypes. In fact I have been able to convince 2 of my 3 daughters to take the trip with me to Lake Simcoe, to take up the skill of ice fishing!
Ice fishing at Valens is a “walk on” experience for the novice to the more seasoned ice fishing veteran. Valens is a great location to introduce children to this outdoor sport without the 2-3 hour drive up north. Winter game fish include – Northern Pike, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, and Yellow Perch. No bait or rentals are provided at the conservation area, so a good start is to head out to your local outdoors store.
In order to protect this man made reservoir from over harvest, a “catch & release” policy was adopted and respected by the fishing community in 2008. To date, the fish stocks have been steadily improving and the future has never looked brighter for this fishery.
The ice fishing season at Valens will commence as soon as safe ice has been established by park officials. Generally the season runs from January to March, weather conditions pending. A catch & release Ice Fishing Derby is held near the end of January each year. Over 200 participants will vie for great prizes to take home on a cold winter’s day. Check out HCA Facebook page for more details.
So if you are looking for an ice fishing experience in a conservation setting close to home – Valens Conservation Area may very well be the place for you. Hope to see you on the ice!
Superintendent, Valens Conservation Area