Prairie Outdoors Opening Up Fishing

With slightly different plans, requirements and timelines, the three Prairie Provinces have all announced a plan to re-open some social activities, with consideration towards social distancing still in place.  Today, May 4th, Saskatchewan has opened up their boat launches in preparation for fishing season (in the Southern Zone) opening on May 5th.  Many lakes (at least those north of Saskatoon) are still iced over or just beginning to break up so the boat launches may be quiet.  One restriction is that if there is more than one person in the boat, that the other person in the boat is somebody that you live with or are housed with.  Tournament fishing is currently banned but may be opened later in the season. Manitoba is also set to open the fishing season on May 9th in the Southern Zone as per usual season opening dates.  Other zones are planned to open as per past years as well.  As part of the re-opening and encouraging people to use online vs in-person government service, the Manitoba provincial government has opened the purchase of fishing, hunting, camping and provincial park licences and permits via the government of Manitoba website. Fishing season in Alberta is currently underway as long as you buy your licenses online.  The front counters of the Fish and Wildlife offices are closed across the province.

Camping Plans Underway

Along with opening up parks and boat launches with fishing season following the normal opening dates, Saskatchewan is beginning to take camping reservations beginning May 4th, but no campsites can be booked until June 1st and later. In Manitoba, camping reservation open May 4th.  In Provincial Parks there will still be a strict ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in line with current public health protocols, and provincial parks staff will monitor to make sure those rules are followed, particularly in public spaces like beaches and recreation areas. Online camping reservations begin on May 14th in Alberta, with campsite availability beginning June 1st.  Campgrounds in Alberta Provincial parks will be limiting occupancy to 50 per cent capacity to respect physical distancing. To ensure as many Albertans as possible get to camp this summer, sites are open to Albertans only.

Get Outdoors for Social Distancing

Current restrictions on allowing Canadian residents to get out and enjoy the outdoors by taking part in camping, fishing and hunting are beginning to ease as Provinces move to re-open. As discussed above, Provincial camping reservation systems that were taken offline are now either back online or will be shortly so we will be able to enjoy our outdoor pursuits. Getting outdoors for some much needed recreation during all this isolation and social distancing is good for the psyche. In Saskatchewan, we have SK has 651900 sq km and 1174000 people. That’s more than a half of a square kilometer per person. Getting outdoors is practicing social distancing! By the way, the number for Alberta are 661848 sq km and 4371000 people for .15 square kilometers per person and in Manitoba they are 647797 sq km and 1369000 people for .47 square kilometers per person. (We actually did not realize just how close in area each of the prairie provinces is.) It is our sincere hope that the health crisis is dealt with properly and we get back to life as normal as quickly as possible. We have our own plans to make frequent use of hunting and fishing excursions to get keep some of what is normal in our lives.

Ice Fishing Season Nearly Over

As we enter March, in most parts of the prairies, the fishing season has less than a month left. But this is usually the best part of ice fishing season. Longer days of sunshine, warmer temperatures, and fish beginning to search for food more actively. For those of you are hearty enough to venture out on the ice in search of pike, walleye, trout, and perch, we salute your efforts. Ice fishing is 1 part adventure, 1 part gear, and 2 parts rum, at least when it's done right! Check out our ice fishing pages including pictures, tips, and more.

Snowmobile Season

With winter in season across the prairies, the sleds are running. Poor snow conditions in many areas this winter are keeping the sleds to drifted in ditches and frozen bodies of water. Whether you are out for a run across the lake, across the field, or on the trails for a poker rally, our outdoor playground is waiting for the rev of the engines and the push of the tracks.

Planning for Spring Hunting Seasons

Spring hunting seasons are quickly approaching and the avid hunters are getting their gear ready. Spring snow goose season will soon be here. Often the goose season opens when we are still a number of weeks away from the arrival of the first geese. The northern migration is largely determined by the availability of open water and food (agricultural fields) suitable suitable for flocks that can number in the 10's of thousands. Canada Geese have been spotted north of Saskatoon, but with a recent snap of cold weather and snow fall they have bounced back down southward. Spring black bear season approaches so hunters and outfitters are starting to gather up tree stands, bait barrels and testing quads in preparation for the bears exit from their hibernation dens.

April Brings Out the Shotguns

It's Spring. It's Snow Goose Season. With 20 birds a day hunting limits on Snow Geese, including Ross's Geese, the spring snow goose hunt can be a great time to heat up the shotgun barrel and put some geese on the ground. Some of the early season streams are open for trout fishing on the eastern slopes and foothills. Grab that fly rod, waders, and your wind gear. Now is a great time to get your lines tight before the spring run off raises the water level and flow volume. There's plenty of good water to fish now and Alberta has also opened up a number of lakes again for fishing.

We help connect hunters and anglers with the great outdoors in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to enjoy the world class hunting, fishing and campgrounds. If you are looking for a hunting adventure, we help you find the hunting outfitter, guided hunting trip, fishing lodge, or campground that matches your outdoor quest. Check out our Outfitters, Guides and Lodges pages.

A beautifully walleye caught on a beautifully night
Here is our latest uploaded photo from the photo contests. Join the Hunting Photo Contest, the Fishing Photo Contest, and the Camping Photo Contest below.

A Look Ahead to Camping Season

The availability of provincial and regional campgrounds is frequently changing as federal and provincial governments put measures in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately that may mean additional closures to campgrounds as some are already closed for winter camping and online reservations are being closed until there is more certainty. We are very hopeful that as the crises becomes contained, that we will still have the opportunity to enjoy the camping season, a tremendous time to bond with family and friends in the outdoors. All three provinces now have an online campground site reservation system.

Happy Camping!

AB Camping comments:

Included by Huffington Post in 15 Of The Most Stunning Camping Sites In Alberta. Why you should go: Wind surfing, rock climbing and daytime picnics by the lake. (posted: 2016)
- Bow Valley See more Alberta Park Ratings Go to Alberta Camping

SK Camping comments:

We stayed at Lakeside A campground. I feel this/ beach/park is run down. Not at all up to standards of other provincial parks. Campground is on a side hill and many sites don’t have a level pad to park trailer. Maintenance did bring us some blocking. Campsites were not clean nor fire pits. Beach area is clean enough but has tell tale signs of a park that has not been kept up. Dead trees with broken and falling branches, gravel in cobblestone sidewalk (not wheelchair friendly) gravel in paved parking lots, no “perks” at Echo beach other than a little playground and dock Pasqua has ice cream and mini golf. Many people fish in the swimming area in the evenings (at least 20 each night) so fish hooks. likely in the water. I feel more information about what to do in the area should be made available at the campground or beach. - Echo Valley See more Saskatchewan Park Ratings Go to Saskatchewan Camping

MB Camping comments:

Falcon lake campground is becoming really run down. The washroom & shower facilities are disgusting. The toilets were continuously plugged, doors falling off the stalls, crumbling infrastructure and filthy. There appears to be little supervision or standards for grounds keepers and cleaners. They drive around in golf carts all day playing games on their phones. We witnessed them drive right over garbage! They told us all they do is change toilet paper. Sites are not cleaned when vacated; the beach is not raked and garbages are overflowing. There appears to be an adequate amount of staff but they do nothing. Too bad as it is a nice spot. - Whiteshell See more Manitoba Park Ratings Go to Manitoba Camping

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