HALIFAX -- New Brunswickers who have built ice fishing shelters in provincial waterways will need to remove them at least two weeks before the season is officially over.

Ice fishing season in New Brunswick remains open until March 31, but the province announced Wednesday that ice fishing shelters in the southern part of the province must be removed by March 8, and shelters in the northern part of the province must be removed by March 15.

“With warmer weather this season it is important to proceed with caution,” said Gary Crossman, N.B. environment and climate change minister. “We urge owners of ice fishing structures to keep monitoring the conditions.”

The province says ice fishing shelters must be removed by March 8 in the following counties:

  • Albert
  • Carleton
  • Charlotte
  • Kings
  • Queens
  • Saint John
  • Sunbury
  • Westmorland
  • York

Ice fishing shelters must be removed by March 15 in the following counties:

  • Gloucester
  • Kent
  • Madawaska
  • Northumberland
  • Restigouche
  • Victoria

Officials say signs are posted at popular ice fishing sites, reminding shelter owners to respect regulations and to properly maintain their shelters until the end of the fishing season.

“We will be working closely with the ice fishing community to ensure that no debris is left in our waterways,” said Crossman.

The release says the annual removal order falls under Section 15 (7) of the Water Quality Regulation of the Clean Environment Act.

"Owners are responsible for removing their structures before the respective deadlines to avoid causing an environmental hazard by having possible waste and debris in the province’s waterways," the province wrote in a news release. "They must also remove all garbage and debris. Ice fishers have an obligation to ensure no harm is caused to the environment."

Officials are asking anyone who sees any infraction of environmental regulations to report them.

More information is available on the province’s website.