Canada’s weirdest laws: it’s illegal to leave an ice fishing hole uncovered

The penalties for an accident or death that result from you not covering an ice hole are severe.
The penalties for an accident or death that result from you not covering an ice hole are severe. (Photo: iStock)

If you are like Max and John in the movie Grumpy Old Men and love to go ice fishing, listen up!

After you are done and ready to go home you are going to have to cover up that ice hole you made. If you don’t, you may get in big trouble with the law.

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Yes, you heard right, it is illegal to leave an ice hole open after using it.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that, “Every one who makes or causes to be made an opening in ice that is open to or frequented by the public is under a legal duty to guard it in a manner that is adequate to prevent persons from falling in by accident and is adequate to warn them that the opening exists.”

This may come as news to Canadians who enjoy ice fishing but it’s a very real law, and though a weird one, there is a point it. If a hole is left open, then a danger can exist that whoever stumbles upon the hole may injure him/herself or possibly fall through.

The penalties for an accident or death that result from you not covering an ice hole are severe: you could be charged with manslaughter or causing bodily harm.

Though some people are scratching their heads over this law, telling CBC News that they never heard of a person falling through an ice fishing hole and saying, "you'd have to be a pretty skinny guy to fall down that hole," just the potential of someone falling through the hole is enough to worry authorities.

Earlier this year, the Alberta Conservation Association warned those enjoying ice fishing about the law.

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So now that we know an ice hole must be covered up after usage the question remains, what the heck do you use to cover it up?

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