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Everybody can get fishing this weekend without a licence

Manitobans will be able to fish without a licence throughout the long weekend.

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Manitobans will be able to fish without a licence throughout the long weekend. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / FREE PRESS FILES)

The province is encouraging Manitobans to get some fresh air on the Louis Riel long weekend by allowing free ice-fishing Feb. 15 to 17.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today that Manitobans will be able to fish without a licence throughout the weekend.

"With free admission to our parks this month and free fishing over the Louis Riel Day long weekend, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the beauty of a Manitoba winter," he said in a prepared statement.

While angling licences will not be required this weekend, fishers must still abide by conservation limits for anything they catch. A federal licence will still be required to fish in national parks.

The province also warned anglers to ensure conditions are safe before venturing onto the ice.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation is holding an amateur photo contest to promote ice fishing as a fun family activity.

"We encourage families to take photos of their ice-fishing experience and email them to info@mwf.mb.ca by Feb. 21," said Brian Strauman, president of the MWF. Three winners will be drawn at random to win prizes.

For more information on the free winter family fishing weekend, call 204-945-6784 or view the 2013 Manitoba Angler's Guide at www.manitobafisheries.com. Families who do not have fishing gear can borrow some from provincial park staff at two locations this weekend. To follow up, contact Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship's head of interpretation at 204-945-4375, email parkinterpretation@gov.mb.ca or visit www.manitobaparks.com.

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