The RCMP have issued a reminder to outdoor enthusiasts that ice fishing while impaired in any way is illegal.

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to shorten the list of available winter activities, police say an increasing number of people are taking to frozen rivers and lakes to try their hand at ice fishing. That trend, according to RCMP, has resulted in a rising number of people consuming alcohol or cannabis products while fishing or even while driving on and off the ice.

RCMP note the fine for having open alcohol on the ice is $672. Meanwhile, for impaired driving on the ice, the same penalties apply as those on any Manitoba roadway: a $1,000 fine, a license suspension, and potential jail time, depending on the severity.

Under the current public health orders, police add it is also imperative that individuals continue to practice social distancing and do not gather in groups larger than those permitted.