NB River Watch begins this week

The annual river watch season officially begins in New Brunswick this week, but some say it's already a season to remember.

That's because a lot of the heavy ice has already disappeared from many of the province's rivers after a mild winter that featured a lot more rain than usual.

River ice is scarce in southern New Brunswick, where there are vast stretches of open water, or in other locations thin sheets of melting ice.

Fishermen in Renforth, like Jim LeBlanc say they’ve noticed the ice fishing season getting shorter every year.

LeBlanc tellls CTV News they've been fishing there for the past 15 years and for the last five years, it seems to be a lot shorter. 

He says all the shacks should be off the ice now.

Authorities in Fredericton have been warning residents to stay off the ice for weeks, saying the winter's mild temperatures did not produce a solid-enough layer to support  foot traffic.

The New Brunswick government has ordered fishing shacks off all rivers by March 10 rather than the usual March 15..