Summer fishing was extremely dependent on the harvesting and storage of ice.
Ice Gangs went up to the fishing stations up the lake as well as Winnipegosis to “Put up ice” for the summer season. Ice Gangs were exposed to the extreme cold and bitter winds on their horse drawn open racks. ”Cakes” of ice of 2 feet wide, four feet long, and 2 ½ feet high were considered to be ideal. These blocks were stacked in large ice houses and piled almost to the roof. Any available material was used for insulation packed around and between blocks. Materials used were shavings, sawdust, moss, and hay. A large ice house at a fish station could contain a thousand tons of ice.
The ice was then used throughout the summer fishing season for packing fish to transport the railhead at Winnipegosis, and then on to distant markets.
Ice was also used in households and stores for the preservation of perishable food.