Deadline approaching to remove permanent ice structures

It’s about that time of year again, when the DNR reminds anglers to remove their permanent ice structures from Wisconsin waters.

The deadline for ice shanties that are not removed daily on inland and boundary waters are:

  • Wisconsin – Iowa boundary waters by Feb. 20
  • Wisconsin – Minnesota boundary waters by March 1
  • Inland waters south of Highway 64 by March 5
  • Wisconsin – Michigan boundary waters by March 15
  • Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and inland waters north of Highway 64 by March 19

The DNR says portable structures can still be used after these days, so long as they are taken down when they are not actively in use and at the end of each day. The agency suggests reaching out to local fishing clubs, vendors, or other anglers if your shanty is stuck on the ice.

Removal deadlines are to avoid additional costs and hazards if those structures go through the ice. Owners who don’t remove their structures are subject to being reported to the DNR’s Violation Hotline. To report a structure on the ice after deadlines, call or text 1-800-TIP-WNDR or 1-800-847-9367.

The DNR says they do not monitor ice conditions, suggesting anglers check with local fishing clubs and bait shops for current ice conditions. The agency is also sharing these safety reminders:

  • Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.
  • Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat, to help you stay afloat and to help maintain body heat.
  • Wear ice creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.
  • Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.
  • Carry a few spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself – or others – out of the ice.
  • If you fall in, remain as calm as possible. While attempting to get out of the water, call for help. Anyone who attempts to rescue you should use a rope or something similar to avoid falling through themselves.
  • Do not travel in unfamiliar areas or at night.