Ice Fishing House Removal Deadlines Approaching

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: March 13, 2019 08:04 PM

The deadline for removing ice fishing houses from lakes is right around the corner and the DNR is reminding people that current weather conditions will complicate the process a bit, so getting it done as soon as possible is recommended.


The DNR said the ice conditions are not the safest. There's a lot of snow from the record breaking snowfall. The ice is very wet, there's lots of slush, and with rain and high temperatures on the way, it'll make conditions worse.

"Warm weather is going to cause lots of pooling water on lakes which causes for unsafe ice and of course, ice is never 100 percent safe,” Kipp Duncan, a Minnesota DNR conservation officer, said.

“The sooner you get them off, the better it is with all the rain coming. They might be easier to get to, but the ice is going to start deteriorating especially in the landing from all the run off,” Tim Wagner, the owner of Hi-Banks Resort, said.

The DNR is making sure people are being proactive about removing their ice fishing shelters. Those who don't, will face a fine and the DNR will take charge of the situation.

"We have to remove it and that comes with a cost and the owner of the ice house is responsible for paying that,” Duncan said.

Hi-Banks Resort offers local fish house rentals. Wagner said the removal process hasn't been an issue for his costumers in the past.

"They all got them off on time but we had roads too. It's a lot different than this year. We didn't have the amount of slush that we have this year,” Wagner said.

Some ice fishing houses will require the help of a snow plow company or the help of friends to take the ice fishing house down piece by piece.

And something the DNR is asking anglers to do while they're out dismantling their fishing houses is to pick up litter that's left behind.

"When they leave stuff out, it gets buried in snow and it goes into the lake. People are getting better at it,” Duncan said.

The deadline doesn't mean ice fishing season is over. Anglers can still enjoy the sport, day or night, but after the deadline, ice fishing shelters can only be on the ice after midnight if there's someone in it or attending it.

The dates for ice fishing house removal are listed below:

March 15 - Michigan-Wisconsin border waters

March 17 - inland waters of northern Wisconsin

March 18 - inland waters of northern Minnesota

March 31 - inland waters in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Minnesota-Canada border waters


Alejandra Palacios

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