Removal of ice fishing shelter deadline approaching

With spring approaching, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers that we are nearing the deadline to remove ice fishing shelters from area lakes. The deadline for inland waters for the northern one-third of the state will be 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 21. The southern two-thirds of the state will need to remove their gear by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7.

For Northern Minnesota, the deadline includes north of the east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

People can continue to go ice fishing after Monday, but shelters can’t be left out on the ice unattended overnight.

The DNR says recent heavy snowfall prompted many anglers to remove their ice houses early, after fears of the deep snow making it difficult to remove. The DNR is also reminding anglers to clean up trash as they pack up their gear. Conservation officers will be watching to make sure people do not leave trash behind.

They say commonly left items include bait, blocking material, bottles, cans, cigarette butts, and plastic bags filled with waste.

“Some of the things people leave behind are downright disgusting, and anything people leave on the ice has the potential to be an eyesore at best and an environmental concern at the worst,” DNR Conservation Officer Garrett Thomas said in a press release. “The message is simple: Don’t leave anything behind when you leave the ice, and make sure to dispose of it properly. It’s not any different than the lessons we’ve been taught since we were kids.”

Anyone who leaves an unoccupied ice house on the lake after Monday’s deadline could face a fine or have their shelter confiscated.

Find more information on the DNR’s website here.