Anglers who don’t pick up may now catch a fine

Ice fishing is a favorite pastime for many Minnesotans over the winter, but anglers who don’t clean up after themselves may now catch a fine.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says a new law aims to ensure lakes aren’t littered with garbage and waste during the season.

Anyone using an ice shelter or vehicle is no longer allowed to discard any trash, cigarette filters, sewage or dead animal bodies on the ice — it has to be in a container that is secured to the shelter or vehicle and not directly on the ice or in the water.

The DNR says anyone who doesn’t follow that law can face a petty misdemeanor and a fine of $100.

The agency adds that litter left on the ice is one of the most common complaints its officers hear during the winter, and they’ll take all complaints seriously and work to find anyone who breaks the law.

Anglers are urged to make a plan to store garbage before heading out to the ice. Bring colored garbage bags and/or a suitable garbage bin and something to fasten it to the shelter or vehicle. Anyone who forgets can simply store the waste in the vehicle.

“Garbage and human/pet waste do not belong on the ice. Take off what you take on!” the DNR said in a social media post.

For more resources on ice fishing, visit the DNR’s website.