DNR reminds anglers to remove ice houses as deadline nears

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State officials are reminding anglers to get their ice fishing houses off lakes as the deadline quickly approaches.

Thursday, officials with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are set to talk about the deadline, which is 11:59 p.m. on Monday for central and southern Minnesota. The northern third of the state has until 11:59 p.m. on March 20 to get their structures off lakes.

Anyone who doesn’t remove their shelter by the deadline can be cited and have their fishing house confiscated, removed or destroyed.

Deadlines are also quickly approaching in Wisconsin, and some have actually passed already. Those on inland waters south of Highway 64 must be off the ice by Sunday, Wisconsin – Michigan boundary waters shelters have to be off by March 15 and those on Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and inland waters north of Highway 64 have to be off the ice by March 19.

DNR officials from both states also urge anglers to be careful and not wait until the last minute, as ice conditions are already not ideal in some areas.

“It’s been a weird year for ice conditions, especially here locally. We’ve had a mix of rain, slush, warm temperatures, so the ice conditions have been probably worse than most years so it’s really important to plan ahead. Don’t expect to come out here and just hook up and go; you might have to bring some extra equipment out,” DNR Conservation Officer Garrett Thomas said.

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Last month, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office warned of thinning ice and urged anglers to get their ice houses off of lakes as soon as possible.

The DNR has more guidance on ice safety online.