The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that mandatory ice shanty removal dates are approaching. Regardless of the date, shanties must be removed as soon as the ice is unable to safely support them, especially when Michigan experiences unseasonably warm weather as it has this season and the ice can quickly become unsafe for anglers to retrieve their property.
Ice shanties on Lake St. Clair must be removed by sunset Sunday, Feb. 26.
For counties in the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties must be removed from the ice by midnight Wednesday, March 1.
The deadline for removal from waters in the northern Lower Peninsula is midnight Wednesday, March 15. Counties in this area are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.
On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight Wednesday, March 15. For all Upper Peninsula counties, shanties must be removed by midnight Friday, March 31.
Following the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties still may be used but must be removed daily from the ice.
Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.
For more information on Michigan’s ice fishing regulations and shanty removal dates, check out the 2017 Michigan Fishing Guide.