Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching for northern Minnesota

Ice anglers in northern Minnesota are reminded ice shelter removal dates are approaching for lakes located north of Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 2, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Because of rapidly deteriorating ice conditions, anglers may need to remove their shelters early and not wait for the deadline.

Dark houses, fish houses and portable shelters must be off the ice of inland lakes no later than midnight on Monday, March 20. For Minnesota–Canada border waters, the deadline for removal is March 31. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.

Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadline. Anglers who don’t remove their shelter can be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or dispose of it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.

“Ice conditions are changing rapidly during this early spring thaw and anglers should not wait until the removal deadline if conditions warrant early removal,” said Capt. Tom Provost, DNR Enforcement Division. “Ice shelters and their contents left on a lake too long can become irretrievable and can end up as unwanted trash in our lakes.”

Anglers should also remove any refuse or litter from the lake. Wood blocks used to support a shelter or any type of anchoring device need to be removed.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state. Anglers should check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal of unwanted items.

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