Deadlines for removing fish houses, dark houses and portable shelters from state waterways are rapidly approaching, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
of removal are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Highway
10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Hwy. 200, east along Highway 200
to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin
Shelters located south of this line must be removed by the end of the day on Monday, March 7.
Shelters located north of this line must be removed by the end of the day on Monday, March 21.
are Minnesota-Canada border waters (March 31), Minnesota-Iowa border
waters (Feb. 20), Minnesota-South Dakota and North Dakota border waters
(March 5), and Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters (March 1).
with permanent houses on the lakes should be reminded that the removal
date for those shelters is approaching along with warmer temperatures,”
said Conservation Officer (CO) Tony Salzer of Ham Lake.
“Please remove your ice shelters early if ice conditions begin to deteriorate,” he added.
CO Luke Gutzwiller of Madison had this advice: “Please remember to pick up your trash when leaving the lake.”
officials said if shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted
and structures may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a
After removal dates,
shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before
sunrise only when occupied. Storing or leaving shelters on a public
access is prohibited.
DNR’s Enforcement Division Director Col. Rodmen Smith recommended
checking ice thickness with an auger or spud bar before venturing onto a
frozen pond, lake or river.
said ice conditions can vary greatly, and anglers should know about the
different types and characteristics of ice. Slush shows weakening of
ice and should be considered a danger sign. If ice at the shoreline is
cracked or squishy, people should stay off. People should not go on the
ice during thaws. Honeycombed ice, dark snow and dark ice should be
avoided. Ice is generally thinner where there is moving water, such as
near inlets and outlets, bridge abutments, islands and other objects
that protrude through the ice.
to information from the DNR Boat and Water Safety Unit, a minimum of 4
inches of new, clear ice is necessary for ice fishing; snowmobiling or
ATV activity requires at least 5 inches; 8 to 12 inches are needed to
support a car or small pickup; 12-15 inches are need for a medium truck.