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Boreal Community Media

Fish house removal deadline looms for northern lakes.

Mar 14, 2019 02:18PM ● By Editor
Photo:  CBS 3

From the Grand Rapids Herald Review - March 14, 2019

Anglers in the northern third of the state are nearing the March 18th deadline to remove their fish houses from inland waters, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The agency urges anglers who haven’t yet removed their shelters to make plans now to ensure they meet the deadline.

“Anglers are responsible for removing their shelters by the deadline, so they need to plan ahead – especially this year,” said DNR Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan, who patrols the Duluth area. “It will be challenging for many people to remove their fish houses this year, given the sheer amount of snow that fell in February.”

The March 18 deadline applies to lakes north of an east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The deadline for northern border lakes is the end of the day Sunday, March 31.

Some fish house owners may have difficulty accomplishing the task themselves and may need to contact a local snowplow company or connect with friends and family and ask for help.

Fish house owners shouldn’t leave anything on the ice when they pull their shelters to shore.

“Anything other than an imprint that’s left on the ice is litter – it’s as simple as that,” said Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “We also recognize that many people clean up litter that isn’t theirs, and we thank them for their efforts to keep our lakes clean.”

If shelters aren’t removed by the deadline, owners may be prosecuted and structures may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a conservation officer.

“The deadline to remove unoccupied shelters doesn’t have to mean the season is over. Anglers can still use their shelters to enjoy late season fishing while ice conditions allow,” said Duncan. “The shelters just cannot be left on the ice unoccupied overnight.”

After the deadline, shelters may be on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied. They may not be left or stored at public accesses. As they venture out, anglers should always keep in mind that ice conditions may vary widely and that ice is never 100 percent safe.

For more information go to

Watch the DNR video on fish house removal

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here