First fish-house removal deadlines approaching

Posted on February 12, 2010

The first Minnesota fish-house removal deadline of 2010 kicks in next weekend, then those deadlines come rapid-fire for the next five weeks. All shelters must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the following categories.

Inland waters: Dates or removal are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Hwy. 10, east along Hwy. 34 to Minnesota Hwy. 200, east along Hwy. 200 to U.S. Hwy. 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

South of that line, fish houses must be removed by March 1, 2010. That's just 24 hours after the inland waters season closes for walleyes, northern pike, and bass. In the past, ice anglers had a week or so between the closure and the removal deadline, but with the legislative extension of the gamefishing season until the end of February, there's no gap anymore! North of that line, fish houses may remain until March 15, 2010.

Border waters deadlines are as follows:

Minnesota-Iowa: Feb. 20

Minnesota-Wisconsin: March 1

Minnesota-North and South Dakota: March 5

Minnesota-Canada: March 31

Meanwhile, south of the border, Iowa has extended its removal deadline for fish houses on inland waters in northern portion of the state. Per the Iowa DNR press release below.

Iowa ice shack removal deadline extended north of Hwy. 20

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa DNR has extended the state's deadline to remove permanent ice shelters from public waters north of U.S. Hwy. 20, to Feb. 28. The extension is to allow for shelter owners to have another weekend to break their houses free and get them off the ice.

“Hopefully conditions will improve enough to allow people to remove the shelters,” said Jim Wahl, fisheries supervisor for the northwest region. “I would encourage them to not wait until the last minute.”

For public waters south of U.S. Hwy. 20, the Feb. 20 deadline to remove permanent ice fishing shelters remains in place. Ice shelter owners should be aware that weather and ice conditions can change and they should be prepared to remove the permanent ice shelters from the ice, if a period of unseasonably warm weather develops.

If a shelter should go through the ice, it is the owner’s responsibility to remove it from the lake.