Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Deadlines approach for ice fishing shelter removal

Madison – Deadlines are approaching for ice anglers to remove
ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters. The
regulations for removing ice shanties changed last year, and state
conservation wardens report the change has resulted in some
confusion as to when shanties must be removed from water south of
Highway 64.

The new law requires that for waters south of Highway 64 ice
fishing shelters must be removed daily and when not occupied after
the first Sunday following March 1 and after the first Sunday
following March 12 north of Highway 64.

“March 1 is a Sunday this year, that’s probably why it’s not as
clear,” says Barb Wolf, Regional Conservation Warden for the
Department of Natural Resources South Central Region. “But because
the law says the Sunday following March 1, this year that means
beginning on Monday, March 9, shelters must be removed daily and
when not occupied or in active use.”

Shelters north of Highway 64 will need to be removed daily when
not in use by Monday March 16 this year.

However, Wolf emphasized that is just the legal deadline for
daily removal, and that anglers should consider removing their
semi-permanent shelters before then if it appears that lake ice
conditions are deteriorating. If not removed, shelters, also known
as shanties, can sink or be carried away, creating a danger to
boaters. If a shelter should break through the ice and sink, the
owner is responsible for recovering the shelter.

All ice fishing shelters must be removed by the end of the day
on the following dates for other waters around the state:

March 1 – Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters.

March 15 – Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and
Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

Feb. 20 – Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters. This earlier date,
affecting the Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border,
is set to correspond with Iowa regulations.

After these dates for removing ice fishing shelters from a
frozen lake or river, an angler may continue to use a portable
shelter but must remove it when it is not occupied or actively
being used.

Failure to remove a shanty or ice fishing shelter by these
deadlines could result in a forfeiture of $248.60. Additional costs
may be incurred if the DNR must arrange to have the shanty removed
or if the shanty or ice fishing shelter breaks through the ice and
must be recovered and disposed of.

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