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Deadlines approaching to get ice fishing shelters off lakes, rivers

It's also time to buy a new fishing license in Minnesota. Last year's licenses expire Feb. 28.

In Minnesota, south of highways 2 and 200, the deadline to remove ice fishing shacks is March 6. To the north it's March 20.
Contributed / Minnesota DNR

DULUTH — Deadlines are approaching in Minnesota and Wisconsin for anglers to get ice fishing shelters off the ice.

For Minnesota lakes and rivers south of highways 2 and 200, the deadline is March 6. For lakes and rivers north of highways 2 and 200, the deadline is March 20.

Ice fishing houses must be entirely off the ice by 11:59 p.m. on those dates.

South of highways 2 and 200 the deadline to remove ice fishing shacks is March 6, to the north it's March 20.<br/>
Contributed / Minnesota DNR

Portable or wheeled fish houses can still be used during the day after those dates, but all shelters must be removed overnight if not being used — they can’t be left unoccupied on the ice.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that it is illegal to leave all or parts of a fish house, or any refuse, behind on the ice. Conservation officers often take GPS readings and record owner data and can issue citations to anyone who leaves any material on the ice after the deadline.


Any fish houses left after the deadline can also be destroyed, or confiscated, and the DNR can hire contractors to remove the house and then bill the owner.

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Conservation offices also are reminding anglers to check their fishing shelters well before the deadline this year because deep snow and slush on top of the ice may make removal extremely difficult.

Other deadlines for fish house removal:

  • Minnesota/Wisconsin border waters, March 1.
  • Minnesota/North Dakota-South Dakota border waters, March 5.
  • Minnesota/Ontario border waters, March 31.

A reminder that 2022 Minnesota fishing licenses expire Feb. 28 and it's time to buy your new 2023 license.


For most of northern Wisconsin, north of state Highway 64, fishing shelters must be removed by March 19. That includes Lake Superior.

Wisconsin 2022 fishing licenses expire March 31.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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