Anglers in the southern two-thirds of the state have until the end of the day on Monday, March 2, to remove their fish houses from Minnesota lakes. The removal deadline for those in the northern one-third of the state is Monday, March 16.
The northern and southern parts of the state are split by a line that runs west-east along 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.
“Anglers are responsible for removing their shelters by the deadline, so they need to plan ahead,” said DNR conservation officer Garrett Thomas, who is stationed in Eagan. “And just as importantly, they have to ensure the area around their fish house is free of trash. There’s no excuse for fish house owners to leave anything but an impression in the snow or ice.”
If shelters aren’t removed by the deadline, owners will be cited and structures may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a conservation officer. 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 anglers venture out, they should keep in mind that ice conditions may vary widely and that ice is never 100 percent safe.
Exceptions to the removal deadlines are Minnesota-Canada border waters (March 31), Minnesota-South Dakota and North Dakota border waters (March 5), Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters (March 1) and Minnesota-Iowa border waters (Feb. 20).
More information about ice fishing shelter deadlines is available at mndnr.gov/iceshelter.