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DNR says it's time to get ice fishing shelters off the ice

Anyone with an ice fishing shelter on any water south of Highway 64 must remove it daily and when it's not occupied after March 8.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources say regulations have changed this year and the new law requires shelters south of Highway 64 be removed daily or whenever they aren't in use by the first Sunday after March 1.

North of Highway 64 it's the first Sunday after March 12 which is March 15 this year.

"March 1 is a Sunday this year, that's probably why it's not as clear," says Barb Wolf, DNR regional conservation w

"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.

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