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Time to take ice houses off Wisconsin lakes is nearing

Time to take ice houses off Wisconsin lakes is nearing

February 19, 2024 2:45 PM CDT

By: Brittney Merlot

MADISON, Wis. (CIVIC MEDIA) – Warm temperatures have accelerated removal of ice shanties before normal, now the DNR reminds us that deadlines are approaching.

As winter activities were shortened or ruined this season throughout the state, by the warmest winter ever recorded, many have been hitting the ice up north. The mid-January cold snap froze over many inland lakes like Manitowish Waters, as well as Green Bay.

Anglers who were able to get a shanty out on the ice this season are reminded by the Department of Natural Resources to remove them by the following dates: 

  • Wisconsin – Iowa boundary waters on or before Feb. 20
  • Wisconsin – Minnesota boundary waters on or before March 1
  • Inland waters south of Highway 64 by March 3 
  • Wisconsin – Michigan boundary waters on or before March 15
  • Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and inland waters north of Highway 64 by March 17

One exception to this rule is on the Fox River downstream from the De Pere dam in Brown County, where ice fishing shelters must always be removed from the ice daily and when not in use.

Anglers can continue to use portable ice shanties after these dates so long as they are removed from the ice when they are not actively in use and at the end of each day.

As these deadlines approach, it’s important to remember that no ice is ever 100% safe. The DNR does not monitor ice conditions and encourages anglers to check with local fishing clubs and bait shops for current ice conditions.

Owners having difficulties removing their shanty should seek help from their local fishing club, vendors and other anglers.

The removal deadlines are to ensure shanties are removed and to avoid the additional costs and hazards of shanties breaking through the ice.

The public should report any shanty owners not taking responsibility for removing their shanty to the DNR Violation Hotline by calling or texting 1-800-TIP-WNDR or 1-800-847-9367. 

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