Ice fishing in Minnesota: Deadline to remove shelters approaching

People who haven't removed their fish houses from lakes in Minnesota should do so soon as the deadline is approaching for inland waters. 

The Minnesota DNR at a news conference on Thursday reminded anglers the deadline to remove fish houses from inland waters in the southern two-thirds of the state is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 6. 

Meanwhile, the deadline in the northern third of the state (north of the east-west line formed by 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) is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 20. 

An ice shack on Crystal Lake in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Deadlines for border waterways are as follows: 

  • Minnesota-Iowa - Feb. 20
  • Minnesota–Wisconsin - March 1
  • Minnesota–North and South Dakota - March 5
  • Minnesota–Canada - March 31

The DNR is also reminding Minnesotans that when they remove their fish houses, they should leave no trace and be sure to pick up all litter. 

"Anything that’s left on the ice will either sink to the bottom or float to shore, and in either case harms our environment and portrays a negative image of all ice anglers," said DNR Conservation Officer Garrett Thomas, who is stationed in Eagan. "If you brought something onto the ice, it’s your responsibility to bring it off. While we’re lucky to have people who care and don’t hesitate to pick up after others, they shouldn’t have to do that."

After the fish house deadline, shelters can still be on lakes but must be occupied if the houses are out between midnight and an hour before sunrise. Shelters not removed by the deadline might be confiscated and removed from the ice, and their owners might be ticketed. 

The Minnesota DNR's website on fish houses is here.