With a wide range of ice conditions throughout Wisconsin, state recreational safety specialists are asking anglers to consider removing their ice fishing shelters prior to established deadlines.

The first of a number of deadlines for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from boundary waters was last week, when all ice fishing shelters had to be removed from Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by Wednesday, Feb. 20. This earlier date, applying to Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, corresponds with Iowa regulations.

The deadlines for other boundary waters are March 1 for Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters and March 15 for Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

For inland Wisconsin waters, ice fishing shelters must be removed by the first Sunday following March 1 for waters south of Highway 64 and by the first Sunday following March 12 for waters north of Highway 64. For 2012, those dates are: Sunday, March 3 for waters south of Highway 64; and Sunday, March 17 for waters north of Highway 64.

The priority is safely getting the shanties removed and depending upon conditions in your area it may be best not to wait until the legal deadlines.

Shanties break through the ice and become boating hazards this spring and summer. They also cause dangerous and unsightly shoreline litter.

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 daily and when it is not occupied or actively being used.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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