ST. PAUL, Minn. – Despite the long, cold winter, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources will not extend the time for anglers to get their houses off the ice.
The deadline for those in the southern two-thirds of the state is 11:59 p.m. Monday. For structures on lakes in the northern third of the state, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 17.
Shelters are required to be removed by the deadline and conservation officers will enforce that deadline except where shelter owners have made all reasonable efforts to remove the shelter but are not successful because of inaccessible travel conditions.
"We hope anglers understand they are going to face difficult conditions when they remove their fish houses this year," said Col. Ken Soring, director of the DNR's Enforcement Division. "We'll work with anglers who show due diligence to get their shelters off the lakes but we are urging everyone to take responsibility."
According to the DNR, there are some responsible options for removing shelters like enlisting the help of friends and locating equipment to make the job easier. This requires hard work and tenacity to remove or dismantle a stubbornly frozen fish shelter.
Some people are also offering shelter removal for a fee. If shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted and structures may be confiscated or destroyed by a conservation officer.