MADISON – The first of a number of deadlines for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters is this weekend. All ice fishing shelters must be removed from Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by Sunday, Feb. 20. This date, affecting the Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, is set to correspond with Iowa regulations.
The deadlines for the other two 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 daily and when not occupied after the first Sunday following March 1 for waters south of Highway 64 and after the first Sunday following March 12 for waters north of Highway 64. For 2011, those dates are:
- Sunday, March 6 for waters south of Highway 64.
- Sunday, March 13 for waters north of Highway 64.
One exception to this rule is that on the Fox River downstream from the DePere dam in Brown County, ice fishing shelters must always be removed from the ice daily and when not in use.
At this point in the season, ice conditions start to deteriorate and make removal unsafe and difficult. A shanty that breaks through the ice can create a safety hazard for boaters and anglers during open water season.
Failure to remove a shanty or ice fishing shelter by these deadlines could result in a forfeiture of $263.10. Additional costs may be incurred if the DNR must arrange to have the shanty removed or if the shanty or ice fishing shelter breaks through the ice and must be recovered and disposed of.
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.