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Winter’s Grip Won’t Release Ice Shanties

This winter is not going anywhere fast, and neither are some ice shanties regardless of what Wisconsin laws say.

The Department of Natural Resources understands the ice shanty removal issues anglers in parts of Wisconsin are facing and is ready to assist by taking calls from anglers who want their conservation wardens to know their shanty removal status.

In recent days DNR wardens have fielded calls from ice anglers statewide asking for advice about their problems to meet state deadlines to clear lake and river ice of shanties because of wild temperatures that have jumped to the 40s only to plummet to the sub-zero range – yet again.

“We’ve heard about shanties frozen in place by several inches of slush, and some lakes have thick snow from the recent major storm which poses even more challenges,” Chief Warden Todd Schaller said. “There is not enough time to modify the law before the deadline removal dates. But we can use discretion for those who are working hard to get their structures off the ice.”

The DNR recommends anglers begin immediately to assess their shanties removal possibilities and work with local vendors, friends and others for assistance. Anglers who have difficulty getting their shelters off the ice by the deadline due to deep snow, or shanties frozen to the ice still need to work actively to free their shelters and arrange to have the shelters removed from the ice.

The DNR encourages ice anglers to call the department’s hotline, 800.TIP.WDNR or 800.847.9367, to describe their situation if they are having difficulty meeting the removal deadline. The angler’s information will be passed on to the local conservation warden who will use discretion in the enforcement of the deadline.

Permanent shelters, meaning those normally not removed daily from the ice, must be removed from the ice no later than the specified removal date for that water body.

Here are the statewide ice shanty removal dates:

• Inland waters south of Highway 64 by March 3

• Inland waters north of Highway 64 and from Lake Michigan, Green Bay and Lake Superior by March 17

• Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters by March 15