3/3/2014 7:49:00 AM Today is region's final day for removing fish houses
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking cooperation from anglers who need to act now to remove their fish shelters in the southern two-thirds of the state by 11:59 p.m. today.
For structures on lakes in the northern third of the state, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. 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.
At a minimum, shelter owners must ensure that unretrievable shelters are prepared for removal by raising and blocking the shelter up to prevent the bottom portion from becoming frozen in the ice. Once lake travel is possible, the entire structure and all other materials must be cleaned up to prevent littering and potentially ending up on someone's beach when the ice melts.
Failure to remove the house may result in a fine of $125 plus court costs. If shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted and structures may be confiscated or destroyed by a conservation officer. If the shelter is left on the ice for an extended period, a mandatory court appearance is required. The DNR is diligent about ticketing owners who fail to remove shelters or debris, and officers use GPS and photos to mark fish house locations.