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Ice fishing shanties hard to remove as deadlines arrive

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UNDATED (WSAU) -- Some deadlines to remove ice fishing shanties are this weekend.

The deadlines are determined by calendar dates, not by the amount of ice on the lakes and rivers. Todd Schaller is the Department of Natural Resources Chief Warden. He says March 1st is the deadline for Minnesota and Wisconsin boundary waters. Monday, March 3rd is the deadline for southern inland waters. “Lake Winnebago would be the same, and that’s considered one of our inland lakes south of Highway 64. The river areas, Lake Michigan, Green Bay, they actually have some different dates for removals. As far as when they can put them out and having the names on them all remains the same.”

Ice shanties north of Highway 64 have until March 17th. Those on Wisconsin and Michigan boundary waters must be removed by March 15th.

Schaller says a large number of ice shanties have been frozen into slush or deep snow and are very difficult to break free right now. “We understand and realize there’s a lot of conditions that make removing the shanties difficult at this time, and we want to make people aware that, yes, they should make some effort to get them off, and if they can’t, to notify us through the hotline and then we’ll work with them to make sure they get them off in a fashion and timeline that works and is safe.”

That telephone hotline is 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. Schaller says you should tell the hotline dispatcher your information, and it will be passed on to the local conservation warden. He says local wardens will use discretion in the enforcement of the deadline as long as shanty owners are making a good-faith effort.

Here are the statewide ice shanty removal dates:

Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters by March 1

Inland waters south of Highway 64 by March 3

Inland waters north of Highway 64, & Lake Michigan, Green Bay & Lake Superior by March 17

Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters by March 15

Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by February 20

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