By Shereen Siewert

The last deadline in a series of March dates to remove permanent ice shanties from Wisconsin waters is March 15, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

hanties must be removed from waters north of Highway 64 and all other outlying waters by the end of that day. Earlier March deadlines cover inland and boundary waters.

DNR officials urge anglers not to wait until the deadlines as possible warming temperatures and early spring rains could complicate removal.

Owners experiencing problems can seek local assistance from fishing clubs, vendors and other anglers.

Anyone who becomes aware of shanty owners not taking responsibility for their shanties is asked to contact the DNR Violation Hotline by calling or texting 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367.

Deadlines to remove shelters help eliminate spring shoreline litter and boating dangers this spring, DNR officials say. Abandoning the shelter or burning the shelter atop the ice does not satisfy the deadline. The debris then goes into the water body, which can have a detrimental impact on water quality.

After the shanty removal deadlines pass, anglers can continue to use portable ice fishing shelters if they feel the ice is safe, as long as they remove shelters daily and when they are not actively used.

Anglers should consult with local fishing clubs, bait shops and outfitters who know the local ice conditions before heading out. 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.

All ice fishing shelters must be removed from the ice daily and when not in use by these dates:

  • Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior, and inland waters north of Highway 64 by the first Sunday following March 12.
  • Inland waters south of Highway 64 by the first Sunday following March 1.
  • Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters by March 15.
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters by March 1.
  • The deadline for Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters was Feb. 20.

Top image courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR