Anglers Running into Problems Taking Ice Houses Off Lakes

Updated: 02/28/2014 10:54 AM By: Cassie Hart

Photo courtesy of Jeff Dowd of Chisago City
Photo courtesy of Jeff Dowd of Chisago City

It’s time to start getting those ice houses off of Minnesota lakes, but for some it’s not going to be an easy task.

Some Minnesotans on the Chisago City area lakes were running into problems, and it's not just the snow that's giving people a hard time. Houses that have been out there for a while can get stuck in the ice.

Anglers say they’ve spent hours Thursday chiseling, prying and even using axes to break the ice houses free from the lake.

It took an hour for Jeff Dowd of Chisago City with a bobcat to clear 100 yards of snow to his fish house on Little Green Lake. It then took another three hours to actually remove the shelter off the lake. "The ice house out on the lake was in about 4 or 5 inches of ice we had to use large pry bars and chisels, axes, anything that can break up the ice." Dowd said.

Houses must be off southern and central Minnesota lakes by Monday and off northern Minnesota lakes by March 17.

In recent days the DNR has fielded calls from ice anglers statewide asking for advice about their problems to meet state deadlines.

"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 says. "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 encourages ice anglers to call the department's hotline, 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367, if they are having difficulty meeting the removal deadline.