ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Several fish houses remain on southern Minnesota lakes even after the deadline for removal has come and gone.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says houses located south of the state had to be off the ice by midnight Monday. Basically, anything south of Moorhead and Duluth must be off. Fish houses north of those cities must be off by March 18.
On Monday afternoon, DNR State Conservation Officer Adam Block visited Prior Lake to see how many houses were left on the ice.
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“Several hundred houses were out here last week and we’re down to less than ten,” Block said. “Majority of folks are getting the message that they need to have the houses off the lakes.”
However, some fishermen abandon their fish houses, and the shacks are later consumed by water.
Any home left unattended during the season must have a name and address, a DNR number or a driver’s license number placed on the exterior. Block says after the season, some fishermen try to conceal the identity of the owner by removing the information off the house – which they then abandon.
“Every year we have at least one or two that are still out here after several days of the deadline,” he said.
Block says the DNR takes extensive notes, photographs and GPS locations to determine what shelter was sitting where.
Owners of fish houses still on lakes could be prosecuted. The house and the contents inside can be confiscated or destroyed by conservation officers.
Removing the house doesn’t mean ice fishing season is over. You can still place a house on a lake between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.