Monday Is Ice House Removal Date

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In Minnesota, owners of ice houses are finding them stuck in the deep snow and ice – if they can even get to them in the first place.

So much snow has piled up on lakes that trucks can’t get through. And once they do, they’re dealing with thick ice and slush that’s tough to tackle.

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It’s a problem that many people are just discovering this week, because the deadline to remove ice houses from lakes in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota is this coming Monday.

For Jeff Dowd, who has a fish house in Chisago City, it took about two days and 9 hours to bring his house finally back home.

“It’s about 100 yards out there, but it might as well have been a mile out there, when you are looking at (all this snow) to try to get there,” Dowd said.

Dowd showed video he shot Tuesday (shown in above report) after he had some guys with a bobcat and a snow plow clear a path to his shed. Once he got there, they found even more work.

“(The ice house) became one with the ice,” Dowd said. “Mine sunk down about five inches and was frozen and the skids were completely frozen to the ice and had to be chiseled out.”

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Over at Green Lake, WCCO found pickup trucks stuck in deep snow and a backhoe to the rescue.

“Yeah, they got four-wheel drive, but the snow is so compacted and hard, that you get hung up on it and that’s it. You’re stuck,” angler Tony Effertz said.

At the boat launch, signs are posted by people with plows and bobcats who will help out — for an hourly-fee.

Effertz expects they’ll be getting lots of calls from folks who wait until the last minute to tackle this.

“They’re in for a huge surprise when they get out here. For sure,” Effertz said.

The deadline arrives at 11:59 p.m. Monday night. The DNR says the fine is $125 plus some additional fees, depending on the city you live in. After 5 days, if your ice house is still on the lake, you will get a mandatory court appearance.

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The DNR also has a right to confiscate and destroy ice houses if it is found on the lake after the removal deadline.