MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It feels like we are in the dead of winter still, but for the bottom two-thirds of the state, it’s time to move those ice houses.

On Medicine Lake, Dave Johnson spent Sunday trying to move his ice house, saying it was the hardest it’s ever been.

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“Makes you want to move down to Florida,” he said, but before he can think of relocation, he’s got to move from this place first. “I was gonna take it off the day of the snowstorm and decided to wait and that was a mistake.”

This year’s mean winter is making spring cleaning especially taxing.

“I was probably out here yesterday for about six hours just shoveling and chiseling about the entire time,” James Frenzel of Golden Valley said.

After two more hours on the lake and a lift from a friend, Frenzel finally got his house moved.

“Yeah, I was really worried I wasn’t gonna make the deadline,” Frenzel said.

It’s a deadline DNR officers are sticking to.

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“It’s not going to get any easier. As the weather gets warmer, the shorelines are going to deteriorate. The ice isn’t going to be any safer as it gets warmer. It’s not going to be any easier to pull them out,” Conservation Officer Amy Peterson said.

So they’re telling people to do what they can in the final hours — even if that means hiring a contractor. If you do make a hire, let a conservation officer know.

“If they have something arranged and are making a good effort, we might be able to not take that enforcement action right away,” Peterson said.

It’s leverage some may not need.

DNR says one thing they do not want to see is people burning their houses, because then all that rubbish goes into the lakes.

DNR says people try to even take their names off their shacks, but officers insist at this point in the season they know who’s who.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield