MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No matter how cold it feels, ice fishing season is basically over.

The DNR says ice houses have to be off most Minnesota lakes by midnight tonight. That’s led to plenty of problems for anglers whose houses got stuck, frozen in place because of all that snow and slush.

John Haley is in a different position than most Minnesota anglers, fishing right up to the deadline.

“I own my own snow plow and a 4-wheel truck,” he said, “and I have four tire chains.”

But others aren’t so lucky, frozen in place with a midnight deadline looming on all lakes in the southern two-thirds of the state.

The problem is that our 57 inches of snow this season is creating pressure on the ice, allowing water underneath to bubble up, flood the fish house, and freeze it where it stands.

It can take heavy equipment and even a contractor to get out of the mess, to the DNR says the best plan right now is to tell them you’re having trouble.

“We understand that they’re having a lot of issues with all the snow and all the ice,” said DNR Conservation Agent Brent Grewe. “So, we will work with them, if they work with us and contact us.”

If anglers have a plan, they may get more time and if they don’t have a plan, the conservation officer may have advice.

“We have contacts and people that we have been in contact with that will help you with Bobcats or whatever you need to get the shelter off the ice,” he said.

Grewe said there are still hundreds of ice houses still out on the lakes. They’ve kept track of who owns each one, and will start ticketing them Tuesday.


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