MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The deadlines to remove fish houses from Minnesota lakes are soon approaching, and the DNR has an important reminder for anglers: Don’t forget your trash.

(credit: DNR)

Litter left on frozen lakes can potentially affect the water quality. The DNR says that in recent years conservation officers have found propane canisters, blocking materials and even bottles of human waste left on the ice.

Rodmen Smith, the director of the DNR’s enforcement division, said that the only thing anglers should leave on the lakes is an imprint in the snow and ice. If caught littering, offenders will receive a citation.

“The majority of people do things right, but unfortunately there’s a subset of people who leave a mess on the ice and count on someone else to clean up after them,” Smith said, in a statement.

In Minnesota, there are two key deadlines for removing ice houses. For lakes in the southern two-thirds of the state, it’s midnight on March 2. For lakes in the northern third of the state, it’s midnight on March 16. Dates vary for lakes along the Canadian border.