An important date to note is the time frame to remove ice fishing shelters.
Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than midnight on March 4 in the southern two-thirds of the state and March 18 in the northern third. Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadlines.
The March 4 removal deadline applies to waters south of a line starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border near Moorhead along U.S. Highway 10, then east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border near Duluth. The March 18 deadline applies to waters north of that line.
Park Rapids and its surrounding communities are situated in a unique portion of the state considering that local anglers frequent lakes on both sides of the highway 34 corridor.
Though many anglers pulled their fish houses from the lakes before our last accumulative snowfall, some are still on the lakes. Additionally, with the popularity of portable shelters and wheel-style fish houses, ice anglers could easily relocate their fishing position to allow over-night accommodations for an extra two week duration.
Finally, and you've got some time, but just as a reminder, current fishing licenses are valid through April 30. Not so many years ago the licenses expired much earlier, but now it happens at a period between ice and open water seasons. Or at least we hope the ice has melted by then!
And always remember to pack it out with you when removing a fish house.
Garbage left on the ice is an eyesore, it's illegal and it's harmful to the aquatic environment.