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Some lakes are experiencing an ice house boom this season. Others are seeing a declining population from previous years. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

It's time to remove permanent fish houses

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Minnesota's ice fishing shelter removal dates are fast approaching. Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than midnight on Monday in the southern two-thirds of the state and March 21 in the northern third.

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The early Monday 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 21 deadline applies to waters north of that line.

Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.

Those not removing shelters will be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or destroy it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state. Anglers should check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal.

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