It’s been a cold and snowy winter in Wisconsin, and many of the state’s lakes are apparently not quite ready to let ice fishing season wrap up yet.
Anglers are supposed to have any ice fishing shanties off of lakes in the southern half the state by today, although Department of Natural Resources Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says they expect many owners will have a hard time meeting the requirement. A combination of recent heavy snows, followed by warmer temperatures, resulted in slush on many lakes. That then froze many shanties solidly in place when temperatures plunged back below zero.
Schaller says owners of ice shanties on inland lakes, located south of State Highway 64, who are unable to get them off of the lake by today’s deadline should contact the DNR at 1-800-TIP-WDNR to notify the state. Local conservation wardens will then make a decision on how to handle the situation, although Schaller says they would prefer that owners continue working to free them as quickly as possible.
Schaller says the deadline is intended to keep shanties from staying out on the ice too long. Once the weather starts to warm up, he says there are concerns that they could fall through the ice or pose a danger to anyone working to remove them.
Anglers with shanties on lakes north of Highway 64 have until March 15 to get them off the ice.