With spring in sight, it’s time for ice anglers to pack away their tip-ups and haul their ice shanties back to shore.
The state Department of Natural Resources has already ordered ice shanty removal from the boundary waters with Iowa and Minnesota. Structures on inland waterways south of Highway 64 — including the Yahara chain of lakes — must be removed by Sunday.
The deadline for removing shanties from Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior, inland waters north of Highway 64 and boundary waters with Michigan is March 15.
DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye urged anglers not to wait until the deadlines, as a possible warming trend and rain could complicate removal.
The DNR also warned against abandoning the shelters or burning them atop the ice, as neither is considered removal. Debris from burned or abandoned ice shanties ends up in the water, impairing its quality, Hoye said.
After the deadline for removal, ice anglers can continue to use portable shelters if they feel the ice is safe, as long as they remove their shelters when they leave the ice each day, she said.