For anglers yearning for open-water fishing, a recent announcement from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources marks a step in the right direction: the DNR has announced that all ice fishing shanties must be removed from Northern Michigan lakes before Monday, March 16th.
Watch a video of winter smelt fishing:
The Michigan DNR’s press release is excerpted below:
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that mandatory ice shanty removal deadlines are approaching, and that regardless of date, shanties must be removed as soon as the ice is unable to safely hold them.
The northern Lower Peninsula removal deadline is midnight on Friday, March 15. Counties included in the northern Lower Peninsula are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.
On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight of Friday, March 15. In the remainder of the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight on Sunday, March 31.
After the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties may be used but must be removed daily.
Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.