The deadline for getting ice shanties off inland lakes in Northern Lower Michigan is midnight on March 15, but many anglers are jumping the gun. With temperatures expected to creep into the 40s during the next several days, fisherman who don’t want to be pulling their shanty from the bottom of the lake are pulling their structures back to shore.
Whether you pull your shanty now or wait until the March 15th deadline, you don’t need to call the season quits for good. You can still put your shanty on an inland lake, but it must be placed and removed in the same day until ice conditions are deemed unsafe for even daily placement. Fishermen in the following Northern Lower Michigan counties have got to have their shanties off by March 15th: 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.
As always, the ice in the Upper Peninsula holds longer and so will the shanties. Anglers in all counties in the U.P. need to have their shanties removed by midnight on March 31. The DNR Law Enforcement Division reminds anglers, however, that all shanties must be removed in all areas if ice conditions become unsafe, regardless of the date. For more information about ice fishing shanty regulations and dates, anglers may consult the 2006-08 Fishing Guide. The guide is available online at the DNR’s website at michigan.gov/dnr.