Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

Feb. 25, 2002

Time to remove fishhouses

The deadline for removing fishhouses, dark houses and portable shelters from state waterways in our area (south of Minnesota Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 2) is no later than midnight, Feb. 28.

In the past week, due to warm weather and changing ice conditions, many anglers did remove their fishhouses from area lakes.

One angler stated, "With the way the weather has been I just didn't want to take the chance of leaving it on the ice for another week." Other anglers noted many houses were frozen into the ice and it took a lot of work and chiseling to get them out.

Another group of anglers said removing their fishhouses became a little scary. Apparently wind and water action underneath one of the houses had created a fairly large oblong hole in the ice. The hole was said to be about 12 inches by 14 inches and was big enough for a kid to fall through it.

The DNR is also warning anglers that ice conditions in many areas of the state have deteriorated quickly, and that anglers should remove their fishhouses before the deadline.

The DNR also noted several reports of fishhouses sinking through the ice.

With longer days and warmer average temperatures this time of year, even a little rain, ice thickness and conditions can deteriorate and change quickly.

We should all remember that no ice is ever completely safe and those who plan on doing late ice panfishing should be well informed of ice conditions on the lake they plan on fishing. Be cautious and prepared.

Outdoor notes

­ Anyone interested in becoming certified to teach snowmobile training should contact John Entinger at (763) 658-4035 or Harvey Nowak at (320) 485-3738. Certification to teach is only a two night class.

­ The fishing season for walleye and northern pike on our area lakes closed Sunday, Feb. 17.

­ 2001-02 angling licenses expire Feb. 28. New 2002-03 angling licenses are required Friday, March 1.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will host its annual father/son-daughter banquet Friday, March 22 at the Lester Prairie City Hall. The Zoo Mobile from the Minnesota Zoo will be on hand to educate and entertain those attending.

­ New 2002 - 2003 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Handbooks are now available at area license vendors and bait shops.

­ The rabbit and squirrel hunting seasons close Feb. 28.

­ If current weather trends continue, ice out date could be very early this year.

­ Be mobile, know the ice conditions, and use light tackle for late ice panfish success.

­ The 2002 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Saturday, May 11.

­ Don't forget about your .22 rifle. Remember when you were a kid and all the fun you had plunking cans and shooting at targets with your .22.

Today, it is harder to find a place to shoot, but places like the Waverly Sportsmen's range provide a great opportunity, the ammo is still cheap, and if you haven't shot for awhile it's still fun.

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