From the DNR
Minnesota’s ice fishing shelter removal dates are approaching, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.
Dark houses, fish houses, and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than midnight on March 4 in the southern two-thirds of the state and March 18 in the northern third.
Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadlines.
The March 4 removal deadline applies to waters south of a line starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border near Moorhead along U.S. Highway 10, then east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border near Duluth.
The March 18 deadline applies to waters north of that line.
DNR conservation officers patrolling the Detroit Lakes area advise fish shelter owners along Highway 10 to pay special attention to the deadlines.
“A line runs down Highway 10 from Fargo/Moorhead to Detroit Lakes; then it’s Highway 34 from Detroit Lakes,” said Conservation Officer Chris Vinton of Detroit Lakes. “Fish shelters located north of that line have to be off the ice no later than midnight, March 18.”
For border waters, the shelter removal deadlines are: Minnesota - Iowa, Feb. 20; Minnesota - Wisconsin, March 1; Minnesota - North Dakota and South Dakota, March 5; Minnesota - Canada, March 31.
Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier, if ice conditions warrant.
Those not removing shelters will be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or destroy it.
It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.
After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.
It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state.
Anglers should check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal.
Watertown firearms training course
Watertown firearms training course will begin in March.
Class registration is Sunday, March 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club.
Class dates; 3/5, 3/7, 3/12, 3/14, 3/19, 3/21, and will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The field day is schedule for Saturday, March 23 starting at 8 a.m.
To participate, you must be 11 years of age or older before start date in order to be eligible to take this course.
For additional information, e-mail WatertownFST@yahoo.com or call Cory at (763)218-3228.
CO weekley reports
From the DNR
• CO Brian Mies (Annandale station) last week checked anglers.
CO Mies also worked sleds. CO Mies worked on tip calls and assisted a neighboring officer with a case.
• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) started COC Silgjord’s fourth phase of field training.
Work for the week included patrolling area snowmobile trails.
Increased activity was seen after recent snowfalls.
Several registration violations were handled.
Area lakes were checked for anglers.
Two anglers were located in a fish house by COC Silgjord.
Upon contact with the fishermen an odor of marijuana was detected.
When confronted about the odor one angler advised that he had thrown his pipe down the ice hole.
The second angler provided his pipe and small amount of marijuana to COC Silgjord when he was asked if he had anything on him.
Enforcement action was taken.
An extra line violation was also detected with appropriate enforcement action being taken.
• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated a possible waters violation on Lake Waconia.
Commercial inspections were done on bait dealers.
The Luce Line State Trail was patrolled for snowmobiles and illegal ATV activity.
Coyote hunters and trappers were checked.
Car kill deer permits were issued.
• CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resource Enforcement Officer) worked with area SWCDs and BWSR on open wetland violation cases.
A wetland filling complaint was handled in Dayton with further follow-up needed in the spring.
She worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement on Lake Minnetonka and the Luce Line State Trail.
• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked angling activity on area lakes, taking enforcement action for using extra lines.
Time was also spent on area snowmobile trails.
Enforcement action was taken on sleds not having current registration, failure to transfer registration, no snowmobile trail sticker and no snowmobile safety class taken.
Just reminder-residents born after December 31, 1976 must complete a snowmobile safety course before operating a snowmobile.
• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time focusing on snowmobile enforcement.
CO Oberg and CO Mueller patrolled the Luce Line State Trail as well as other trails in the area by snowmobile.
Enforcement action was taken for a variety of violations, from no registration or trail sticker to no snowmobile safety and failing to transfer registration.
CO Oberg also attended an event at Pheasant Fest located at the Minneapolis Convention Center.