Anglers, reel in the ice shanties

The ice fishing season is coming to a close and the Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers to get their shanties removed before deadline.

Ice shanties are to be removed as soon as the ice is unsafe to hold them, regardless of the date.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, ice shanties need to be removed by midnight on 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.

In remaining counties of the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties were to be removed by midnight on March 1. Shanties placed on Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters must be removed by midnight on March 15. In the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight on March 31.

After mandatory removal dates, shanties may be placed on the ice on a daily basis, but must be removed at the end of each day's fishing activity. Shanty owners who allow the structures to fall through the ice are subject of penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines (of not less than $100 or more than $500) or both.

If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse the government for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.

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