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Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching

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Minnesota's ice fishing shelter removal dates are fast approaching. Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than midnight on March 1 in the southern two-thirds of the state and March 15 in the northern third.

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The March 1 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 15 deadline applies to waters north of that line.

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. Also, 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. Check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal.

Litter is a costly problem that Minnesotans all end up paying for to keep roadways, parks and waterways clean. The act of littering not only hurts pocketbooks, it also causes harm to the environment in many ways.

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