Frozen Frustration: Anglers must remove ice shacks or face fine - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Frozen Frustration: Anglers must remove ice shacks or face fine, DNR will use discretion


Altoona (WQOW) - Time is ticking, and the deadline to get your shack off the ice is nearing. Frigid temperatures and frozen slush have ice shanties stuck. Ben Schinke, trying to take his shack off Lake Altoona, said "We just got an ice chipper we'll start chipping and we'll see, I guess. So far so good."

Sunday is the deadline to get fishing shacks off the ice, but the Department of Natural Resources says they are willing to work with anglers who need extra time to get their shelter off the ice.

Scott Thiede, a conservation warden for the Wis. DNR said, "The law is clear, but again we're going to use a lot of discretion give the depth of the snow and the fact that a lot of snow are froze down in the slush."

And sometimes, getting it off the ice is only half the job. Thiede said, "What we find is that, people do remove their shacks but given the icy conditions some of the boards may be left in the ice itself or maybe insulation or old carpeting. It's a littering violation if you leave any debris or shack on the ice."

To make sure the area is left as it was found, anglers are discovering tools are needed.

Schinke said, "Ice chisel, a hatchet, and sheer strength, I guess, hopefully it'll come loose. It's pretty frozen down. It'll be alright. We'll yank it out with a tow strap, then hook it up to the truck and get it out with no problem."

Schinke said this winter season has been the worst than most years. "It's been significantly colder. And that's how it goes; it's been a lot of snow and a lot of cold this winter."

The DNR says the fine for not removing an ice shack will cost you about $260.

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