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Fish houses must go for (almost) spring cleaning

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Ice fishing house on Lake Minnetonka
An ice fisherman pulls his truck up to his ice house on Lake Minnetonka.
Paul Huttner | MPR News 2012

Pack it up, anglers: Spring is coming.

The Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers that it's time to remove fish houses and garbage from Minnesota lakes in preparation for the spring thaw.

Ken Soring, the DNR's enforcement chief, says every year there are abandoned fish houses and garbage left behind on lakes.

"We will do what we can to identify those people and hold them accountable," Soring said. "These are people who, of anyone, should be having some respect and appreciation for the lake and keeping it as clean as they can."

Southern Minnesota anglers need to move their fish houses off lakes by midnight on Monday. In the northern half of the state, the deadline is March 16. 

Soring says with sparse snow cover across the state, anglers should have little trouble removing fish shelters and any debris.

Not sure when you need to move your fish house?

Dates of removal are determined by a west-to-east line formed by U.S. Highway 10 starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border, 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. 

Fish houses south of this line need to be removed by Monday. North of the line, houses and debris need to be removed by March 16.