DNR to give slack to anglers with shanties frozen on ice - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

DNR to give slack to anglers with shanties frozen on ice

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(DNR) wardens say they will use discretion in enforcing the requirement fishing shanties be off ice by March 1, as many of the structures are stuck.

The DNR says anglers have been asking for advice on how to meet the deadline, after temperatures climbed into the 40s and then dipped below zero again, leaving the shanties frozen in.

The department's chief conservation warden told the La Crosse Tribune leniency will be granted to fishermen trying to remove their structure and who report the problem to the department.

Shanties were supposed be off Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by Feb. 20 and they're supposed to be off Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters by March 1. The deadline for southern inland waters is March 3, northern inland waters March 17 and Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters March 15.

Tony Christnovich, owner of Schafer's Boats and Bait in Brice Prairie, says he has helped a few anglers get their houses off Lake Onalaska ice this week. He says ice chippers and hydraulic jacks have been necessary in some cases.

Some shanty owners put wooden blocks underneath their structure to prevent sticking, but others don't bother with that precaution.

Harold Lynch, who said he has been ice fishing for 70 years, found it difficult to believe that the state can't just extend the deadline. He pointed out the ice on Lake Onalaska is roughly 30 inches thick or more.

But the DNR says pushing back the March 1 deadline would require an administrative rule change, a lengthy process the department feels would be impossible to use effectively while accurately anticipating the weather.

Anglers still can go out on the ice after Saturday, but they can't leave their tents or shacks there.
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