AP file photo of an ice shanty
MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Conservation Officers with the Department of Natural Resources say anglers need to get their ice shanties off frozen lakes by midnight March 1 or they could face fines and even jail time.
Michigan enforces a mandatory ice shanty removal deadline. For counties in southern lower Michigan like Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa the deadline is midnight March 1. The rule is in place to prevent structures from littering Michigan lakes. In northern Michigan counties like Oceana and Newaygo the deadline is midnight March 15.
Conservation Officer Greg Patten says this time of year if you don't remove an ice shanty daily, it can get stuck in melting and freezing ice. "With the wind and sun you will get melting. And if you are not checking it daily, it will freeze in or fall into the lake."
Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subjected to penalties of up to 30 days in jail and fines. Courts can also charge angles three times the cost of retrieving an abandoned ice shanty.