Believe it or not! Ice shanty removal deadline approaches

It is almost difficult to believe, with northern Michigan in the midst of an arctic winter, that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers that the dates for mandatory ice shanty removal are approaching.

AN AERIAL view of shantytown was taken during the 2015 sturgeon season -- when it was not snowing. There was a small window for that. Here is a shot of two shantytowns on Black Lake, one in the foreground and the other in the background. There is a path that was used by vehicles to get on and off the frozen lake surface. Some that ventured off the road got stuck in the snow.

 

It might be the first sign that spring could be close. It’s a stretch, though.

Anglers are required to remove shanties as soon as the ice is unsafe to hold them, regardless of the date.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, ice shanties need to be removed by midnight March 15. Counties included in the northern Lower Peninsula are Cheboygan, Montmorency and Presque Isle.

After mandatory removal dates, shanties may be placed on the ice, but must be removed daily.

Shanty owners who allow the structures to fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of not less than $100 or more than $500 or both.

If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse the government for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.