Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | OUTDOORS
Ice-shack removal proving a challenge for local anglers
Deadline to remove shacks north of
Hwy. 64 is March 16
NORTHWEST WISCONSIN – The deadline to remove permanent ice-fishing shacks is looming for anglers north of Hwy. 64, but for some, it has become a daunting task just to get them off the ice because of the most recent 12 to 15 inches of snow that blanketed the area. The deadline to remove shelters is Sunday, March 16, but for Ron Simmons of Luck, he's hoping it's a bit sooner than that.
"I've never seen a season quite like this," said Simmons, not long after getting a ride on snowmobile to his shack on Atlas Lake.
Simmons, who has a homemade 8x12 shack, was checking to make sure that it hadn't froze into the ice. He said he had heard of others in the area who've had problems on other lakes. As the snow gets deeper and heavier, it pushes water up through holes and causes flooding on the lakes. He said he had heard of one shack with as much as 6-inches of water inside the shack with ice. Luckily, Simmons says his hadn't froze to the ice, yet his latest problem will be accessing the shack as it's three-fourths of a mile from the landing.
Simmons isn't the only shack on the lake in that area. He was able to contact the owners of at least two of the four or more shacks nearby, and they agreed to each pitch in $100 to see what a couple of other plow trucks can do.
"We're not even 100-percent sure a plow is going to do it," Simmons said, but they hope to try and get his off on Saturday.
"If we can't, well then we've got a bobcat lined up for Sunday. But that's going to be a long deal because it’s a good three quarters of a mile out there."
A recent weekly outdoor report from the DNR said that anglers who have difficulty in getting shelters off the ice by the deadline "still need to work actively to free their shelters from the ice and arrange to have the shelters removed from the ice. The department encourages ice anglers to call the department's hotline at 800-TIP-WDNR or 800-847-9367, to describe their situation if they are having difficulty meeting the removal deadline. The angler's information will be passed on to the local conservation warden who will use discretion in the enforcement of the deadline."
Local conservation warden Jesse Ashton says he's received a number of calls regarding the deadline.
"I have been telling them they have to make an attempt to try to get their shack off. Some guys have been hiring guys with plows or tractors to pull them off the lake. In situations where they still can't get it off due to ice or slush, they can call the hotline to notify us of these situations," Ashton said.