Winter anglers urged to remove fish houses

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Game and Fish Department is urging winter anglers to consider removing their fish houses early this year in areas where ice conditions are deteriorating.

The state deadline to remove fish houses isn't until March 15 but ice is deteriorating due to recent warm weather, particularly in the south and west regions of the state.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for high temperatures the rest of this week reaching into the 30s and 40s statewide and even approaching 50 degrees in the southwest.

Mild weather can quickly result in unstable ice conditions that can make removing a fish house with a vehicle difficult or dangerous, Game and Fish Education Coordinator Brian Schaffer said. There have been several reports of vehicles breaking through the ice in recent days, he said.

Even on lakes where ice remains solid away from shore — specifically in the northeast where ice conditions are much better than the rest of the state — anglers should watch the weather and adjust activities accordingly, Schaffer said.

"We know people want to keep fishing, but given the current conditions it's good for anglers to keep safety in mind," he said.