KEYC - Warm Weather Prompts Ice-fishers To Remove Ice Houses As Soon As

Warm Weather Prompts Ice-fishers To Remove Ice Houses As Soon As Possible

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Madison Lake, MN -

This warm weather is welcomed by many, but for ice–fishers it means a season cut short.

Even though it's gorgeous outside, it makes some a little nervous getting their truck out on the ice.

"Yeah... it's always a little bit of that fear factor," Denny Leiferman said, an ice-fisher getting his ice house off Monday. 

So far, we are trending about 10–20 degrees above average for this time of year and Chief Meteorologist Mark Tarello says there's a chance this warm streak will last through the rest of the month. This is prompting law enforcement to urge people to get their ice houses off as soon as possible.

"With the weather, again, with unseasonably warm conditions, this ice can change so fast, and then that's when we have accidents. So if people have the time to get out and remove their ice houses now, with the current week of warm weather it can only be safety first," Chief Dept. Mike Maurer of the Blue Earth County Sheriff's office said. 

Which is not something new for the pros.

"I'd rather be safe than sorry," Nate Greene said, an employee at White's Bait Shop in Madison Lake said.  

"That's the chance you take, better safe than sorry," Leiferman said.  Especially when the landings and narrows are starting to get slushy because of the sun, wind, and the salt coming off of trucks tires.

"I walked over to it, and punched a hole with my boot, and sure enough I got to drop my tape measure down to the bottom so...they gotta be careful out there," Greene said. 

"You don't know how safe the ice is now, and it's... it's time to stop," Leiferman said. 

And if you chose to not stop dropping your line it could be a pricey mistake.

"There can be fines that can be tacked on, there can be the cost to getting divers in to hook onto it if it's completely submerged. There's a lot of different fees that can go into place is something like that falls through," Maurer said. 

It is the owners responsibility to get the fish house off the lake, but if you are having any trouble getting a vehicle out there, ATV's is the safest bet. And you can always call your local sheriffs office for help.

"Safety first. Try to remove your equipment before the ice gets too poor," Maurer said. 

The DNR says all ice houses must be removed from the ice no later than March 6.