The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds all winter anglers to make sure all non-portable ice shelters are properly licensed.

According to the DNR, here are some other key points to remember in regard to shelter licenses:

  • Wheeled fish houses are not considered portable and must be licensed.
  • An annual shelter license costs $15 for residents and $37 for non-residents, not including issuing fees that may be charged.
  • A shelter license is valid from March 1 through April 30 of the following year.
  • A shelter license is not required on border waters between Minnesota or Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota.

The DNR defines a portable shelter as "A shelter that collapses, folds or is disassembled for transportation."  Portable shelters only need licenses when left unattended, which is defined as all occupants being more than 200 feet away.

Also, it's important that your shelter meets the following identification requirements:

  • The fish house license tag must be readily visible from the exterior of the shelter.
    ONE of the following must be displayed on the outside of the shelter with characters at least 2 inches high: Owner's name and address, Owner's drivers license number, Owner's Minnesota DNR identification number.
  • If a shelter is left out overnight, it must have at least 2 square inches of reflective material on each side.

Good luck out there and remember to diligently check ice conditions each time you head out onto the lake.  It's always best to assume that no ice is safe.