I'm absolutely disgusted when I see someone leave behind piles of trash on the frozen lake. Sadly, I see it about every time I go out on the lake ice fishing. Fortunately, there are some good people who pick up after the litter bugs, but it still is a huge problem.

When that ice melts in the spring, all that trash goes right into our lakes. People leave a ton of trash on the ice across Minnesot's lakes. During the winter trash and garbage left on the ice is the number one complaint the Minnesota DNR officers receive.

MN DNR Facebook
MN DNR Facebook

It's always been illegal to leave behind anything on the ice, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has now added a new regulation that they hope will help with the problem.

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Even more gross is the fact that people have been dumping sewage on the ice from permanent houses. That's actually the reason behind the new law changes, however, the new law will affect all ice anglers.

MN DNR Facebook
MN DNR Facebook

New Law In Place For Ice Fishing In 2023

People using an ice shelter, vehicle, or other conveyance may not deposit any type of waste directly onto the ice. This means trash, aluminum cans, sewage, dead animals, cigarette butts, or any other debris.

Here is the exact wording from the 2023 Minnesota Statutes:

A person using a shelter, a motor vehicle, or any other conveyance on the ice of state waters may not deposit garbage, rubbish, cigarette filters, debris from fireworks, offal, the body of a dead animal, litter, sewage, or any other waste outside the shelter, motor vehicle, or conveyance unless the material is:

(1) placed in a container that is secured to the shelter, motor vehicle, or conveyance; and

(2) not placed directly on the ice or in state waters.

So now if you're bringing a six-pack with you on the ice, no more tossing the cans on the snow to pick up later. You could put them in a container secured to the shelter.

MN DNR Facebook
MN DNR Facebook

What's the fine?

Violations of this law are considered a petty misdemeanor and you can be fined $100 for each instance.

Easy law to break, even if you're someone who doesn't litter.

I don't think I've ever left behind any trash on the ice. I've been careful to put trash in a garbage bag, sometimes outside of my shelter. But, if that bag isn't secured, I could now be fined. It's the same thing if you were to put empty beer cans in a case and leave it outside your shelter. That would now be a fine as well. It's important that you understand the new regulations so you don't get fined, even if you had intentions of removing your garbage.

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It's sad that it even had to come this far because of all the litterbugs on our beautiful lakes.

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