Winter means frozen Northland lakes covered with ice fishing shelters. Before you put a line in the water, make sure your shelter is properly licensed and ID'd.

According to the Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources, the following rules apply for shelter licenses:

  • All non-portable ice shelters must be licensed.
  • 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.

A portable shelter, which is a shelter that collapses, folds or is disassembled for transportation, only needs a license and identification when left unattended.  An unattended shelter is defined as when all occupants are more than 200 feet away.

Here are the Minnesota ice shelter identification requirements:

  • ONE of the following must be readily visible from the exterior of the shelter with characters at least 2 inches high: Owner's name and address, owner's drivers license number, or 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.

Follow the link below for complete Minnesota ice fishing shelter information, including shelter removal deadlines.

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