Hey there, Iowa ice fishing fanatics! As the winter season starts to wind down a bit, it's time to start thinking about packing up your gear and saying goodbye to that favorite icy sport. But before we bid adieu to the ice fishing season, there's one important task the Iowa DNR wants you to tackle (get it?), and that is getting those ice shacks off the ice.

Ice fishing shacks out on the frozen harbour.
Credit: onepony

Now, you might be thinking, "Why the rush?" Well, here's the scoop: according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, all ice fishing shelters left unattended need to be removed from state-owned lands and waters, including parking lots and boat ramps, by February 20th. That's right, the deadline is approaching faster than a fish chasing a spoon!

Ice Fisherman In China Carry On 2000 Year Tradition
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But don't fret – if you're one of those die-hard anglers who just can't bear to part with your ice shack, there's still a way to extend your stay. Simply pay for a campsite in a state park campground, and you can keep your shack on state-owned land past the deadline. It's a win-win – you get to enjoy a little extra time on the ice, and you're supporting our state parks in the process.

Family ice fishing
Credit: GROGL

Now, I know what you're thinking – dragging your ice shack off the ice can be a real hassle. But trust me, it's worth the effort to keep our state-owned lands and waters clean and tidy. And you're doing your part to ensure the safety of others who might be out on the ice.

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And let's not forget about safety – as the weather starts to warm up, the ice can become unstable and unpredictable. So don't wait until the last minute to get your shack off the ice. Remember, if your shack falls through the ice, you're responsible for getting it out of the lake – and nobody wants to deal with that headache!

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