If you are planning on ice fishing in Minnesota this winter, you might want to learn about this new law that has gone into effect before you head out onto the lake. You wouldn't want to have to pay for a ticket, would you?

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Big changes are coming for all ice anglers this winter! A new law is in effect related to storing garbage and other waste (in all its forms) left on the ice. While the impetus for the law was increased dumping of sewage from permanent fish houses, it will affect all ice anglers, regardless of the type of shelter they use. Specifically, people using an ice shelter, vehicle or other conveyance on the ice 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 placed in a container that is secured to the shelter, motor vehicle or conveyance, and not placed directly on the ice or in state waters.”

The law is aimed at ensuring everyone who uses the ice can do so without encountering garbage and other substances that are not only a potential environmental concern, but an eyesore that takes away from a quality experience for winter recreationists of all kinds. During the winter, complaints about litter left on the ice are among the most common that DNR conservation officers receive. They take these complaints seriously and work to locate violators. The penalty for a violation is a petty misdemeanor and carries a fine of $100.

Make a plan to store your garbage when you head out ice fishing. If you can’t store it inside your vehicle, bring colored garbage bags, a sturdy waste receptacle that won’t break in cold and the proper tools to secure them to your shelter, motor vehicle, snowmobile, trailer or other vehicles you drive out on the ice. Garbage and human/pet waste do not belong on the ice. Take off what you take on!

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shared the new law on social media recently. The hope is that those ice fishing on any of Minnesota's fine lakes will take cleaning up after themselves more seriously now.

You can see the full statute by going here. 

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