Ice Shack Regulations

Winter anglers are reminded that any fish house left unoccupied on North Dakota waters must be made out of materials that will allow it to float.

Robert Timian, enforcement chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said a popular question this time of the year is if campers qualify as legal fish houses.

“The answer is the same for any structure taken on the ice – if it’s left unattended, it must be able to float,” Timian said. “If it’s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.”

Other fish house regulations include:

  • Fish houses are not required to be licensed.
  • Fish houses can be constructed of any size.
  • Occupied structures do not require identification. However, any unoccupied fish house must have the owner’s name, and either address or telephone number, displayed on its outside in readily distinguishable characters at least three inches high.
  • Fish houses may not be placed closer than 50 feet in any direction to another house without consent of the occupant of the other fish house.
  • Fish houses shall be removed from all waters by midnight, March 15, of each year. They can be used after March 15 if they are removed daily.

Anglers should refer to the 2010-12 North Dakota Fishing Guide for winter fishing regulations.