Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Fish House 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.

 

A popular question this time of 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; if it’s not able to float, it must be removed when the angler leaves the ice.

 

Other fish house regulations include:

 

  • Fish houses do not require a license.
  • Occupied structures do not require identification. However, any unoccupied fish house must have an equipment registration number issued by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, or 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.
  • All unoccupied fish houses must be removed from all waters after midnight, March 15.

 

Anglers should refer to the 2018-20 North Dakota Fishing Guide for other winter fishing regulations.

March 15 Deadline to Remove Permanent Fish Houses

Anglers have until midnight, March 15 to remove permanent fish houses from North Dakota waters, and from any state wildlife management area or federal refuge land.

 

Fish houses may be used after March 15 if they are removed daily.

 

Anglers are advised to use caution while accessing area lakes because mild weather conditions can quickly result in unstable ice conditions that can make removing a fish house with a vehicle difficult or dangerous.

 

Even on lakes where ice remains solid away from shore, anglers should watch the weather and adjust activities accordingly. Ice conditions can vary from region to region, between lakes in the same region, and even on the same lake.