It's another sign of spring in Michigan. Time to take down tree stands and ice shanties.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding us of 2016's mandatory ice shanty and tree stand removal dates.

Ice Shanties

  • Regardless of the date, shanties must be removed as soon as the ice is unable to safely hold them.
  • Ice shanties on Lake St. Clair must be removed by sunset Sunday, Feb. 21.
  • For counties in the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties must be removed from the ice by midnight Tuesday, March 1.
  • The deadline for removal from waters in the northern Lower Peninsula is midnight Tuesday, March 15. Counties included in this area are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.
  • On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight Tuesday, March 15.
  • For all counties in the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight Thursday, March 31.
  • Following the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties still may be used but must be removed daily from the ice.
  • Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both.
  • If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of the removal.

Tree Stands

  • Tree stands must be removed from public land by Tuesday, March 1.
  • All scaffolds, raised platforms, ladders, steps and other tree-climbing devices must be taken down.
  • Owners of equipment that is left on public land after March 1 will be subject to a 90-day misdemeanor and a fine from $50 to $500 plus the cost of prosecution.