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LAKESMARTS – Ice Thickness and Ice Fishing Shelter Guidelines
Ice Thickness Guidelines – Minnesota DNR – For New Clear Ice Only!



Ice Fishing Shelter Guidelines
Icehouses, shacks, shanties, shelters, etc. must be removed from Prior Lake no later than March 5th , 2018. After that date, structures can be left on the lake during daylight hours, but must be occupied or attended (user must be within 200 feet) if left on the lake from midnight to sunrise. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in prosecution and the structure will be confiscated, removed or destroyed by authorities. Leaving or storing icehouses at a public access is prohibited. Is also illegal to improperly dispose of icehouses anywhere in the state.
Licensing: Ice houses that are left unattended between midnight and one hour before sunrise must have a license.  The license tag must be clearly visible on the icehouse. The license is valid from March 1st through April 30th of the following year. You can obtain a license in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles (where you license your car) or at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Trailers used to haul icehouses on the road must also have a license.
Identification:  All shelters need identification, except portable shelters that are occupied. Occupying a shelter means staying within 200 feet of it. Identification means one of the following: Owner’s name and address; owner’s driver’s license number; or owner’s Minnesota DNR identification number. Identification must be on the outside of the shelter with characters at least two inches high.
Other icehouse requirements:
– The door of an icehouse must open outward toward the outside.
– Icehouses must not be placed closer than 10 feet apart.
– If you leave your shelter out overnight, you need at least two square inches of reflective material on each side.

Please keep your ice fishing area picked up and orderly. Fines will be issued for leaving litter on the ice. Please remember that whatever you leave on the ice typically ends up in our beautiful lake in the spring.

Fires on the Ice:
You cannot have a fire directly on the ice but you can have a fire in a portable fire bowl that does not allow the fire to sit directly on the ice.
Sunken Vehicles:
Anyone who sinks a car, ATV, snowmobile or other vehicle through the ice has 48 hours to report this incident to the Sheriff’s department. You will have 30 days to remove the vehicle from the water at your expense. Failure to do so will result in the local government removing it for you and you will be charged 2 to 5 times the cost of removal.

Please Enjoy Prior Lake Respectfully and Safely!

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Muskrat Love??? DNR Rules for Trapping and Removal of Nuisance Muskrats


Muskrats can cause significant damage to shorelines and watercraft as well as spread disease. This is a summary of the DNA rules for trapping and removal of these pesky vermin.

-If the Muskrat is a nuisance and is causing damage to private property, it can be legally trapped by the PROPERTY OWNER without a permit at any time during the year (no season).

-Trapping on property not owned by you requires a permit from the DNR and can only be done during Muskrat season which is 10/28/17 – 02/28/18.  This applies to private and commercial trapping.

-Traps set by the property owner can be baited and left in place 24 hours per day without removal but must be checked every day.

-Trapped Muskrats must be euthanized ON SITE unless a permit to move them to a different site has been obtained from the DNR. Hence, live Muskrats cannot be relocated to another location without a permit from the DNR.

-All trapped and euthanized Muskrats must be reported to the DNR. Easiest way to do this is to email our local DNR agent Chelsie Leuthaedt at

– It is illegal to poison Muskrats

– Since Prior Lake itself is with the city limits, it is illegal to use any firearms (including pellet and BB guns) to hunt Muskrats.

If you are looking for a commercial trapper to take care of your vermin problem:

Animal Damage Control, Dave Gullup 612-618-1679.

Suburban Wildlife Control, Shakopee 952-403-9923.


Steve Reinders, PLA

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Join the PLA! We’re Aiming for BLUE!

Join the PLA today and learn how you can help us preserve the beauty and protect the natural environment of Prior Lake. Our goal is to have a lake that is clean and safe for swimming, boating, skiing, and fishing; and to preserve it for future generations. We’re aiming for a cleaner, bluer lake. Join the PLA “BLUE CREW” – Together we can make a difference!


If you use the lake for any activity, or just appreciate it’s natural beauty, please consider joining the PLA. Membership is only $30 per year and you can join by clicking on the button in the side bar on our membership page.

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