Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game reminds fishermen that long-term use ice houses need to be registered

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 10:51 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (ADFG) has put out a reminder that any semi-permanent ice houses will need to be registered.

As ice temperatures continue to decline, the prospect of ice fishing will follow. As a reminder to those who participate in the winter fishing fun, ADFG has put out a notice stating semi-permanent structures on ice will need registration.

Any ice fishing houses in the Tanana River Drainage will need to be registered, unless they are removed daily. There are some important steps to follow if you intend to keep your ice fishing house on a given body of water for the winter. After being issued a permit by ADFG, the permit must be displayed on the side and roof of the house with numbers at least 12 inches high and 1 inch wide with a color that contrasts the background. A signed copy of the permit must also be kept inside the house any time it’s being used.

This, however, doesn’t mean the house has to stay in the same place all year. As long as you inform Fish and Game authorities structure locations may change. “Once you have your registration, usually what you do at the beginning of the season is you write down where you might have your ice house located,” said Andy Gryska, one of the Tanana Drainage area managers with ADGF. This means you can write on your registration that the structure may be at Tanana Lakes early in the season, but you intend to move it to Chena Lakes later on. Such being written on the permit, a simple phone call informing ADFG that the structure has been moved would be the only necessary action needed. Even if a specific location isn’t listed on your registration, that same phone call is all that is necessary to update the registration allowing you to move the structure without advance notice.

These permits do not apply to day-use structures. So long as those structures are removed at the end of the day. However, multi-day use of structures not removed from ice could face fines if there’s no permit.

To register an ice house, you can visit the ADFG offices in Fairbanks or Delta Junction or call those offices.

Fairbanks Office 907-459-7228

Delta Junction Office 907-895-4632

Gryska also spoke about the importance of on ice safety. He recommends checking the ice in multiple locations, with an ice chipper, before placing any large structure on the ice. This includes vehicles.

According to ADFG, these guidelines can be followed for best safety practices, but are not a guarantee of safety. Ice should be at least four inches thick to support the weight of a person, six inches thick to support a snowmachine, 8-12 inches thick to support cars and small trucks, and 12-15 inches thick to support larger pickup trucks. Ice anglers are advised to avoid off-colored snow or ice.