Ice shanty

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Ice shanties, Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, US
The Vista, custom made shanty, with a view US

An ice shanty (also called an ice shack, ice house, fishing shanty, fish house, fish coop, bobhouse, ice hut, or darkhouse) cabane à pêche (fr) is a portable shed placed on a frozen lake to provide shelter during ice fishing. They can be as small and cheap as a plastic tarp draped over a frame of two-by-fours, or as expensive as a small cabin with heat, bunks, electricity, and cooking facilities.

More durable ice houses are generally left on a lake for the duration of the ice fishing season, although this can cause problems, such as thaws and re-freezing causing houses to be immoveably frozen onto the lake.[1] Lighter, cheaper versions can collapse into a package to be moved from lake to lake during the season.

Many northern communities have developed bodies of laws about the operation of ice shanties - frequently including dates by which they must be removed, even if the ice can still hold them.[2] [3] [4]


In northern climates, ice shanties are the center of a large, often humorous, folklore. Fishermen often decorate their ice shanties in humorous ways (toilets are a popular joke addition), while others studiously work on ways to make their ice shanties more comfortable and efficient. Much of the folklore involves the inherent danger of erecting a structure atop a frozen pond. The mayor of Hudson, Ohio claimed ice shanties could lead to increases in prostitution, although WJW (TV) could find no evidence of this.[5]


Knowhow made of millennial practices and resourcefulness

Ice fishing on Sainte-Anne River (Les Chenaux)

  • Microgadus tomcodal. -Poulamon Atlantique. -Atlantic Tomcod (Walbaum) -Petit poisson des chenaux. -Poisson de Noël. -Loche -(Tommy Cod).
  • Mainly from December 26 to February 16


  1. ^ "USE OF ICE FISHING SHELTERS" (PDF). New Brunswick Canada. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Ice Thickness Guideline" (PDF). Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Official Pennsylvania Government Website. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Ice Shelters - what you need to know" (PDF). Minnesota fishing regulations. Pennsylvania Government Website. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  4. ^ ""Remove Bobhouses from Ice by April 1" New Hampshire Fish and Game, 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ Peggy Gallek (February 10, 2022). "Does ice fishing lead to prostitution? I-Team checks Hudson mayor's claims". FOX 8.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bergeron, Rich (January 8, 2005). "A moving passion: Rumney man has unique bobhouse". Archived from the original on 2010-09-21.
  • Stark, Larry; Berglund, Magnus (1990). Hook, Line and Shelter, Ice Fishing Tales and Photos Too: A lighthearted compedium of ice fishing stories from across North America. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, Inc.