Mat-Su tiptoes into regulation of ice-fishing huts

AnchorageAugust 12, 2013 

BOB HALLINEN — Anchorage Daily News archive 2011

From the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Fishing folks have become so brazen with their ice houses on Big Lake that the Mat-Su Borough Assembly has passed some basic rules for the structures on eight lakes. Former Alaska legislator Mike Szymanski, who has a cabin on Big Lake, told assembly members that fishing huts are being built just a few feet offshore of established dwellings, complete with plowed ice-road access and parking spaces. 

“Particularly what we have experienced out there in the last couple of years is this proliferation of ice houses that have become not only obnoxious, but a hindrance to the public out there,” he said. ...

He said there was even one ice house this past winter that seemed to have people stopping by at all hours multiple times a day.

“I don’t know what that guy is doing out there, but I don’t think it’s fishing,” he said, later saying speculation was maybe there were drugs being dealt there

The new rules stipulate that huts be built at least 75 feet from shore and 30 feet from one another, and that occupants haul out their "human waste." But borough planners aren't crazy about the idea of having unarmed compliance officers reciting the rules to beered-up ice fishermen in the winter darkness, The Frontiersman reports.

Read more: New rules for ice houses


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