The West Shore Fishing Club is offering a $300 reward for information regarding an abandoned ice shanty on Lake Winnebago.
Club President Steve Klein said the ice shanty was hauled out of the lake Friday morning by club members with help from Sunk of Oshkosh, a company that retrieves sunken items.
Klein said a meeting of the Van Dyne fishing club was held last week and it was decided that removing the abandoned shanty was the right thing to do.
"We knew we had to get it out because it's a hazard in the lake," Klein said.
The shanty went down into the lake on Saturday, Feb. 20, the second weekend of the 2011 sturgeon spearing season. That same day, more than a dozen vehicles fell through the ice and an Appleton man drowned when his truck plunged through the ice.
The shanty, described as sided with silver sheet metal with a multi-colored, shingled roof, was located about three-quarters of a mile out from the Highway 45 wayside on Lake Winnebago.
Klein said someone sanded the owner's name off the shanty and removed all of the belongings from it.
So far, no one has claimed the shanty.
Upon the arrest and conviction of the guilty party, the West Shore Fishing Club will reward the informant $300.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, ice fishing shelters on lake Winnebago must be removed daily and when not occupied after the first Sunday following March 1.
Failure to remove a shanty or ice fishing shelter by deadline could result in a forfeiture of $263. Additional costs may be incurred if the DNR must arrange to have the shanty removed or if the shanty or ice fishing shelter breaks through the ice and must be recovered and disposed of.
Anyone with information regarding the owner of the shanty should contact Fond du Lac County Conservation Warden Kyle Kosin at 929-3708.
Klein said the normal price for recovering a shanty, vehicle or watercraft from the lake runs between $800 and $1,000.
"It's a sad thing that somebody would do this — not be responsible for their own shanty," he said.