WINNEBAGO COUNTY – The Otter Street Fishing Club is preparing for its annual winter Fisheree. About three thousand people are expected to hit the ice on Lake Winnebago Saturday.
“We’re a non-profit organization. So this is one of our big money makers. We maintain a lot of docks and boat landings. We also donate money to the DNR,” said John Nourse, with the club.
“Getting to that time of year again where, with Otter Street and sturgeon spearing coming, there’s getting to be a lot of ice shanties on Lake Winnebago,” said Winnebago County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Steve Brewer.
Brewer told FOX 11 with those shanties come thieves looking for easy pickings.
“Had two a few days ago that were broken into,” Brewer explained.
According to the sheriff’s department, thieves made off with a few hundred dollars, a tv, and some propane tanks from those two shanties.
Brewer told us often when shanties are broken into equipment like ice augurs and depth gauges will be taken.
“It’s a big lake and unfortunately we can’t patrol out there all the time. So it’s easy for criminals to go out there and get some valuable stuff,” Brewer explained.
Brewer said even if you have your shanty locked, thieves can cut the lock or break down the door.
“People have to start learning to take their valuables out of the ice shanties with them,” he advised.
Fishermen told us it’s important to protect any valuables, but they also have a request for any would-be thieves.
“Don’t tamper with other people’s stuff. You know? It’s kind of an honor system,” said Nourse.
And with thousands expected on the ice this weekend, anglers are hoping others do honor that system.
At this point officers says they have no suspects in the break-ins.