Getting shanty off the ice proves a tough task

Removing Shanty 2
Removing Shanty 2

OMRO - David Stadler was ready to get his shanty off the ice Wednesday. It had been on Lake Butte des Morts since Christmas, but wasn't much of a gift.

"I only got it for my kids. I fish out of a portable all the time and they didn't even get to fish out of it!" Stadler exclaimed.

It ended up frozen in about a foot of ice.

"Somebody drilled a hole right next to the shack - like two feet away from it - and because of all the weight on the snow, the water just came up," Stadler explained.

Bitter cold temperatures froze it in solid.

SUNK? Dive and Ice Service brought in the heavy artillery Wednesday to get the shanty out.

Work started around 2 p.m., and despite the picks, shovels, saws and drills, Mother Nature didn't want to let go.

"We thought we were going to cut around it, chop it off. I did not think there was going to be 36-40 inches of ice out here," said SUNK? owner Don Herman.

Three hours later, the crew brought in bigger equipment.

"Forty-two-inch bar and it's not going through the ice," said Herman.

Five hours after work started, there were signs of movement, but we had to leave SUNK? to their work.

"All we're going to be able to do it keep plugging away at it. We're not going to give up. It's going to come out. I just don't know when!" exclaimed Herman.

So will Stadler be back next year?

"Few more blocks, we'll wait a little longer 'til the snow gets out here, ice gets a little bit thicker, but live and learn, I guess," replied Stadler, cheerfully.

We did catch up with Herman by phone around 9 p.m. Wenesday. The crew managed to get the shanty out around 7:30.

Herman told us it was the toughest shanty he's pulled out in 40 years.