Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department Keeps Upper Red Lake Vehicle Restriction In Place
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department is keeping the order prohibiting vehicles on Upper Red Lake. It will remain in place until at least next week following a meeting in Waskish to assess the ice situation and identify a team to monitor conditions.
Emergency Workers have been busy recently rescuing people who either have gone through the ice or got stuck on Upper Red Lake.
Today the Beltrami County Sheriff and Deputies met with local resort operators, Kelliher Fire and Rescue, Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers, and Conversations Officers from the Red Lake Nation regarding public safety on Upper Red Lake.
“We had a discussion about, you know, what we would be looking for moving forward to lift the vehicle restrictions off of Upper Red Lake. Kind of came up with a game plan that will be. We did some drone footage yesterday and we’ve got those photos available and we were looking at them. There’s still a lot of open water to the West in Upper Red Lake, and a lot of the lower red is wide open still as well.” Jason Riggs said, Beltrami County Sheriff.
With the restriction in effect, it has slowed people down from going onto the ice with their snowmobiles and ATVs.
According to Sheriff Riggs, they have restricted travel on the ice to vehicles that are designed for the weather conditions such as airboats, and sharp’s hovercraft wheeled vehicles that have flotation capabilities.
“I think that’s going to free up some additional resources and then giving the limited vehicle exception for guides and resort owners to care for people that are still going out onto the ice regardless of, you know, they’re walking or they’re being, you know, helped to rentals or whatever,” Riggs said.
The local resort operators, who routinely monitor the conditions of the ice, reported that some ice floes are still moving in the water due to significant ice cracks that remain there.
“We’ve gained an inch of a half ice since last Friday. We were at 11 and a half. We’re at 13 miles by now. But that open areas, the open air is still open.” Eric Meyer said, who is the owner of Red Lake Remote.
Although some of the resort businesses are being impacted they are still working hand in hand with the Beltrami County Sheriff to keep the public safe while traveling on the ice.
“Yeah, our business has been affected, but they’re giving us a little bit of leeway to keep open and stay open and keep our customers out there and get them out there safely. And I think that’s the main reason is the safety aspect of it.” Kevin Waldo said, who is the owner West Wind resort.
Beltrami County Officials say that due to the upcoming weather patterns, the next time they will check the lake will be on Monday, January 8, 2024.