Minnesota DNR Reminds Anglers To Clean Up After Themselves When Ice Fishing
Now that the area waterways are finally frozen over, anglers have hit the lakes in full force. With that, the Department of Natural Resources has seen many cases of trash being left out on the ice.
Some of the most common types of trash left from ice anglers are pop cans and beer bottles, cigarette butts, chew spit, empty snack bags, and bags of human waste. When the ice melts, the trash left behind ends up at the bottom of the lake and can be very detrimental to the ecosystem of the lake.
“It’s a problem we deal with every year. It’s one of our most common problems, littering on the ice, and the best way I can put it is it’s a very lazy behavior. Those who do it just assume that someone else is going to take care of the problem for them, and that’s not true,” said Chelsey Best, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer. “If you take it out with you, best thing is to just pack it back up and take it away again when you leave.”
Photographs of trash left behind by anglers have been circling social media resulting in a popular hashtag #RespectTheLake. In the state of Minnesota, fines for littering start at $135 per violation and can also increase per pound of waste that is left behind.
“The waters are going to be there and the recreation is going to be there hopefully for years and years to come, and we need to be able to protect it. It’s not a irreplaceable resource, so if we can all just do our part to take care of it then it’s not such an issue,” explained Officer Best.
Due to the warming and cooling we have seen this winter, the Minnesota DNR would like to remind the community to use caution when venturing out onto the ice and always check the ice before going out.