Keep It Clean Program Reminds Ice Anglers to Have a Plan

If yoPlowed ice road, Lake of the Woodsu have fished Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River, no doubt you probably have experienced some amazing fishing, scenery and wildlife that makes this area so special.  As special as this natural resource is, it can also be at risk if we don’t do our part in limiting debris.  Every piece of wood, plastic bag from minnows, wrapper that blew away or aluminum can of your favorite beverage has a negative effect on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.  Because it all matters, Keep It Clean was created and is on it’s 6th season.

With the walleye and sauger population so strong, consistent ice conditions and a lake with structure that is very conducive to ice fishing, Lake of the Woods is one of the top ice fishing destinations in North America.  The past two years it is estimated that there were over 2 million angling hours on the ice alone.  With this amount of ice anglers, it is more important than ever to be aggressive with the Keep It Clean program.

Description: Keep It Clean is an organization which was created by a group of local stakeholders including:

-Lake of the Woods Tourism BureauFish houses, Lake of the Woods

MN DNR Fisheries and Enforcement

-Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District

-Roseau Soil and Water Conservation District

-Lake of the Woods County

-Friends of Zippel Bay State Park

Mission Statement:

Keep It Clean was created to protect, maintain and promote cleanliness for the beautiful landscape, water resources and shorelines of Lake of the Woods as a special place for everyone to visit and enjoy.

What is your plan for trash disposal?  ICE HOUSE- WALLEYE RETREAT

It’s good to ask your resort or ice road outfitter prior to hitting the ice where the best place to dispose of garbage is.  Some resorts and outfitters might have a dumpster that is clearly visible when you drive off of the lake.  When fishing with a full service resort, some might handle all of the garbage for you.  With others, there may be a dumpster available but at the resort or out of site.  The important thing is to ask and have a plan.

Can your garbage blow away or out of your truck? 

Very well intentioned anglers can have a hard time corralling garbage on a windy day on the ice.  With strong winds at times, please ensure garbage will not blow away from your fish house.

There is a sad fact that a large amount of garbage placed in the bed of a pickup truck never makes it home.  It either flies out on the lake or once on shore when higher speeds are reached.  Please make sure garbage, cans, bags, etc are secured in the back of pickup trucks and on trailers.

Increased Enforcement.  Nobody appreciates people who are either careless or lazy and don’t pick up after themselves.  Most anglers are really good about picking up after themselves and even grabbing garbage that is not theirs.  Thank you.  For the small percentage of folks that leave garbage behind, intentionally or not, law enforcement in many forms are working together, with the Keep It Clean group and are watching.

In addition, local resorts, outfitters and ice guides are trained to keep a close eye on what vehicle or fish house was where and what was left behind.  This combined with the help of the public will ensure a clean Lake of the Woods.

Keep It Clean recent highlights:

-Over 2,000 Keep It Clean stickers distributed to local businesses

-45 Keep It Clean signs placed

-A robust PR campaign to get the word out

-Over 30 miles of shoreline clean up with the assistance of the MN Conservation Corps and the MN DNR

Arnesen's sleeper fish house, Lake of the Woods

Community members participate in a yearly clean up along some of the shores, and the goal is to lessen the amount of garbage and keep Lake of the Woods clean.  A big “Thank You” to everyone who has picked up garbage, whether it is yours or someone else’s, for those who have contributed and donated to this program and for everyone who has done anything to Keep It Clean.

Please do your part.  Please pick up after others.  Together, let’s keep Lake of the Woods epic.  Let’s Keep it Clean!

More info on the Keep It Clean program at https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/keep-clean/


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