Description: Keep It Clean is an organization which was created jointly by Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau, the MN DNR, Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District, Roseau County Soil and Water Conservation District and The Friends of Zippel Bay State Park to promote a clean Lake of the Woods and to bring together a variety of stakeholders to do so.

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.

Have a game plan for trash removal.

It is a good idea to check with the resort or outfitter whom you are fishing with what options they provide for garbage disposal.

Help out your fellow angler.  For some it’s an accident, for a few, maybe not caring as much as they should.  The bottom line, if you happen to see trash on the ice that’s not yours, please take a minute and pick it up.  Paying it forward is an incredibly generous gesture that normally comes back to reward good stewards of Mother Nature.

Secure garbage when traveling.

Whether your garbage is in the back of a pickup truck, in a trailer or hauled off the ice or down the road in a different manner, please take a few extra minutes to make sure it is secure.  With wind and bumps on the ice, or increased speed when off the ice and on a road, much littering happens in many cases unknown to the angler.  Let’s do our part to keep garbage, trash and pollutants out of Lake of the Woods!

To help reduce the amount of waste left on the ice, Keep It Clean encourages ice anglers and their guests take the following steps:

  • Make a plan for trash and waste removal before you arrive. Whether you access the lake from a public or private entrance, plan to take off of the lake what you take on to the lake. Many access points and resorts offer garbage collection services. If your site doesn’t, make a plan to transport it home for disposal.
  • Use colored garbage bags. In snowy conditions, white trash bags can be difficult to see. Brightly colored bags are easier to spot making it less likely trash will inadvertently be left behind.
  • Take a moment before you depart the ice to make sure that you have picked up any garbage in your area. And if you notice someone else has left something behind, take a moment to pick it up and bring it with you.
  • Secure your garbage before traveling. High winds, bumpy ice roads and other conditions on or off the lake can cause unsecured bags of garbage to fall out of truck beds and off of trailers and sleds without you even realizing it.
  • Make sure you have the tools you need to move or remove a fish house. Support blocks, insulation, landscaping fabric, wood and other materials need to be properly disposed of not left behind.

For more information on Keep It Clean, please contact Lake of the Woods Executive Director of Tourism, Joe Henry @ 320-260-7727 or by e-mail at joe.henry@lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Great Progress Continues!

Trash on Lake of the Woods

An unfortunate side-effect of the high angler use in the winter is the disturbing amount of trash left on the ice, which then washes up on local beaches in the spring. A wide variety of objects, from aluminum cans, to wooden blocks, to plastic bags of human waste, all wash up on private and public shorelines.

To address concerns about the trash levels on the lake, the group of area stakeholders who are involved in the Keep It Clean group work with area stakeholders, local resorts, and the public educating, promoting and enforcing the Keep It Clean mission. The charge to this group was to formulate workable solutions, and to educate resource users about the problem.

It is difficult to identify the reasons anglers would leave trash on the ice, but it is likely that some of it blows out of trucks and some may simply be lost in the snow when garbage is stored outside the fish house. To address garbage being lost by accident, consider being more careful when transporting the garbage back to shore.

To make garbage easier to find after being stored outside the fish house, try to use garbage bags that are not white. Also, don’t store your garbage outside the fish house when the wind starts to blow. It would be simple to store it in the back of a truck.

Finally, remove the wood used to block up your house, and don’t use treated wood for that purpose.

Please continue to do a good job taking your garbage with you, and make arrangements to dispose of trash when you get back to the resort or your home.

For more details on Keep It Clean or Lake of the Woods, contact Lake of the Woods Tourism at info@lakeofthewoodsmn.com.

For donations to the Keep It Clean program, checks can be made out and sent to:  Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District, 119 1st Ave NW, Baudette, MN 56623

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