Ice fishing season is almost here in Minnesota, and if you plan on heading out to the frozen waters to do some fishing, you’ll want to make sure that you abide by a new law passed by the Minnesota Legislature this year.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota state Legislature passed the “Keep It Clean” bill, which aims at keeping local lakes and waterways free of garbage left behind after someone ice fished in an area. Due to the large amount of trash that was left behind by ice fishermen across the state last year that ended up making it into the water during the spring melt, lawmakers decided to pass a law that would fine fishermen for leaving debris behind.
Keep It Clean Bill
The Keep It Clean bill makes it a misdemeanor offense for leaving trash outside a fish house upon completion of ice fishing activities. County deputies or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers can issue the new citations.
“If you bring it out on the lake, take it off with you. It’s really simple,” said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander.
Most fishermen do a good job cleaning up any trash or waste following their fishing escapade, but those who leave trash behind end up polluting our beautiful waters when the ice melts, so lawmakers hope the prospect of a $100 fine will make people think twice about leaving litter on the ice.
“Most of the people that go out there ice fishing or enjoying our public waters during the winter are doing a great job picking up after themselves,” said Maj. Robert Gorecki, Minnesota DNR operations manager. “But unfortunately, sometimes that job or responsibility gets passed on to landowners.”
The majority of ice fishermen are very respectful and clean up after their day of fishing is done, but hopefully this new law will ensure that everyone cleans up after themselves so that law enforcement or property owners aren’t left picking up someone else’s trash. Here’s hoping for a wonderful ice fishing season, and if you run into any serious trouble on or off the lake, make sure you reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm at (952) 224-2277.