MN Ice Fishers Don’t Learn, Leave Trash Behind (Again) [Photo]
It seems that every winter we report multiple incidents of Minnesota ice fishers leaving their trash behind on the lake for someone else or -- more likely -- no one at all to clean up.
Each time we do, angry Minnesotans rally to call for more accountability and harsher punishments for those responsible. And yet, very little seems to happen. So here's your opportunity to get fired up again.
Reddit user u/stilt posted a photo of trash left behind on Lake Minnetonka.
[WARNING: Strong Language]
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"To whoever thought it was okay to treat our lakes like this: F*** YOU" the caption reads. The photo has sparked an outpouring of rage and stories of similar incidences.
"Early this winter I was outside Arcola and was watching this group toss garbage outside their fish house every few minutes," shared one reddit user. "I called the sheriff and wrote down their house number. The sheriff never showed even though I was out there for several more hours. The next weekend the house was gone and there was at least 5 bags worth of junk food wrappers and beer cans where there house had been."
"Sounds like the littering fines need to get a lot stiffer," suggests another. "$5,000 sounds good...or a week of community service, picking up litter."
"We did a project in science on Minnetonka’s lake quality, and let me tell you it wasn’t good," shared a third. "People like that don’t help! We need to keep our lakes clean! Minnesota is known for having beautiful and amazing lakes, not mucky lakes with algae blooms everywhere."
Many others shared tips or suggestions for holding guilty fishing parties accountable. They include:
(1) Call the DNR - the DNR will likely be more eager to respond, and their consequences will be higher than law enforcement's
(2) Pick through the trash -- as revolting as it sounds, if you can find a paper trail (receipts or identification) in someone's trash, you can report them to the appropriate authorities
(3) Clean It Up Anyway - Of course it's not your trash, and you shouldn't be the one cleaning it up. But we're all responsible for our lakes. Ghandi once said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
April of last year, the MN DNR took to Facebook with disgusting photos of the trash left behind by ice fishers and a plea to clean up after yourself.
"Anything but an impression left on the ice is litter and will be investigated," the caption reads. As many reddit users have so eloquently stated, "If you leave trash, you are trash."
Don't be trash. Pick up after yourself this ice fishing season.