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A Grassroots Community Effort

The sport of ice fishing is booming! And thanks to better technology, better equipment and wheelhouses, it’s now more comfortable than ever to stay on the ice for extended periods.

As a result, lakes in the ice belt have seen a dramatic increase in winter activity. With the increased activity has come more pressure on the natural resources, including an increase in the amount of garbage and human waste left on the ice.

Although it’s exciting to see more people enjoying the sport of ice fishing, the removal and safe disposal of garbage and human waste from frozen lakes is reaching unmanageable proportions.

To help address these issues, Lake of the Woods started the Keep It Clean campaign. More recently, Upper Red Lake and Mille Lacs Lake came on board. As news about the unique partnership between these lakes — and the work they are doing together — spreads, other lakes seeking solutions are joining Keep It Clean.

During the 2022-2023 ice fishing season, the Keep It Clean Coalition grew from three lakes to over 50 lakes and Soil and Water Conservation Districts! Some of these include: Big Sandy Lake; Big Sauk Lake; Cass County SWCD; Fairmont Chain of Lakes; Kandiyohi SWCD; Lake Vermillion; Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce; Meeker County Association of Lakes; Prior Lake; Spring Lake; and West Battie Lake.

If your lake is facing challenges with garbage and/or human waste on the ice, we invite you to join us in increasing awareness and taking steps to bring about meaningful change.

The garbage and human waste left on the ice wash up on shore
or sink to the bottom, spoiling our lakes and beaches.