The fishing industry is big business in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say fishing creates 43,000 jobs in the state and is responsible for $2.8 billion in retail spending.
That economic activity is deeply felt in rural Minnesota. One of the downsides is dealing with a small group of fishermen that are apparently too lazy to pack out what they bring into the wilderness. That small group is spoiling premier walleye lakes like Lake Mille Lacs — and putting other outdoor enthusiasts and the environment at risk.
KARE 11 reports that the remains of winter angling are washing ashore. “Wood blocks and beams from ice shanties, empty beer cans and bottles pollute a 4-mile stretch along the northeastern shore on Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota’s second-largest inland lake.”
Fishermen found not picking up after themselves can face a $200 fine from the DNR, but enforcement is difficult.
There isn’t a state program in place to clean up after the fishermen. In addition to the environmental and aesthetic impacts, the blocking is dangerous for summer boaters and water skiers.
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House passes voter ID bill
A plan to require all Minnesota voters to present a valid photo identification card at their polling place was passed 73-59 by the House (MN House).
Insight Now: Should Minnesota require photo ID’s to vote?
Optional election upgrades and controversial voting back-up plans grabbed the attention of those debating a proposal to require photo ID’s from Minnesota voters.
But at the heart of the discussion was whether people trust the state’s electoral system and whether its worth spending the money to improve it.
We’ve heard from those at the State Capitol on voter photo ID (The GOP-led House passed the measure, but Gov. Mark Dayton likely will veto. However, Republicans could vote to send it directly to voters as a constitutional amendment.)
Spring planting moving ahead
In the Worthington area of southwest Minnesota, farmers have been in their fields every day this week starting on Monday. Rainfall Wednesday night slowed things a little, but by Thursday afternoon the soil had dried enough for tractors to resume their work (Statewide).
Anti-gay groups to boost spending, activity through 2012
Anti-gay rights groups around the country will see a cash infusion over the next two years through a plan called “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation.” But the groups are remaining mum about who is responsible (Minnesota Independent).
Ethanol plant plans to boost production
The Valero ethanol plant in Welcome proposes to increase its maximum production from 118 million gallons to 136 million gallons, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Fairmont Sentinel).
Lake County enters $3.5 million broadband marketing deal
The Lake County fiber-to-home broadband project may soon have an official name as the county board gave its approval to the hiring of a marketing firm to work on a brand name, logo, web site, and other public relations work (Lake County Journal).
Jackpot Junction fined $250,000
According to the assessment order, Jackpot Junction committed extensive violations of the anti-money laundering program and reporting requirements of the BSA and its implementing regulations from April 1, 2006 through May 28, 2009 while under the management of senior personnel who have since been replaced (New Ulm Journal).
Betting on a comeback
Are video slot machines, electronic bingo and electronic pull-tabs in Douglas County’s future? (Echo Press)
W’bago fined $12,700 by state
A Winnebago facility violated several limits for discharging treated wastewater to the Blue Earth River in early 2010. It failed to keep equipment in working order, to adequately staff the plant and to control high-strength wastewater from a local industry, Continental Carbonics (Fairmont Sentinel).
The road to college graduation was rough for Matthew Moon, but on Saturday, he will receive his degree and has earned a special academic award (Marshall Independent).