Spring brings evidence of trashy ice fishermen

Now that the snow is gone and the ice is out on the state’s lakes, a fact of Minnesota life has been confirmed again: Ice fishermen are pigs.

Fargo Forum’s Mike McFeely wrote today that a Pelican Rapids man — Scott Richardson — has pretty much had it with the litter and filth they left behind again this year along Highway 108.

“I’m one of these guys who takes pride in my area, but I’m not the guy to go around cleaning up other people’s garbage,” Richardson said. “But this was so obvious and it was along a busy road that I just couldn’t stand to see it. Thousands of cars had probably driven by and seen this trash sitting there. It just reflects so badly on ice fishermen as being a bunch of slobs who throw their garbage in the ditch.”

Richardson picked up all of the trash, then brought it back to his garage and started trying to figure out who it once belonged to, McFeely says. He found an ID belonging to a plumber, called game warden Gary Forsberg and the plumber is $200 lighter.

First, it’s a reminder of how casually some people act about making their trash somebody else’s problem. Especially in Minnesota lakes country. Anglers profess to love the lakes and are concerned for their future, we say, but are still willing to leave trash behind.

“It’s amazing what we find on the lakes after ice fishing season,” Forsberg said. “It’s kind of disheartening.”

Beer cans, plastic soda bottles, sandwich bags, cigarette butts by the thousands, cinder blocks, bags of cement, chunks of lumber and a hundred other things are the least of it.

“People will poop in plastic grocery bags inside their fish houses and then throw it out on the ice and leave it there,” Forsberg said. “As soon as I see a plastic bag that’s tied shut, I know what it is.”


Related: Taking out the trash on Minnesota lakes (Area Voices)

  • Postal Customer

    Hey, at least they tie the bags.

  • lindblomeagles

    This blog about “trashy ice fishermen” reminded me of “Woodsy Owl” TV ads (“Give A Hoot, Don’t Pollute) that ran Saturday mornings from the 1970s thru the early 1980s during cartoon shows on the major networks. That old tune was so catchy, I soon found myself voraciously researching the history of American anti-litter campaigns. One of the websites that had information about this was NMS Properties, which sells and rents condos, homes, and apartments. According to this source, the first known regional anti-littering campaign began during the early 1950s in Pennsylvania, and was in response to roadside littering along the highways. Keep America Beautiful was soon launched afterwards in 1953, which worked diligently with, among others, Ladybird Johnson, to beautify America by encouraging Americans to pick up after themselves. More serious littering was discovered during the 1970s, increasing state and local laws and public awareness campaigns to keep areas clean. Lastly, according to PollutionPollution.com, garbage pollution can spread infectious diseases and grow congregations of mosquitos and other insects.

  • Rob

    In my PR agency days, I hosted the crew from the Motor Week TV show on a snowmobile trip in the Gull Lake area. They wanted to get footage of some ice fishing activity, so we knocked on the door of an ice shack, and when the inhabitants opened the door, dozens of empty beer cans tumbled out onto the ice. I persuaded the crew not to put the encounter with the collapsed beer can mountain and the shack’s inebriated denizens on tape, and we went in search of some other less slobby fishers to chat with.