WATERWORKS is a Sports & Outdoor column by Gordon Prickett for the 4/6/2011 Aitkin Independent Age.
ICE OUT AND MUD SEASON
Maybe there won’t be much more snow this Spring. I had just gotten sight of a few inches of open water at the edges of our lake ice when the latest snowstorm and blizzard blew in. Cold Winter has spilled into "Spring" and forced us to order a third delivery of propane for this heating season. Rapid melting of new snow under a warm sun is backing up puddles of melt water before the ground can soak it up.
Aitkin’s diversion ditch for the Mississippi River will pay off again this year. It looks like some heavy flooding in other parts of the state.
My prediction for "Ice Out" this year is April 15th, for most county lakes no deeper than 40 feet and no larger than 500 acres. Road restrictions will probably last a good while on the muddy back roads.
SPEAK UP FOR CLEAN WATER
Minnesota has new Commissioners to lead the Pollution Control Agency and the Natural Resources and Agriculture Departments. Also Aitkin County has elected two brand new commissioners in Districts Three and Five. With shifting control of state and local governments this could be a time for changes in water policy. Both Commissioners Paul Aasen (MPCA) and Tom Landwehr (DNR) will address the Minnesota Waters Lakes and Rivers Conference in St. Cloud on April 29th. Aitkin County Commissioners Don Niemi and Anne Marcotte are on hand for county board meetings on the first and second Tuesday mornings of every month in the court house.
Those of us who believe that more can be done, to limit aquatic invasive species and to curtail over-development around our shores, can let these public servants hear from the people they were appointed and elected to serve.
SAVE THE DATE JUNE 18
The Annual Rivers and Lakes Fair is coming to the Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin on Saturday, June 18, from 9 am to 2 pm. Featured this year will be reptiles from the Long Lake Conservation Center and the threat to our lakes posed by spreading aquatic invasive species. The popular minnow races will be back. Admission is free. An inexpensive lunch and snacks are available.