Monday, June 27, 2011


From Waterworks by Gordon Prickett, July 6 edition, The Aitkin Independent Age

County Sheriff Scott Turner has been making the rounds of lake association meetings and radio interviews lately with a message for the Aitkin Lakes Area. "Be careful out there. Be alert to danger. And be a good steward in your neighborhood."

Shortly after hearing the sheriff on KKIN I received a call from a lake association member across the lake. The previous evening at suppertime, two fisherman near the public access had climbed onto their docks and were looking over fishing equipment at waterfront residences. The owners responded quickly and the trespassers left in a hurry. Conservation Officer Bob Mlynar was notified along with the sheriff’s office.

Their pickup truck has been traced and local law enforcement is on the lookout for the visiting fishermen. “Invasive aquatic species” come in different forms, as these would-be pirates demonstrated. Half of our lake association members are connected through the internet, and we put out an alert around the lake. More than half of our lake residents are away from their cabins in the middle of a work week. Many of the boat docks are not visible from houses on shore. Our message was “Be alert and remove contents that easily could be stolen from your boats and docks.”


Fifteen years ago I asked Steve Hughes this question at the Soil and Water Office, when we had just moved onto our lakeshore. Back then there wasn’t any association. But seven years ago a committee of neighbors was interested in organizing. Today the Aitkin County Lakes And Rivers Association (ACLARA) has a coalition of twenty member associations. ACLARA works with folks in the county to help them start up a lake association where they live and vacation.

Our organizing purpose on Nord Lake was to preserve and protect the lake and get to know the neighbors around the lake. Now another purpose is clear - to help provide for the safety of us all.