NEW COMMUNICATION: If you’d like help to get your boat launched, set up an appointment with Ryan 218 252 7769. You are most welcome to self-launch – we will just be asking you AIS questions beforehand. The launch is padlocked, so let us know estimated time you'd like to launch and we'll meet you.
***NEW BOAT LAUNCH COMMUNICATION: Now that Leech Lake (8 miles away) has officially been positively identified as contaminated with zebra mussels, we are being more stringent with AIS prevention. We do not want zebra mussels! (You don't either, or the kids will be enjoying bloody cut-up feet from walking on razor sharp zebra mussel shells on the beach.) If you plan on 'lake hopping' while you are vacationing here, it would be a good idea if you plan ahead. Examples below:
Example #1: if you are arriving on Saturday with a boat which has been in any lake w/ zebra mussels or spiny water fleas in particular, at anytime during the prior week, we will be asking you to go to the free 'Decontamination Unit' in Park Rapids. (It is located by the landfill, just a couple miles south of Northwoods Bank on Hwy 6 as you come into PR from Akeley on hwy 34.) Hey, free boat wash, right?
If you get here earlier than 4:30 check-in time, and you know you’ve just pulled your boat from an infested lake, we recommend just heading on over beforehand (they are open via a phone call 218-252-6738). Maybe you could grab a snack on the way to or from just because you can (ice cream in Dorset?) NOTE: they won't accept tips, this is a free service provided by AIS Taskforce in our county. Takes about 20 minutes and then we’ll all be assured we’ve done our best.
You may be able to find a courtesy Decontamination Unit near YOU, so that you can get your boat hot washed at your convenience the day (or a few days) prior to coming up north! Click here to view MN map of current locations: https://webapps15.dnr.state.mn.us/ais_decon_sites (Particularly helpful for those of you near the Twin Cities.)
Example #2: if you plan to fish a day or few in 11th Crow Wing Lake and then trailering up to visit another lake, you will need to come down to lodge before 8 p.m. the night before so we can unlock the padlocked boat launch chain for you. (You won't be able to just run down in early morning on any 'ole day to pull out your boat - launch is locked. You will need to arrange w/ Kim or Ryan to meet in morning, or again, just do it while someone is in the lodge the night before.) If you fish on LEECH LAKE, do not expect to be allowed back on 11th without official decontamination. Ideally: do some fishin’ here on 11th first part of week, THEN go to Leech.
This is a big pain in the patootie for us. It is 'inconvenient' for you as well - we get it. We also know you will appreciate our attempts to steward the lake as best as we can for all of us and our future enjoyment of 11th Crow Wing Lake. We are hoping that this communication will help prepare you and that you might consider 'planning' for boat recreation possibilities just a wee bit more than you had to do in the past.
FINALLY: BAIT TIP (watercraft inspectors tout the following law as #1 mis-informed statute): It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait from one lake to the next, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water. (Dispose of unwanted leeches, crawlers, minnows in the garbage.)