by Don Harris, Member, Lake Safety Committee
A. 2nd Watercraft Operators Permit Training
In the spring, 2002, TMLA, along with the Hackensack Lions and other area lake associations, will host a repeat of the Watercraft Operators Permit Training for children ages 12 to 17. Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 27, 2002 at the Hackensack Community Center at 9:00 a.m. The Hackensack Lions have again agreed to provide snacks and lunch. Sergeant Tim Berglund, of the Cass County Sheriff's Association, will return to teach the course. Successful completion of the training and passage of the test will earn the attending students Watercraft Operator's Permits, issued by the State of Minnesota. This permit is required for anyone aged 12 to 17 to operate a motorboat with a motor over 25 horsepower.
B. Permits Required for Moored Devices
Please note: Mooring buoys, swimming area buoys, swimming and diving rafts, and innertube water trampolines all qualify as temporary structures that require a permit from the Sheriff's Office if the structure is left in the lake overnight and is not attached to a dock. Permit applications are available from the Cass County Sheriff's Department, Boat and Water Division, P.O. Box 1119, Walker, MN 56484. You will receive an identification number to be placed on the structure. The fee, $5.00, covers a two-year period.
If your structure is in the water even for just one night, the property owner is responsible for securing a permit. This requirement applies even if you are renting a device for a few days. Refer to your TMLA Handbook for information about placing the required reflectors on your structure.
C. A Sheriff's Patrol Boat for Ten Mile Lake
The Cass County Sheriff has proposed that a Sheriff's Patrol Boat be placed on Ten Mile Lake, and the TMLA Board at its August meeting unanimously approved a one-year trial of the project. The aim of this project is to increase the presence of law enforcement on the lake, enhance lake safety, and have a boat easily available to the Sheriff if it is needed on the lake.
Ten Mile Lake residents will be asked to volunteer as Sheriff's Assistants to man the boat on summer weekends. The Sheriff's Office will donate a 17.5 foot Larson boat with a 130hp motor (confiscated in a Boating-While-Intoxicated incident). Happiness Re-sort, in Long Bay, has agreed to house the boat; gas, oil, and maintenance will be provided by the Sheriff's Department. Volunteers will be asked to patrol the lake, observe and report any illegal behavior, and offer encouragement and rewards when they observe good lake safety practices. Issuance of tickets or even verbal warnings will NOT be part of the volunteer responsibilities. The Spring Newsletter will contain more information regarding a training program for volunteers and the setting up of a schedule for volunteers to operate the Sheriff's boat.
D. Placement of Buoys
The TMLA buoys will go in seven to ten days after ice-out in the spring of 2002.
by John Alden
ON AUGUST 10, a Culligan Water Softener truck was traveling southbound on County Road 71. As the truck rounded the tight curve north of Bachelor Road, the driver noticed an object in the middle of the road and got out to investigate. The object turned out to be a live loon! You should know that in order to fly, loons must take off from water and cannot fly from dry land, so you seldom see a loon on the land, even close to the water.
WHILE THE CULLIGAN DRIVER was trying to figure out what to do, the UPS truck came upon the scene from the south. That driver also stopped to lend assistance. Since neither driver had experience with live loons in the middle of the road, they used the Culligan cell phone to call DNR. The DNR representative suggested that the best thing to do for the loon was to get it back to water. The two men threw a coat over the loon, carried the bird into the cab of the Culligan truck, (with the UPS driver holding the bird on his lap), and took the loon over to Flower Pot Bay. The loon was released on the shoreline, where it easily swam from the beach. Later the loon was seen preening and diving for fish.
WE OWE OUR THANKS to these drivers for their concern and their willingness to take action to protect the birds we all love to see on the lake. If you have the opportunity to thank either of these men personally, we hope you will do so!