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fishermusk

Cutting bullrushes

64 posts in this topic

Monday I was fishing out on Forest Lake and I came upon a guy cutting out bullrushes. I said you know you are not suppose to do that, and he said that he was clearing them for his skating rink. I said again that you know you are not suppose to do that, and he said that he was cutting them just below the surface and that they would grow back. he was making up rafts with them and floating them away from his dock. I asked him why he could not make his skating rink out further from shore and did not get an answer. He just kept saying he likes fish and they will grow back. Well I was not going to change his mind so I went ahesd and caled the local conservation officer. I will be watching Cuffs & Collers to see if he was talked to. I know he would't get a fine for such destruction, why do people do this?

Good Luck,

Dave

Have edited because he was just cutting.

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Short answer: He's a jerk.

He can and would get a fine for this behavior, not to mention the reckless creation of a boating hazard by floating that debris away from his dock.

Why did he do it?

He's a jerk.

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Mostly out of ignorance, I'd guess.

This guy appears to not have really given a rip.

You need a permit to remove emergant vegitation, and they will ticket you for it. There are lots of weed roller violations in cuffs and collars.

I used to love to skate on new ice as a kid. Bullrushes would probably shear off with a good sharp shovel once the ice forms, then flood it over a few times and end of problem.

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They think their perfectly cultivated landscape needs to extend right into the lake.

I do the opposite. Recent projects include:

Creating a rock bed in an otherwise sandy area. Still constantly expanding the area. Result: While only about 1 square yard in size I can seem to pull a seemingly unlimited number of gills off this area. I've also caught bass up to 5 lbs that were hanging out near it.

Planting lilypads. Result: Attempts in years past have all failed. This years crop all the existing leaves died, however new leaves grew in their place. Hopefully they survive the winter.

Planting bullrushes. Result: Seem to have taken root but refuse to grow in more than 6 inches of water at the moment.

Planting cattails. Result: This was a failure. Whatever the weed is that grows along our shoreline overtook these in no time.

Collective result: I catch more bass and gills off my dock than anywhere else in the lake. The bass are mostly small but there is some size to the gills. The entire area is very shallow (even casting to the end of 100 yards of line I'd be able to hit a deepest point of 4 feet) so that's to be expected. I have noticed a lot more hatchlings using the area (I estimate 5x what was previously normal). This year the hatchlings were almost all perch and bass though.

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Good deal calling the local C.O. Jason will definitely take care of it.

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I sort of have an "improvement" project as well. Clear water (crystal) and about 7 feet at end of 32' dock. Natural hard sand on one side of the dock, with limit weed growth there - I rake it but the kids playing keep this area pretty weed free as well. (About 25' wide of 100' lot.)

BUT, around this area are lily pads, some coontail, cabbage and my "fish sanctuary" wink.gif All wood and old trees and branches and anything at all we find, I toss to theother side of my dock, and there is a pretty nice brush pile with great weed growth there.

We have so many fish in the area that you never know what you will see by it. Pike, crappies, gills, smallies and LMB all. Perch and bullies now and then too. There is a dead oak (rather small) on my shore, but still standing. I want to add it to my brush pile, but I don't want to cut it down for fear of fines, etc. But once it falls, I want to slide it into place as it will be great there. No weeds grow under my pontoon, which is right next to the brush pile, so the fish have great attack area.

Anyway, I ramble... to answer the original question, I think many shoreline owners just don't understand what they are doing when they try to make it look like a city lawn... and many more try to do the right thing.

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BoxMN,

I think technically you are also doing things against the law unless of course you have a permit. Because there are rules against sinking trees, etc. for structure. But on a lighter note, where is this lake? smile.gif

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I used to work DNR Metro Waters as an intern and we'd have tons of calls coming in from neighbors reporting their neighbor for this type of thing.

It was kind of a gray aread with regards to cattails, but I think the official rule was that you could harvest aquatic vegetation as long as weren't scraping anyting below the lake bottom. Once you disturbed the sand or whatever bottom type this material was growing in then you were in violation.

The DNR's jurisdiction is below (of lakeward of) the OHW (ordinary high watermark) which is an elevation. Once you find that point on your land then you can do what you want above it, but any work below it that impacts a lake or wetland requires a permit.

Most people aren't aware (or at least claim they're not aware) that they can't do this type of work without a permit.

Unfortunately for the lake, a lot of people want an immaculate shoreline with a nice sandy beach for swimming. The same people then complain when the water looks like pea soup from all the phosphorus loading and the lack of a buffer zone that these cattails and other vegetation provide.

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Yeah, I'm not sure but I don't think you can legally sink trees, boulders, or whatever to create stucture without a permit from the DNR.

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Juan,

You actually can't do anything you want above the line either. You can remove 25% of the trees and only 50% of the brush. And if it is within or at least right by the shoreline you can't actually do anything to the root structures of the trees (meaning you just grind the stumps)

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HPIM0116.jpg

Well you can see my buffer zone along the south side of the dock. The north side is a little clear so we can pull up the paddle boat overnight so it doesn't bang into the dock. Unfortunately I think that weed growth on the south side is a little too thick for northerns to spawn on during the spring high water. Sorry about the huge blurry picture but it was the only one I could dig up in my photobucket.

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I did mention to him that he could do that with a shovel after ice up, and it would have no ill effects to the bullrushes.

Good Luck,

Dave

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I recently noticed some activity just north of the 3rd lake east launch on Forest.....How about running down cattails and brush with a wheeler after the water level went down? This didn't really remove any of the vegetation but just smashed it all down (which I assume is to make the acreage appear larger since it is currently for sale). I would assume that under normal water levels, this area would too wet & marshy to access.

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Quote:

BoxMN,

I think technically you are also doing things against the law unless of course you have a permit. Because there are rules against sinking trees, etc. for structure. But on a lighter note, where is this lake?
smile.gif


edit: this link answers just about all the questions discussed here:

DNR permit and shoreline rule info

Yeah, I know you can't do those things, and actually I am not, as the only thing I am doing is moving them - everything that I put there was already in the lake. I did n't "put" any of it in the lake. I.e. branches fell off the trees on the shore, and floating or drifting on shoreline. I simply throw them or push them in the direction of the pile. It looks not unlike any area where a tree fell from shoreline into the lake.

That is why I am waiting until the oak falls by itself, then will very gently nudge it over some wink.gif It is not past 32' from the shore, so not a navigation hazard, and just 2 cabins down is a natural area where this type thing (but 100% natural) goes on for about .5 mile or so.

But I totally understand what you are saying. I don't weight or sink anything, nor do I "add" to it.

BTW - you can rake and maintain a beech area (I think not greater than 50% or 50 feet of your shoreline, whichever is greater) and you can add sand, a one time dump and then smaller maintenace additions without a permit. DNR says so - though we have not done that, just lucky with natural hard sand bottom.

I also know where others have dumped some large trees years ago, and they are still there. Great for fish, and for fishing.Nobody wants a junky filled lake, but what good is it to have a dead tree fall into the lake, naturally, then take your chain saw and chop it up and take it away? Anybody who doesn't see trees fallen into lakes spends too much time in the metro lakes with the golf course yards and weed rollers wink.gif

I am not an expert by any means, but I follow the DNR rules posted for my shoreline, and only swimming on 25%, not the 50% I am technically allotted to "maintain". If my neighbor sinks a pine tree, I am not going to report him, but I will memorize where he sank it wink.gif

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Box,

You forgot to mention the lake name smile.gif

And for the beach info, you can do 2 drops without a permit, and the second cannot be larger than the first.

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Quote:

Unfortunately for the lake, a lot of people want an immaculate shoreline with a nice sandy beach for swimming. The same people then complain when the water looks like pea soup from all the phosphorus loading and the lack of a buffer zone that these cattails and other vegetation provide.


I agree, but you can't generalize about nice sandy beaches, because as you know many lakes in MN are naturally nice and sandy without weeds or at least thick weeds. (Head to Whitefish Chain, for one example). I agree the problem is when people try to make a sandy beach out of a loonpoop bottom shoreline wink.gif Or when they overdo it. I have read the DNR reqs quite a few times, and I know not all follow them, or bend them a bit. Again, I am not claiming to be an expert, but you hear many people tell you about rules, and when you actually read them you learn different. PS, not that it matters, but my background is bio. and enviro. studies, so I try very hard not to adversely affect our state. But I am not a tree hugger either wink.gif As a matter of fact, I will be cutting up trees that Ma Nature dropped on my place in the last storm, maybe she is getting back at me for teasing her fish smile.gif

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Oh jpz, I just noticed you are from up there, close by anyway. It is a tiny, "no one cares to go there" lake. As you know, there are tons of lakes like that up there - I love it up there, wish I could live there. If I can talk wifey into it, maybe in a bout 5 or 6 years smile.gif You are in a great area.

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Crosslake area is your cabin right?

Reason I know a bit more than the average bear with the whole shoreline thing is I talked to the dnr, and actually had their shoreline guy out to my house to tell what I can and can't do.........now if I follow it all is another question. Because then I go and ask other officials and a I get mixed answers....I love our officials.

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Yep, general area. I am not in high rent district though, that's for sure smile.gif My place is 20x20... hehe. Cozy.

I know what you mean, never get the same answer twice. As long as we don't do anything totally stupid we should be okay, is how I see it. I follow the rules down to where if it looks like I need a permit, I don't do it.

Then go look at what the yahoos on the Chain Lakes, Gull or Whitefish, do and if anybody wants to fine me for my little fish haven, they can have at it smile.gif

Will be up shooting at ducks in that neck of the woods this weekend, hopefully even some hitting mixed in now and then wink.gif

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I have a dock in just built 2 yrs ago,Had to get a permit for $35.00 and was allowed to make a 15 foot wide cut to open water for a dock.Just a week ago recieved another permit for another Dock on a different lot,same 15 foot wide to open water,but now I must leave a 37.5 ft.buffer zone from high water line up dry ground on my property,both are through cat tails then in the bay weeds and lillypads of which we cant use a path wider than 15 ft.to weedless water and must use only this path.I'm happy the DNR is finally restricting vegitation removal,its causing many lakes to receive excessive runoff and carrying too many nutrients to lakes causing degraded water quality.

check this site for your lakes....http://www.checkmylake.org/

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Why do people do this? Uneducated. Careless. Ignorant.

People think a lake should look like a bathtub. Sparkling clear water, no "weeds", no "slime." We know all about cell phones, internet, HDTV, celebrity's recent plastic surgery or scuffs with the law, or who has the lowest MLB ERA. What we dont know or care to know is basic biology, environmental stewardship, or aquatic ecology. I'll stop here before this thing gets redirected to the outdoors discussion forum.

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The easiest rule on this stuff is: below the 'ordinary high water mark' = DNR jurisdiction...call them to ask. Above the 'ordinary high water mark' = county jursidiction...call them to ask.

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When we lived up in the Alexandria area, we had a neighbor that would cut out 4-6' sections of cattails, hook them behind his pontoon, pull them out in the middle of the lake and let them go. Needless to say, the guys a kook, We had many words about what he was doing. My fear, someone would come out on a foggy morning, hit one and get killed. He saw nothing wrong. Calls to the DNR were useless. Unless he could be there to see the kook doing this, nothing could be done. Now, because of one mans ignorance, there are several, fast growing patches of cattails where there shouldn't be and once they get started, you can not get rid of them.

We kept our 15' path to the lake clear, nothing more nothing less. We had a 30' buffer zone from mowed grass to the lake, never once using fertalizer and still had a beautiful lawn.

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Unfortunately there seem to be too many of the Kook's and too few responsible lakeshore owners. Common sense goes a long way and Mr. Cattails obviously lacks some.

I know education is one part of it; I'd like to see a statewide mailer sent out to lakeshore owners. Keep it simple with maybe the top 10 do's and don'ts of responsible ownership. That's fairly easy.

The hard part is realizing that people have different views of what beautiful lakeshore is. I personally try to keep ours as natural as possible, and have just a 6' wide path to the dock. Other people might have owned lakeshore for 50 years and have always had a fertilized, manicured lawn all the way to the water with "weeded out" lakeshore. Just because they are educated, doesn't mean that people will change their views/stance. Even if it can be shown that water quality and fish/waterfowl habitat is affected.

Enforcement will always be tough given the limited resources. Trade in your lake rake for free fishing tackle! Trade in your fertilizer spreader for free tree seedlings! Okay those are pretty stupid, but maybe there are other incentive based ways of protecting lakeshore to preserve our resources.

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I would have given TIP a call. Ive heard that once rushes are torn up they wont grow back for a long time, if ever.

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