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Renting a spot on the ice


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I was up to LOW over the weekend to do a little fishing. I went to a resort to pay for road access & they asked me how long I was going to stay out there.

I told them the day for sure & I'll decide after that. The resort informed me it was $10 per day to be out on the ice & if I got caught on the ice, without a road pass, that I was going to be in big trouble so I was best off giving them $20. I told them I would come back with another $10 before I used their access to leave which I did that evening.

It was my understanding that the access fee was for access on & off the lake & after that you were on public waters where it was well... open to the public.

I have never once even considered driving thru without paying. I buy almost all my gas, drinks, & meals at the local resorts, but I think this is bordering extortion.

There is the 10' rule when setting up by other houses. Stay off the groomed state trail unless you're on a sled. Be courtious to others. Other than that, there aren't a whole lot of rules as far as travel up there.

It really left a sour taste in my mouth.

Please discuss.

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I have heard of this before and don't agree with it but the line of thought is your access pass is for the day (not on once-off once. If you stay on the ice over night you would use the road access on two days.

They do such a nice job on the roads and making sure you get on and off

I wont complain much but I understand where you are coming from.

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That's pretty rough, I can see maybe if you are actually using the access multiple days as in coming off to buy bait/suplies and going back out. But that sounds a little out of whack for a person that is heading to the sleeper house for the weekend and remaining at the house until they pack up to go home.

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I'm definatlly not trying to stir the pot here & no specific info will be offered but, what If I came up there on a Thursday, stayed in a personal sleeper house until Monday, then came home? Is it fair to forcibly charge me $50 even if I didn't use a resort access except for those two times?

I know a lot of folks who don't rely on the services that the resorts offer but they try to support the local businesses anyway.

The part that put me off was how threatening they were during the conversation. This isn't Chicago.

I was 50/50 on moving my house to a different spot on the lake or leaving it there. They helped make up my mind.

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I'm curious as to what they mean by "Big Trouble". What can they really do to you?

The good ol' fashioned woodshed beating

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They have asked me that each time too, but without the big trouble threat. I never thought twice about it as each time I was only up there for the day and just assumed they wanted to know so they could date my pass accordingly.

Now that I know the rest of the story...guess I will be moving my house as well. Kind of a load if you ask me.

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One of my first experiences this year with an unnamed resort had us going out late on a Friday night to get set up for the morning bite. I assumed that we would be able to just pay for one pass as we set up in a wheelhouse and dont leave til we come back on Sunday morning. I wasn't too shocked when I was told that we would have to pay for 2 passes but when she said I was lucky that I wasnt being charged for Friday night as well I was quite angered.

I have no issue with paying the people for the work that they do, they take care of people and make sure we are safe out on the ice, but its almost robbery at some point.

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I guess I dont see it as that big of a deal. They maintain the roads for their customers who use their houses. That is the main purpose in the first place. So by you bringing a wheelhouse and using their road you arent bringing them any money aside from bait or road fees.

If a storm were to come up it would be their butt on the line to get you off the ice safely in many cases so the $10 each day is money well spent.

I dont agree their gestapo mindset, but wouldnt hesitate paying them for each day I was out there.

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I know it seems horrible and unjust. They came across the wrong way but like Curt said the road access is per day. Until you know what it takes to keep up a road like that and deal with the 5% idiots who set up their wheel house 5' from the road and flood it or are just complete morons. The cost of maintenance to the plow vehicles has to be incredible. Not saying what they did is right but want to show a different point of view.

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Technically, you are not paying for staying on the ice. You are paying to cross private land to gain access to the lake.

No one can charge you for staying on the lake, but they can charge you for using their land to access the lake. They also can't charge you or do anything to you for using "the road" on the lake if you use the public access.

Last year, I went out of Adrians in my wheelhouse for 4 days. They charged me $40. I wasn't very happy either. On the other hand they could just turn you around and send you home.

Not sure if there is any answer, but almost anywhere I have gone the resorts charge by the day.

You can purchase a winter pass from Adrians, not sure of the price.

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But where do they draw the line. access fees have gone up the last 5 years an its not a big deal. Glad to pay. babbler is charging 10 to go by for a day, an 15 if ur pulling a sleeper, that reasonable in my mind. but to charge 10 bucks to use the access one time an ten more per day, when ur only using the access one time, not cool, if I leave an come back from town fine. In a nut shell charge a flat rate to use the access each tiem u cross. no problem. Sleepers have caused this cause resorts think ther lossing money, maybe, IDK. but each saturday an sunday morning i count the headlights coming out an there never seems to be an end to the ching ching sound as they hit the ice.

Totaly agree about the cost of road maintence an equipment. there maybe no easy solution, but if morris keeps doing wat there doing people will go else where an richard wont mind.

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Technically, you are not paying for staying on the ice. You are paying to cross private land to gain access to the lake.

No one can charge you for staying on the lake, but they can charge you for using their land to access the lake. They also can't charge you or do anything to you for using "the road" on the lake if you use the public access.

Last year, I went out of Adrians in my wheelhouse for 4 days. They charged me $40. I wasn't very happy either. On the other hand they could just turn you around and send you home.

Not sure if there is any answer, but almost anywhere I have gone the resorts charge by the day.

You can purchase a winter pass from Adrians, not sure of the price.

My point exactly.

I understand if it's been a slow season for the resorts but come on guys.

I wonder why the DNR won't finish the public access that are in the works. They have been on the books for a long time. As a law abiding, tax paying, license buying citizen, I'm waiting.

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Preach it brudder!

Charge me $5, $10, $50, to drive across your strip of private land. I could really care less what that price is. The thing that gets me is some places have decided that a certain part of the public waters has become their private property to do as they please. Give me my 10' around my house & we can all be friends.

The plowed roads are just a form of advertisment to get people to use their private access. The better the plowed road, the more people that will come. Good business brings in more profit.

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From a fisherman's point of view I completely understand the argument that if it's one time on and one time off, why should a person pay for the number of days you're staying out there? I've had tough times with it too.

BUT,

Here's another way you can think about it since it's not likely the charging will change much:

Once you pay for the day you get to go on or off as many times as you like. Your choice if it's once or twenty. Also, once out there you have a staked and mapped network of roads to travel, usually for miles, that take you right to key fishing areas. Change locations as much as you like when you're out there. Nice!

I have lot up north we stay at for our ice fishing trips. My driveway is about 100 yards long. I pay a guy to plow my driveway $25 per time so I can sleep in my own camper. Sometimes its only one or two nights per month. Sometimes it gets plowed once a month or 5 times a month but I can come and go as I please. It's worth it to me to have someone else do the work so I can have trouble free fun. 2c

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How much does the public access by wheelers get used? Is it not safe to use until there is thicker ice? Is the bay not safe for truck travel? Or is it too far to travel out to and around Pine? Where are the accesses planned for on the lake?

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If these roads werent being plowed and maintained you would not have access to the lake with your big sleeper houses. Many resorters are working on Nick and Brian and Al to quit plowing those stupid roads so the Resorts will haul everyone out to rental houses everytime.

In a normal winter (you know, with snow) the road guys give you a real dependable road to use, most will plow you a spot for your house and, if you call them a couple of days before you get there you will have a parking spot next to your house.

This all costs money, it is a fantastic service being provided. You can all hop right out of hub bub and get on your snowmobile and pull a portable around, or you can pay what ever it costs and enjoy convenience and relative safety on these marked, plowed and maintained roads.

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So you are out there for 3 days and the wind blows and drifts you in. Then the resort comes by and plows you out so you can go home. Or when you go out on the ice there are several spots that you can get off the road and set up your house because they plowed them. Some people give them tips for doing it, a lot do not. You being out on their road is not a privelage or right. You are paying them for a service. This year may not seem like much of one but if you are stuck out there and call for help $10 seems like a bargain.

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Well put Curt! Those of us with wheelhouses wouldn't even be able to get out there in a normal winter without the plowed roads. Even without a big house, like you said, relatively safe passage is provided. I appreciate the service they provide.

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You being out on their road is not a privelage or right.

It is public waters & no mater how much they want to privatize the whole LOW area it is not "their" road. It it open to the public. You cannot get a trespassing ticket for being on the ice/water of public lands.

The private access, yes. On the ice/water, no.

How well would it go if the local convience stores starting charging people for deer hunting on state (public) lands?

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On a normal year when there are snow banks it is their road because it is the only place you can drive and it is connected to their access.

It is a public lake. Go to Graceton beach and use that public access, make your own path through the rough ice, bring your own planks for crossing the pressure ridge and wonder if the ice in front of you is safe.

There is more that you are getting for the $10 than just the access to the lake but that is all they can charge you for.

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Twisted, I understand your point about the roads but with out them you are out of business with your sleepers and big houses. Yes you CAN drive anywhere you want out there on public ice, and yes you can access the lake a hundred yards from the access point and take advantage of the roads and not pay anything (they do it in Warroad all the time) but either on public or private property, the road is a very nice thing that opens up fishing with equipment you would not could not use with out the road.

I know this conversation started out with a surprize about rates and daily fees and drifted this way but anyone using truck transportation on the lake should not complain about access fees, period.

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I understand your point & agree with most of it. When I use a resort road I pay the asked fee & feel that I'm getting a good deal for the price.

That hasn't been my hang up. The statement was made to me like this. "If you get caught out on the ice without a road pass for that day. You will be in big trouble"

I was not arguing the price. It would cost way more than $10 to bring my plow truck, bommer, or other track rigs up there. On the other hand, when I do bring them up, I do not want to be extorted into paying them even if I'm not using their access.

I hope that helps explain my 2c

It's a matter of principal to me. We are giving up our rights everyday & I don't like it.

Oh. My sleeper house goes where ever I want it to go & it's usually not near a road. grin

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I don't know anybody who pulls a wheelhouse that wouldn't give the plow guy $10.00 to clear him a spot to set up (especially last year). That being said it is pretty hard to complain about using a 10 mile + plowed road for $10.00 a trip. I'm not sure about all accesses but Adrian's sells a year pass for about $150.00.

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I see both sides, no problem paying access fees no matter what they are. But whats gona happen when joe snowcats from a public access to his house on a public lake in an area that a resort has plowed a road, an the resort comes knockin an says youve been here two days with out your pass, you owe us X amount.Charge me to use ur access an the road youve graciously have maintained, but dont charge me to camp on public water,that would be the states job if they ever decide to do that.

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If someone "catches" me in a certain resort's "ice territory" without a day pass from their point of access..... how the hell do they know where I came from? Especially on a year like this with no snow cover?

It's the threat that’s posing the problem here, not fees.

If I use resort A’s access as my point of lake entry and pay accordingly at resort A, what happens if I drive across the lake to resort B’s "territory" ? Can I get “caught” for being in their territory without a resort B pass?

And then what exactly????

I feel it's quite inappropriate to impose threats as if someone is loitering on your property. "better not let me catch you out there without a pass or it's going to be big trouble for you."

Really? What kind of trouble? A private citizen’s own set of laws imposed upon another citizen?

That's how you want to conduct business?

The use of privately owned property to access the lake is very cut and clear. A fee of the property owners choice for use of their property to access the lake is very simple, easy to understand and perfectly legal. The property owner may also want to take into consideration any expenses for efforts on the public lake that make his access more attractive to his potential customers. (plowing, marking trail, testing ice, cutting ice heaves, planking cracks etc)

Access fees for the use of their legally owned property is not being disputed.

Compensation for their work is not being disputed either.

What is being disputed is the idea that private property owner can drive out onto the public waters and impose his own private set of laws on another citizen.

It is actually quite upsetting, the statement "don't let us catch you out there without a current pass".

It is without a doubt reaching too far.

A far better practice and a far more legal practice would be to say: "This $10 pass gives you permission to use our property to access the lake today. The pass is good for today only. If you wish to use our property to leave the lake on a day other than today you will need to purchase a new $10 pass."

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ND, you make a valid point as did twisted on the "or else" part of it and I agree with that. If this was a normal year we wouldn't even be having this convo because you would not be able to drive anywhere like you can now.

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