Possible motors restrictions on Swan Lake considered.

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Possible motors restrictions on Swan Lake considered.

Postby h2ofwlr » Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:56 am

Swan Lake motors?
A possible restriction on the use of motorboats on Swan Lake during the spring and summer is the topic for a meeting this week in Nicollet.

The concern is that motorized watercraft on Swan Lake might be having a negative impact on nesting and brood rearing water birds during the spring and summer months.

The Swan Lake Area Wildlife Association will hold a public input meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Nicollet Conservation Club to discuss possible motorboat restrictions. Similar restrictions are in effect at Heron Lake.

"Summer surface use restrictions were put in place at North Heron Lake in 1999 through the DNR's designated lake authority," Ken Varland, southern region wildlife manger at New Ulm, said in a news release. "Since Swan Lake is also a designated wildlife lake, surface water use restrictions could be implemented there, as well."

At Heron Lake, Varland explained, the regulation prohibits motorized watercraft, except electric trolling motors of less than 30 pounds of thrust, from portions of the lake from March 1 to July 31.

Varland said the DNR wants to hear what people think of the idea for Swan Lake.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:53 am

Approx 125 people were present, including 4 DNR employees. It started at 7pm

The time frame considered was from ice out (or March 1) and until start of the regular duck hunting season for possible motor restrictions.

The vast majority who spoke (about 25) were in favor of the restriction. There were several who were not in favor of the restriction at all.

My impression is that there would be no restrictions this year due to that the process will take a while as it goes up the chain of command, and the final say is by the DNR Commissioner if indeed there will be a restriction on motors on Swan Lake.

Basically, the DNR personnel were there to garner info of how the public felt about the proposal. No decisions will be made as to what action (if any) will be taken for at least a month. Thus if you have an opinion, address it to the DNR New Ulm office if you want to voice your opinion yet.

Some spoke of concern about Mud motors and the vegetative damage they were doing, but they were referred to bring it up tomorrow night at the duck meetings. No other issues were discussed, just whether a motor restriction would be of help to the duck population on Swan Lake

I did speak, I was reluctantly in favor of the restriction, basically I felt we were trying to regulate the 90% who are good responsible people, because of the abuses of the 10% who are purposefully chasing up ducks, etc… I am not sure the restriction is the best way to regulate abusive behavior. Others also brought up why is there no enforcement of existing laws. Some were concerned as I was about big increase in motor size in the last 25 years. Most were in favor of allowing no motors from ice out until 1 day before the regular waterfowl opener. A couple of people thought like I did and it should be 1 week prior to the opener the restriction be lifted. 2 said the end of August should be the date it is lifted. Thus the restriction would effect Youth Waterfowl Day-no motors was the prevailing mood

My impression is that the DNR said exceptions would be as follows: Guys maintaining the duck nests; Research and such.

I was in favor of allowing any sized electric motor be used since there is no wake and they are quiet.

I emphasized education in dealing with the those that abuse the way it is. Others wanted more enforcement. I also stressed that the lack of ducks was a symptom, and that we needed to address the virus, and the restriction is only a small part of it, that the other areas such as food, vegetation, water quality, etc must be considered too.

It was wrapped up at 8:40pm


Privately after the meeting , one of the DNR personnel said I was right, the restriction to limit disturbances is only a small step forward and that the other areas (ecology, water quality, etc) are much more important.


You never know how it’ll pan out, but based on the sense of the meeting of those speaking, motors will be restricted from either March 1 or ice out and until 1 week prior or 1 day prior to the regular duck opener.
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Postby recker » Thu May 05, 2005 3:41 pm

I guess to me this does not serve any point unless you have it during the season as well. So all these ducks stay at the lake until opening and then get blown right off. We have seen it happen in our former dakota hotspots which were void of ducks las year due to airboats and mud motors from all of the out of staters which now know about the secret. Problem is the ducks are going to quite stopping on this lake becasue of all this. So what good does it do on swan i guess if not during the season?
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Postby h2ofwlr » Fri May 06, 2005 7:44 pm

You do have a point Recker. But I am NOT in favor of banning all motors during the hunting season. Now if they said a 15 or 10 hp max motor during the season, I could live with that. I am way too old to be push poling/rowing a 14' boat 1.5 miles in a good wind. (my cousins motor conked out 1.5 years ago and it took 4 hours to go 1 mile in a 25 mph wind! :eek: I'm afraid I'd keel over from a heart attack :eek: along with a bunch of the other older guys. :yes:
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Postby Brett Beinke » Wed May 11, 2005 10:18 am

2 Points to consider Al. First, maybe not ban all motors but allow electric motors two those over a certain age only. This would still keep the lake quiet and allow those with more "life expereince" to be able to hunt the lake. Second, if history showes us anything, if motors were banned you would not need to go 1.5 miles across the lake as the hunting should be as good a block and a half from access and cabins as what it is 1.5 miles out. The reason you have to go that far is that every duck from each access has already been chased of the lake or at least away from major boat paths. I know with a push pole or paddle you could skirt right past resting flocks without alarming them. I am sure you hunted the lake in the 70's just like I did when everyone push poled out to their spots. Great shooting for all as the ducks never left the lake.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Wed May 11, 2005 1:32 pm

If they ban gas motors, I guess I'll buy twin 65lb electric motors with 6 batteries and a solar panel then. ;)
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Hey I resemble that comment!!! Those are FIGHTING WORDS!!!
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Postby Brett Beinke » Thu May 12, 2005 9:56 am

Personally I would love the DNR to actually clasify each wetland as for waterfowl or fishing and instead of trying to manage for both (they still think they can do that) manage the water for what it is. If it is a designated fishing lake then go ahead and use a motor. If it is a desgnated waterfowl lake that electric motors and push poles/paddles only. You would see more birds sticking around then. Whatever they decide on Swan they should also do on its sister lake Middle. Imagine how great the hunting there would be if all those drained wetlands in between came back!
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