Officials are warning people to not leave valuables in their fish houses after at least six were damaged or opened on a central Minnesota lake Sunday night.
Benton Sheriff Troy Heck told BringMeTheNews his office is still reaching out to some of the fish house owners on Little Rock Lake, but so far no property has been reported stolen.
"We have had a couple of good years with no break-ins, but this is a pretty common occurrence on Little Rock Lake," Sheriff Heck told BringMeTheNews.
A sheriff's deputy responded to the lake Monday to find someone had attempted to pry a fish house door open, and investigators discovered five other fish houses in the area had been damaged or opened by the suspect or suspects, a news release says.
"We strongly encourage people to bring all items of value with them when they leave their fish houses to keep from falling victim to these criminals," the release says.
Poor water quality
Little Rock Lake has been in the spotlight lately because of its poor water quality.
According to WJON, the Department of National Resources says groundwater use in the area is increasing at a faster rate than the statewide average, which is increasing the risk of contamination.
Therefore, DNR is proposing to drop the water levels of Little Rock Lake three feet during the summer of 2017.
The goal of the six-week drawdown is to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen levels, provide better habitat for wildlife and fish, and improve water quality and clarity, the St. Cloud Times reports. However, it would make the lake more difficult to navigate and access for recreational use.
Last month, the DNR gave a presentation to a packed town hall on the proposal, the Little Rock Lake Association says. Another meeting is scheduled for Feb. 29.