What do propane cylinders, soda cans and bags of human waste have in common?
They are all items that have been found littering Minnesota's frozen lakes by anglers who have finished fishing, but don't see any reason to clean up after themselves.
The Department of Natural Resources has been forced to publish a reminder to anglers they face a $1,000 fine if they're found littering the unspoiled beauty of Minnesota's lakes, saying that it's the "most common complaint" dealt with by conservation officers yet again.
"I’ve already warned a couple of fish house owners about the litter accumulating outside of their house, which they agreed to clean up," Pierz conservation officer Paul Kuske said. "I always tell people the area outside their fish house is not their front yard, it is public waters."
The department told anglers they are using digital pictures and GPS coordinates to catch litterers.
It is urging anglers to set an example for others – particularly children – by not littering, properly disposing of anything that could injure wildlife, keeping trash bags with them whenever they are fishing or outdoors, and checking with local trash provider or landfills about how to dispose of items.
It seems to be a warning the DNR has to make every year – look, here's the Winona Daily News reporting a similar plea in 2006.
The deadline for fish house removals are March in the southern part of Minnesota, and March 16 in the north.