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Continued: Anderson: Removing fish houses an adventure this winter

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 3, 2014 - 3:42 PM

Then, cranking up my four-wheeler, I angled downriver a mile or so, hoping to meet a fellow I had watched earlier from shore who was attempting to clear a path to his fish house with a snowblower.

“Kyle Thompson,” this guy said when I pulled alongside and asked his name.

Thompson had a friend with a truck who could pull his shack to shore. But first Thompson, using his snowblower, hoped to clear a tributary road about 100 yards long to ensure the truck’s passage.

“The problem is this slush,” he said, plunging a long-handled shovel into about 8 inches of water that covered the river ice.

Yet by comparison, Thompson’s circumstances were not bad — assuming his friend showed up with the truck.

I had seen enough, and soon was bouncing across the river on the four-wheeler, headed for my truck.

It was fitting, perhaps, that I didn’t make it.

I got stuck.

This time it was Tony and his bunch — the guys who were hoping to retrieve their snow-encased van — who were my new best friends.

They pulled me out.

So it has gone this winter on the St. Croix.

And so, with luck, it won’t go much longer.

 

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com







 

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  • Saved by a big plow truck: The ice fishing house owned by Dennis Anderson and his son, Cole, was reached, finally, on the St. Croix River after Dean Welk of North St. Paul blasted through about a half-mile of drifted, hard-packed snow with a 1-ton Ford rigged with a V plow. Fish houses were due off the river at midnight Saturday. Doubtless, given snow conditions on the river, some are still there.

  • Sufficient ice has formed on most Minnesota and Wisconsin lakes to support vehicle travel. But deep, hard-packed snow is widespread, and often must be cleared by plows.

  • Many fish houses are built on skids that are designed to allow the shanty to be pulled across the ice. But the skids often don't work well in deep snow, requiring trailers for house removal

  • Plows have been required statewide in recent days to remove fish houses. On Upper Red Lake in northwest Minnesota, houses freed from the ice sometimes were pulled through as much as 2 feet of slush to reach land

  • Kyle Thompson of Cottage Grove shoveled his way through slush Friday on the St. Croix.

  • Anderson became stuck on the river in his four-wheeler and welcomed help from anglers.

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