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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 02, 2012, 05:11 PM

Two Minnesota lakes close common areas to stop invasive species spread

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- Several so called public common access sites have now been closed on the two lakes. The DNR public accesses remain open, but shutting down the longtime common areas, is one way to protect the lakes from invasive species that are a stone’s throw away.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) -- Several so called public common access sites have now been closed on the two lakes. The DNR public accesses remain open, but shutting down the longtime common areas, is one way to protect the lakes from invasive species that are a stone’s throw away.

When Brian Amundson takes his pontoon on to Lake Sallie he shares stories of walleye, muskie and relaxing rides on the lake. On a day like today, the water was about the only comforting place to be. But the lake associations for Sallie and nearby Melissa have joined the township now in ordering commons areas closed to boat launching. Boulders now block them, all in an effort to keep invasive species out.

Brian Amundson - Lives on Lake Sallie: "Consequences are dire. For future generations it is the responsible thing to do. It’s the only thing to do."

There are about 14 casual sites on Sallie and Melissa, an early 1900's move to deed land to the public for enjoyment. Some you can't even reach anymore, but the 7 or 8 you can have been closed to those wanting to launch a boat.

The DNR public accesses will remain open on Melissa and Sallie but the lake association believes closing these casual accesses will help save the lake.

Mary Ann Bond - Melissa-Sallie Lake Association: "The fact that it’s right next door to us and a lake down from us. Fortunately they don’t swim upstream. We know if Sallie gets it, Melissa gets it. If Detroit Lakes gets it, we get it. So you hate to do nothing and then get them and then think I could have stopped it."

People can still use the casual accesses for swimming or picnicking, but with trouble in nearby Lizzie and Pelican, Melissa and Sallie want to stay ahead of the problem.

The public access on Melissa is just off Highway 59. The access for Sallie is near the DNR headquarters. Both remain open.

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