A gargantuan bog has taken up residence in Wahkon at a beach named after a scantily clad bottom. The bog broke loose sometime after the recent heavy rains which have caused high water levels on Mille Lacs Lake.
Residents have been perplexed about what to do with the bog, and the City of Wahkon is seeking a permit from the DNR to remove the bog. City council met on Monday evening concerning the bog.
The DNR requires a permit for “moving or removing a bog of any size that is free-floating or lodged in any area other than its place of origin in public waters,” according to the DNR website. The DNR considers the ecological value of bogs when granting a permit.
The DNR states: “If a floating bog becomes a nuisance, it is the responsibility of the property owner(s) where the bog is grounded to move the bog to an acceptable location. Moving a floating bog away from your property requires a DNR aquatic plant management permit issued through the DNR Regional Fisheries Office. DNR responsibility is limited to the following:
• Providing advice and approval on bog disposition.
• Removing any floating bogs lodged on state owned dams or other DNR property.”
City Clerk/Treasurer Karrie Roeschlein said the DNR met with Chris Weinreich from the city at the site to discuss options for removal. Roeschlein said she believed Jim Staricha, of Northland Town & Lake Recovery, has the “equipment to move that monstrosity.”
Audrey Kuchinski, of the DNR Fisheries department, said in an email to the city that the best option is to remove it. She stated, “A disposal site does need to be identified and must not be in a wetland and at least 200’ away from any water including seasonally flooded areas. Mille Lacs has a number of invasive species that we need to be cautious with. This is the most expensive option but recurring problems with this bog would be eliminated.”
She stated in the email that the bog cold be chunked into smaller pieces, moved to an area west of the beach and staked down, but not allowed to cover any hardstem bulrush. “Hardstem bulrush is by far the most valuable plant any lake can have,” she added. She also stated another option would be to relocate some of the bog to the area to the west and remove some of it.
No information on what the city will decide to do with the bog was available as of deadline on Monday, but Roeschlein said the bog would likely be moved this week if a permit is granted.