View Full Version : White Bear Lake Ice Houses

01-14-2009, 02:14 PM
It's sad to think that fishermen can't even leave their gear in their ice house.

Vandalism of area ice houses sparks concern among fishing community

http://www.press-publications.com/content/articles/2009/01/13/white_bear_press/news/doc496d0e5acde56036038877.jpgA full moon rises above a group of ice houses on White Bear Lake last weekend. - Photo by Paul Dols

by Joseph Friedrichs
Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 4:43 PM CST

WHITE BEAR LAKE – As the sun sparkled off a crisp layer of snow on Bald Eagle Lake, Dennis Graham slowly stepped from his white ice fishing shack to catch some conversation with a duo of nearby fishermen.

“We had some crappie going this morning,” he said. “But it’s slowed down for the past couple of hours.”

Graham, a Circle Pines resident who keeps an ice house on Bald Eagle Lake during the winter, said when he headed home later in the day his ice fishing gear would be coming with him. The reason for doing so was simple, Graham explained.

“You can’t trust that someone won’t try to break in and steal it,” he said. “So we bring everything out with us and take it home when we leave.”

Recent reports of vandalism from nearly a dozen ice houses on Lake Minnetonka has the local fishing community concerned about how protected their possessions are when stored in an ice house.

“It just makes you sick to hear about it,” Graham said of the Jan. 6 break-ins at Minnetonka.

According to Holli Drinkwine, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s public information officer, there have been no official reports this winter of theft from ice houses on White Bear or Bald Eagle lakes. Drinkwine said there are officers and reserves who patrol the frozen lakes on ATVs to help curb such behavior.

Jim Hansen, the owner of Hansen’s Little Bear Bait & Tackle in White Bear Lake, said there are more houses on area lakes this winter than he has seen in 20 years.

“We’ve been very busy,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there fishing.”

Hansen said he has heard several reports of ice houses being vandalized this winter on White Bear Lake.

“Most often it’s just kids with nothing better to do,” he said.

The reason it can be difficult to catch such perpetrators is because they often strike during the middle of the night, Hansen said.

In addition to not leaving his fishing supplies inside of his ice house, Graham said he avoids locking the door to the structure.

“That way people aren’t likely to break down the door just to see what’s inside,” he said.

Other fishermen, such as Kent Spindler of Hugo, have opted to purchase a portable ice house rather than a stationary one so there’s no risk of someone taking his fishing gear during the night.

“That was one of the main reasons I bought this thing,” he said of his small, easy-to-move shack.

Jim Roberts, who was recently fishing on White Bear Lake while on vacation from his home in Austin, Texas, said it was disheartening to hear about the thefts at Lake Minnetonka.

“It’s too bad because people are just out trying to relax,” he said. “There are only so many options for what to do during the winter months, and this kind of stuff diminishes the sport.”


01-14-2009, 03:37 PM
“Most often it’s just kids with nothing better to do,” he said.

The reason it can be difficult to catch such perpetrators is because they often strike during the middle of the night, Hansen said."

I have an uncle who fishes that lake, I never heard him complaining about anything like that. Times must be real tough if they have to break into ice fishing houses. I'll have to send him this. :kooky:

01-14-2009, 09:07 PM
Your're probably right. Teens with nothing better to do. You think they would eventually be caught. I think White Bear Lake is a small community. My wife read a book about that place once. I think a big murder was committed there or something, or maybe it was a severe case a child abuse, don't really recall.