By Lesley Toth
Chip Cravaack, U.S. Representative for Minnesota's Eighth District, announced Saturday that he will introduce The Mille Lacs Lake Freedom to Fish Act. He made the announcement at Nitti's Hunters Point Resort on Mille Lacs Lake near Isle.
Specifically, this legislation regards Minnesota's state sovereignty, job creation, cutting federal red tape, and strengthening Minnesota's outdoor fishing tradition.
Citing a 30-year old analysis, the U.S. Coast Guard has assumed federal authority over certain activities on Mille Lacs Lake. Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard is forcing all fishing guides, mostly college students, to spend time and money to obtain a federal boating license to bring fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake. This license and associated costs put fishing guides on the hook for over $2,000.
"This new Coast Guard regulation, being funded at taxpayer expense, is taking a toll on the Mille Lacs Lake resort-based economy and is making fishing more expensive," said Cravaack. " I plan to introduce legislation next week that will remove this over-regulation and keep Mille Lacs Lake under Minnesota control.
"I appreciate all the Coast Guard does, but the DNR already patrols Mille Lacs Lake. The Coast Guard's authority over the lake is an intrusion; it's redundant, excessive, and duplicative."