Hundreds of Ice Anglers Stranded On Mille Lacs Lake

When the National Weather Service and state law enforcement urge motorists to stay off the roads due to poor weather conditions, that means the roads on our icy lakes too. Snow drifts proved to be too much for hundreds of anglers who were stranded on Mille Lacs Lake over the weekend.

Barnacles Resort and Campground owner, Jim Kromer shared some comments on what he and his crew were dealing with over the past 30 hours on the north side of Mille Lacs Lake,

It was all hands on deck, we even closed the bar because we needed everyone’s help. It was usually 4-5 people at all times running the five plows and clearing the snow drifts. One of the problems though, was that within 5-10 minutes it needed to be cleared again where we had just plowed. It’s been a very slow process. We worked from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm on Sunday, and started again at 6:30 this morning. 

I asked Kromer if anglers were just stuck in certain places on the lake or if it was scattered throughout?

It’s not just here on the north side of the lake. If anglers went further out, let’s say 6-7 miles, then it became a real problem especially after noon on Sunday when the winds really picked up.  At times it was impossible to see anything. 

They may have been stranded, but they were comfortable in their ice shacks, at least the guests at Barnacles Resort. Kromer said, We can bring our guests gas, pizza, beer, smokes, whatever they need on snowmobile.  Some of those ice shacks even have Direct TV.

When I spoke with Kromer at about 12:00 pm Monday, he reported there were still a few guests out there on the ice, but most of them are off of it.