Cravaack legislation would end federal control of some activities on Mille Lacs | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Cravaack legislation would end federal control of some activities on Mille Lacs

Posted: May 13, 2012 - 4:36pm

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack said he plans to introduce legislation that would end federal control of some activities on Mille Lacs Lake.

After the Coast Guard determined in 2010 that Mille Lacs is a "federally navigable" body of water, anglers were forced to follow rules that Cravaack said make fishing more expensive.

Cravaack, R-North Branch, wants to end a requirement for a "six-pack" license for fishing guides or for anyone who runs a boat for hire with up to six passengers. It can cost over $1,000 to take the required tests and get the credentials needed for that license, the Duluth News Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/ISj5cu) Sunday.

"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," Cravaack said in a news release. He said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources already patrols Mille Lacs, and the Coast Guard's authority is "excessive."

The Coast Guard generally has not enforced the six-pack license requirement on inland lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the requirement is enforced on Lake Superior, Rainy Lake and other bodies of water. The license requirement also applies to canoe guides and towboat operators used by canoe outfitters.

Cravaack spokesman Michael Bars said the proposed legislation is focused on Mille Lacs Lake, but Cravaack will seek input from other anglers. There is a chance other bodies of water could be included in the legislation.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.