WALKER — Cass County officials reported a marked improvement in the way trash was disposed of at last weekend’s 35th annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake.
A statement from Cass County Environmental Services, which described the mess left behind last year as “atrocious,” said the trash and sanitation process this year was a “job well done,” with credit due to planning by promoter Jerod Olson and Cass County staff.
Olson provided more than 100 trash barrels and arranged for city sanitation workers to be present to assist in picking cans, bottles and assorted garbage. More than 90 Porta-Johns were available for festivalgoers.
Cass Environmental Services officials termed this year’s celebration the “cleanest in recent memory.”
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said in his report that the event was safe yet eventful this year. A total of 69 Eelpout-related incidents were reported to the sheriff’s office.
On Friday night, a tandem-axle fish house and nearby pickup truck accidently caught fire and were reported to be a total loss. No injuries were reported in the incident and the Walker Fire Department assisted at the scene.
On Saturday night, a stolen pickup truck was reported. Officers located the vehicle south of Walker and a juvenile male was taken into custody. Also on Saturday night, an unresponsive party was located inside a tent. Cass law officers and North Ambulance performed CPR on the individual, who was transported via Air Care to a Fargo, N.D., hospital.
Cass deputies enforced litter rules and policed garbage and disposal methods at the event.
“A very large majority of the lake campsites were responsible,” the sheriff’s office reported.