FARIBAULT (AP) -- Most lakes look serene from the surface, roiled by nothing more than waves and the occasional boat. But beneath the surface, garbage such as bottles, cans, tires, and even parts of ice houses are common.
Some of it is cast off by boaters, while ice-anglers leave their share, too.
"The ice fishermen leave a mess every spring," said Merle Hoy, owner of Hoy's Hide-A-While Resort on French Lake, near Faribault in south-central Minnesota.
"We make an effort to clean what we can before the ice goes out," he said. "Last winter we took off a full pickup load of wood, and a full Dumpster load of cans and glass off the lake before the ice melted, and that wasn't all of it. It's terrible."
Scuba divers see it all the time.
"I think the pollution down there has always been bad," said diver Todd Rost, who owns Adventure Specialties, a Faribault business that sells diving equipment. "For a long time, people just threw it in and never thought about it. I guess it's pollution that people don't see."
Rost said it's not uncommon to find piles of debris and garbage scattered around lake bottoms, saying that in some areas litter and wood from ice houses are widespread. He said no lake is immune to the pollution, and that garbage can be found at the bottom of any lake frequently used by people.
Bottles and cans affect lake ecosystems for years, said Jennifer Klang, a water quality expert at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
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