Not Enough Money To Keep Trails Plowed On Devils LakeThe Devils Lake Tourism Committee has been plowing trails on the frozen lake for years to make it easier for people to get around on the lake. But this year they are short thousands of dollars.
By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ
The Devils Lake Tourism Committee has been plowing trails on the frozen lake for years to make it easier for people to get around on the lake. But this year they are short thousands of dollars. Just like plowing on land, plowing on ice can get expensive. In fact, it costs $10,000 to $20,000 to plow and maintain the trails on Devils Lake. And right now there isn't enough money to keep the trials program going over the next several winters.
Suzie Baisch/Devils Lake Tourism Director: "I would say we're anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 short to continue with the program."
Baisch says they have less than half of what they had last year. But for now they're still plowing trails for people to use this year. Crews started today, and say people enjoy using them.
John Dahlen/Plowing Trails: "Once these trails are made, you see a lot of people out here with vans with kids, out fishing."
There will be 15 to 20 miles of trails this year. Crews will be plowing at East Bay, and Creel Bay, and they started at Six Mile Bay today. But it's not an easy process.
Suzie Baisch: "Spirit Lake Casino and Akerman Acres are also plowing trails and some of them will meet up in different places.
Just like plowing on regular roads, plowing on ice also makes snow build up along the sides, which can make it difficult for drivers and anglers to get around.
Suzie Baisch: "And then the wind will pick up and it'll blow back in again, so we have to go through and plow again."
John Dahlen: "[There are] some wetspots to watch out for, to go around, but there's no dangers on the ice right now."
The trails are supposed to be done by this weekend in time for the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament.
The Devils Lake Tourism Committee hopes to raise money through public donations. It's also exploring other options, like looking for funding at the county or state level.