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Bogs afloat in Norway Lake: DNR has policies on how to legally move them

This bog was stuck on a dock on the southern end of Norway Lake last week but no damage was reported. Neighbors said that bogs get stuck on docks fairly frequently on the southwest corner of the lake. Tribune photo by Kyle Rozendaal

NEW LONDON — Large amounts of rain, high lake levels and strong winds in June all contributed to multiple bogs breaking free from the shore of Norway Lake near New London. The bogs then floated around and ended up stuck against private docks.

“The DNR alone does not have the manpower or funds to move every bog that breaks loose so we issue free permits to lake associations giving them the legal rights to correctly remove or relocate any loose bogs,” said Dave Coahran, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Spicer Area Fisheries Office supervisor.

The DNR Floating Bog Policy states that once a permit to destroy aquatic vegetation has been issued, the landowners must try to move the bog back to where it appears to have come from and secure it in place with wooden stakes.

If it is unknown from where it came or is impossible to put back in place, the landowner may move the bog to state-owned property that the association and DNR have decided is an adequate drop-off point or to private property where the owner has given consent.

The other option that landowners have is to remove the bog completely with a backhoe or other large machinery. This method also requires a permit to destroy aquatic vegetation from the DNR.

If the bog is extremely large, obstructing public navigation or lodged on bridges or dams, the DNR will respond and help remove the problem, according to the DNR Floating Bog Policy.

If a bog is making lakeshore living unpleasant, the first person to call should be the lake association president for the lake to ensure that the association has the correct permits to legally remove bogs and to learn where the designated drop-off points are. If the bog seems to fall under one of the unusual categories, then the district DNR office should be contacted and the office will assess what action to take to remove the bog.