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Half-acre bog floats in Norway Lake

A piece of a bog bounces Monday off some docks near Last Chance Bait and Grocery Store on Norway Lake. Tribune photo by TJ Jerke

NEW LONDON -- Norway Lake has its first floating island.

A piece of grassy land, or bog, once located in a marshy area in southwest Norway Lake, is now nestled about 1.6 miles away after high waters and strong winds pushed it northeast causing damage to some boat docks near the Last Chance Bait and Grocery Store.

Summer residents Gale and Ardell Rosen were enjoying a cup of coffee in their lake home after peering out the large living room window to notice the landmass "bouncing off of the docks," Ardell Rosen said.

"That island isn't supposed to be there," Gale told his wife early Monday morning.

As the large mass continued moving, the couple braced themselves for what almost ruined their two boats and dock. Gale Rosen went out to stand on his dock while he was watching the piece move towards him.

"If it goes, I go," Gale joked about while he was on the dock.

A call to the Department of Natural Resources prompted two boats to see the bog. Dave Coahran, the acting area fisheries supervisor in Spicer, said the high waters and strong winds lifts the roots out and causes the bog to move, but he has never seen what he thinks is at least a half-acre piece.

"This is a big one," Coahran said. "A lot bigger from what's normal."

Coahran said the DNR planned to move the bog today but, "Mother nature beat us to it," he said.

Now, with two options, Coahran said the DNR will wait until Wednesday for a wind to help push it away from shore and use two boats to move it to a secure location where a "Cookie cutter" will chop the bog into smaller pieces. The second option is to leave the bog where it is and wait for the cookie cutter.

If the government shuts down on Friday, he said the machine probably won't be ready in time so the DNR will more than likely be moving it tomorrow.

"Anybody is welcome to come help Wednesday," Coahran said.

The plea for help is given as Coahran has only two boats to work with while the bog is much larger than what two boats can handle, he said.

As the bog bounced off docks, it eventually crashed into the dock owned by Jeff Dahl who is currently out of the state.