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Underwater clean up will bring 'secrets' to light

SPICER -- Green Lake has more secrets to give up than the 1,700-pound airplane that was pulled from its depths in August 2005, or 47 years after it had gone down.

There's still a corn picker down there somewhere, too, and the other "secrets'' are all dirty ones. There are countless cans, bottles, old fuel cans and even tires and rims collecting silt on the bottom of Kandiyohi County's most pristine lake.

Those secrets are going to see the light of day on Saturday, June 13 in what is planned to be the first of an annual underwater clean up on Green Lake, as well as possibly other county lakes.

Let's Go Fishing of Minnesota is launching plans for an underwater clean up under the theme: "Use, respect and protect.''

"We're going to make it fun,'' said Joe Holm, founder of Let's Go Fishing, in speaking of plans for the day.

Holm is a scuba diver and has seen first-hand the years of accumulated junk on the bottom of many of our lakes. Nothing is more disappointing for a diver than to venture into the quiet beauty of our underwater environment than to come face-to-face with a slime covered tire or collection of beverage cans, he said.

He knows, too, that thanks to the growing use of underwater cameras, even those who never venture below the surface can see how we've littered the bottoms of our lakes.

Now it's time for a solution, he said. Holm believes that an annual clean up day can start the process of ridding our lake bottoms of this junk and most importantly, making people aware of their role in preventing it in the first place.

Let's Go Fishing is launching the effort as a way to give back, said Holm. Green Lake is the most popular destination for Let's Go Fishing-sponsored outings for senior citizens.

Let's Go Fishing is looking to hand over the responsibility for the outing to an impartial committee of people who share only one goal: a cleaner environment in our waters.

All of the funds raised in conjunction with the event beyond its costs will be funneled back to the lake for water cleanup and walleye stocking, he said.

Organizers are now in the process of raising funds to support the venture and recruit volunteers. Volunteer scuba divers are needed, as well as volunteers willing to assist topside on pontoon boats and on shore.

How much of the lake can be cleaned up will depend on the number of people and pontoons boats that can be recruited for the day. Early plans call for focusing on the Saulsbury Beach area in Spicer.

Along with the underwater work, the organizers are hoping volunteers will also assist with clean up in the shallow waters of beaches and other shoreline areas.

Letters are being sent out to property owners on the lake and others seeking funding help for the day's expenses. Donations are tax deductible.

Call 320-905-7711 if able to help either underwater or above, or if you're able to provide a pontoon boat or funding support.