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Are you a Doubting Thomas?? The Ground Hog was as he was seen at St. Olaf on February 2!!

Drive by Beaver Lake and count the number of fish houses on the lake. Drive by St. Olaf Lake and count the number of fish houses on the lake. Drive by either lake after March 7 and count the number of fish houses on the lake – the answer will be the same (zero) at both lakes as legally each fish house must be removed by March 6. 

The Question of, “why so many more and so many big fish houses on St. Olaf Lake?” Bothered me. Last Saturday morning, I decided to find out he answer by going out on the ice at St. Olaf Lake.

I walk out on the lake to the closest fish house and read the sign by the door, “check at the big white house for current activities.” I also noticed a round aluminum washer with a number on it by the sign. On to another fish house and a sign reading “check at the big white house for current activities.” I noticed the round aluminum washer had a different number than the previous house. On to the big white house to do as the sign said. 

I knock on the door of the big white fish house and a male voice says, “Come in the door is open.” As I walk in I realize this is one of the biggest “yeti” fish houses with thermostat controlled heat, refrigerator, oven, TV, AM-FM radio, heated potty with inside and outside entrance, bunk beds, generated lights, etc. (the elite of fish houses.)

The man explained this was modeled after the “igloo” fish house at Zippel Bay on Lake of the Woods. He handed me a current activities sheet. 

The sheet explained the hours were from noon Friday till noon Monday. The yeti was open to members only. Hot food and drinks were available for sale during those hours. It was also open noon the day before a Holiday till noon the day after. Five smaller yeti fish houses, each sleeping four, had room for six people fishing with rattle wheels and frozen cuscus bait, while playing cards. The private fish owner could have access to all this for a season cost of $400 or two per 24-hour access for the numbered aluminum washer at 6 people max per time. 

The sheet went on to state (for the season) the largest northern, walleye and bass caught by an eligible person, received $100 in cash. (Also $100 for a muskrat)

I asked if this was profitable. The answer was Yeti was covering all the cost. The group running itkept tips plus any profit on the food and beverage sales. He went on to explain Yeti approached a group of local sportsmen who agreed to the above terms. He went on to explain this was a PR project for Yeti and the results would be in various fishing magazines.

He stated Yeti hadn’t planned on group sales and they were surprised at two group sales thus far. All the Yetis, plus some private fish houses, are rented by a Valentine Club (from Rochester) noon the 13th of February through noon the 15th of February. (They give a kickback fee to the owner of a private fish if the group uses it). Also surprising was the number of females in the first two groups. 

Now you know why all the activity at St. Olaf Lake. If you’re a doubting Thomas – seeing is believing!!


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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