It’s every fisherman’s dream to land the big one, but it’s not every lakeshore owner’s dream to have the big one land on his/her shoreline.
But that’s what has been happening on Lake Waconia in recent weeks.
Large carp have been rolling in on the shores of several property owners, as well as the beach at Lake Waconia Regional Park, creating a nuisance, a stench and a potential health hazard. The incidents are occurring almost on a daily basis, according to at least a dozen local lake property owners.
Most of the carp have a hole in them, indicative that they have been shot with an arrow.
Bow fishing of rough fish like carp is legal, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, but the condition brought to the agency’s attention is a concern and an investigation is under way, said Joe Albert, communications coordinator for the DNR’s Division of Enforcement.
It is illegal to return rough fish taken by bow fishing to the water and rough fish may not be left on the banks of any waters in the state, Albert said.
In addition to concerns about dead fish floating on the water, local lakeshore residents have expressed concerns about the hours the late-night bowfishing seems to be occurring and the brightness of boat lights.
While night time bow fishing is allowed, Albert said, there are Minnesota fishing regulation restrictions in terms of how close bow fishers can be to occupied structures and campsites. There are also noise restrictions in place.
Albert indicated a DNR conservation officer has been working the lake recent evenings to attempt to catch the violators.