Cat tails on a lake

Peter Gudella,

Bog be gone: "The Beast" moved away from Brained-area lakeshore beach

Action comes too late to save camp's summer season

June 11, 2018 - 7:49 am

The mysterious bog that's been floating along the shores of a Brainerd-area lake for nearly a year has been moved away from a camp swimming area, thanks to the work of more than a dozen volunteers using pontoon boats to ram it and chain saws to cut away large chunks waterlogged plant matter.

One person who works near North Long Lake told WCCO radio that after working for four hours on Sunday, about one-third of what locals call "The Beast" was removed from the water.

The goal was to move the bog - a natural wetland consisting of marsh, dead plants, cattails, and even a few trees - downshore and away from the beach at the Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center.

Summer sessions at the camp are canceled for 2018, according to the Legionville web site. While the beach is clear of the bog, safety concerns have prompted officials to make the area off-limits. 

Camp officials are already making plans for next summer. The camp serves about 700 kids and is owned by the Minnesota American Legion.

The bog was first reported last year, with fishing guide Hank Ebert among the first to spot it. 

"I kind of looked around and saw these trees where they shouldn't have been," Ebert told WCCO radio last fall. "So, I motor over to it, and it was just breaking loose in front of the Legionville camp."

State DNR officials estimates the bog was about 255,000 square feet in diameter and estimated to weigh 4,000 tons, or 8 million pounds.