Hooked on Fishing: Pier Project Underway in Northwestern Minnesota

May 10, 2023 12:40 PM ET
Fish in a lake

Dedicated, ADA-accessible fishing pier on Lake Lomond to ensure No Child Left Inside

On bright summer mornings, kids hop on their bikes, fishing poles in tow, and ride to Lake Lomond at the center of Bagley in northwestern Minnesota.

They’re excited to spend time on the water, anticipating the joy of reeling in colorful catches the lake is known for—black bullhead, bluegill, green sunfish and yellow perch.

But after attempts at shore fishing, the kids largely leave disappointed, with nothing to show for their efforts.

“Kids love to fish, but they’re frustrated they can’t get their lines out far enough when they’re shore casting,” says Bill Prochaska, a Bagley City Park board member and long-time recreational fisher on Lake Lomond.

“For kids, there is no access to good fishing in a lake that has good fishing,” he explains.

Currently, the lake has two short boat loading docks that people sometimes try to fish on. But the docks aren’t compliant with the American Disability Act, and there are frequent disruptions with trying to fish where boats are docking.

The City of Bagley has the solution—with support from the community, it will build a dedicated fishing pier on the lake.

The initiative is part of the community’s commitment to No Child Left Inside, a movement in the United States to promote environmental literacy and opportunities for kids to enjoy time in nature.

With the new fishing pier, children, those who are wheelchair bound, and anyone who needs ambulatory assistance—from toddlers to veterans to octogenarians, Prochaska says—will be able to enjoy fishing on the lake.

“This pier is an answer to all of it,” he explains.

The model the city has chosen features a long trunk with a T-section. It will have paved access from the parking lot and is ADA-compliant.

The $120,000 pier is being funded by grants and donations from the community. Enbridge supported the project with a $10,000 Fueling Futures grant. We're committed to building vibrant and sustainable communities near our operations by investing in projects that help improve, grow and nurture our environment and bolster environmental literacy—like this Lake Lomond fishing pier project.

The Bagley fishing pier is set to open in September 2023, in time for a few weeks of late-summer fishing before the cold Minnesota winter sets in.

“What makes kids happy?” Prochaska asks. “Play. Having activities and being outside. It’s important to encourage kids to leave video screens behind, to get on a bike or walk, and go play in our park and get on our fishing pier.”

“This fishing pier,” he adds, “is going to help us ‘leave no kid inside.’ ”