Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending July 6, 2020. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked boat and water shifts on Upper Red Lake. Several boating violations were detected. He worked a busy Independence Day weekend. Vollbrecht observed an individual riding on the bow of a boat and one on the gunwale. After being stopped, the individuals told him they were having difficulty getting the boat on plane and needed more weight in the bow of the boat. While looking for safety equipment in the compartments of the boat, they discovered it was full of water below the floor boards. Vollbrecht provided a 5-gallon bucket to bail water as the bilge pump was not operating.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent a busy Fourth of July week and weekend patrolling area lakes for boat and water safety as a part of Operation Dry Water. Swedberg patrolled many different lakes with the help of other local COs. Gunwale riding and jet ski violations were the most commonly seen violations across the lakes, but overall most boaters were being safe and having a good time. On one lake, Swedberg observed a group wake surfing at 11 p.m., which was about 90 minutes past sunset and an hour past legal towing hours. The surfer was extremely lucky to not have been struck after falling down. Enforcement action was taken against the surfer and the driver of the boat. Other calls involved assisting with a medical on the Big Detroit Lake sandbar and assisting the Becker County Sheriff’s Office and the Detroit Lakes Police Department with other calls for service on a busy weekend.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) worked with a neighboring officer and reports a busy week of fishing and boating activity. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, insufficient number of PFDs in a watercraft, and expired boat registration. Leeb also assisted the county with a sinking boat. Thankfully, all passengers on board made it off the water safely.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish, crappies and bass have been the most productive for anglers on area lakes. He also worked on boating enforcement. The Independence Day holiday brought out a large number of boaters. Complaints of PWCs chasing loons and careless operation of wakeboard boats received some enforcement time. He assisted the neighboring CO in Brainerd. They checked boats for safety equipment and navigation light violations. Some other violations observed were no fishing license and expired registration. Complaints of bears damaging bird feeders were fielded.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) worked a very busy Fourth of July holiday weekend. Lakes were full of boaters and many people were on land on their ATVs as well. Some time was spent working an existing deer-hunting case and also a public-water case. Boating and camping complaints were received and investigated. Mathy assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a moped crash that resulted in injuries. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, and several boating and ATV violations.