Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending July 1. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working AIS, boating and water safety, and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the past week. Time was spent monitoring ATV trail activity, handling wildlife-related calls and investigating a TIP call. Regas assisted the sheriff’s office with the recovery of three anglers who were ejected from the boat. Their boat then went spinning out of control on Blackduck Lake. All three anglers and their dog were rescued with no apparent injuries, but they were wet and shaken by the incident. None of the anglers wore a PFD. This incident is a good reminder to wear a PFD, as you never know when something like that will occur. Violations encountered and addressed throughout the week included ATV registration, youth without helmets on ATVs, possession of northern pike in the protected slot, angling license and boating equipment and lighting.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working AIS inspections, boating, and finishing old cases. Several complaints have come in about pet owners not cleaning up after their dogs at area public accesses. Swedberg reminds owners this is a form of littering. Other cases involved drinking intoxicating beverages at a public access and trespassing on DNR property by parking a camper for multiple nights.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) had a busy week of enforcement with the high boating and fishing activity. Cases were made for angling without licenses, littering and illegal drug possession. Several night anglers were cited for not turning on their navigation lights more than an hour past sunset. One boat with several college-aged anglers had registration that expired in 1988, which is before any of the boat’s occupants were born. A citation was issued.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked in the BWCA and found lakes and rivers to be very busy. An AIS check station was worked with other officers. Assistance was provided, along with CO Velsvaag, to Lake County on a call in the BWCA involving an unstable individual with a hatchet. Lots of enforcement action to report including extra lines, fishing without a license, no PFD, allowing a juvenile to fish in violation of the law, cans in the BWCA, and failure to remove a drain plug and aquatic vegetation during transport of watercrafts.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued working with livestock owners who were struggling to keep wolves from killing newborn calves and harassing cattle. Anglers throughout the area were finding a fairly good sunfish and crappie bite. The Kettle and St. Croix rivers were busy with canoers and campers and recent heavy rains had kayakers enjoying some quality whitewater conditions.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time investigating an ATV accident involving three juveniles who weren’t wearing helmets or seat belts. Fortunately, all involved will make a full recovery. Numerous calls and complaints related to beavers were handled. With the abnormally high water across the region, many folks have had beaver problems.