Weekly Conservation Officer's report

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2017-06-19

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity including more PWC traffic as the water warms up. Fishing success and summer vacations have increased boating traffic. Nuisance animal complaints were addressed as beavers and bears are causing more problems than usual. Officer Verkuilen also worked ATV traffic and a wetland complaint.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) took several calls regarding nuisance bears. It is recommended that if you live in bear country and they begin to show up, remove food sources in the area (bird feeders, dog and cat food). It is also recommended to lock garbage dumpsters or to move them into a garage as well as other trash receptacles. The sources should be removed from outdoors for an extended period of time during all hours of the day and night in hopes that the unwanted critters move on.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working fishermen and boaters throughout the week. The officer also ran the Laser Shot system at the Aitkin Rivers and Lakes fair where lots of kids and adults turned out for the event. Follow up was done on a case and several nuisance beaver permits were issued for beaver doing damage. Patrol was done for AIS enforcement and also state and county land was patrolled for ATV activity. Lots of outdoor law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received multiple nuisance bear and one sick coyote complaint. Leaving bird feeders and any other source of food will attract bears in this part of the state. To deter unwanted bear visitations, lock all food sources up for at least two weeks. This will encourage the bear to move on and find other food sources. Officer Speldrich followed up on public waters violations and ongoing investigations. ATV operators were educated regarding operating on public highways.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing activities with folks catching a lot of walleyes. A record muskie was rumored to have been found dead on Mille Lacs. A wolf depredation report was investigated, along with some bear over population concerns.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a lot of time on area lakes that were busy with fishing and boating activity. Warming lake temperatures had water skiers, tubers, and jet skiers out in high numbers for the first time of the summer. Some boaters were found without lifejackets in the boat and an angler was caught trying to catch pike by leaving out unattended lines.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering nuisance animal calls and followed up on ATV complaints. He checked anglers and boaters around the Pine City area, and spent time checking areas of the Chengwatana State Forest. Bears are continuing to visit bird feeders and baby animals are out moving around. Put away bird feeders and leave baby animals where you find them.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. The walleye and bass bite remains steady. Time was also spent teaching law and ethics to a firearms safety class.