District 10 - Mille Lacs area
Last updated: 2014-03-11
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time during the week monitoring the removal of ice shelters in Pine and Kanabec counties. Great job to area fishermen for their efforts in getting their shacks off! Only a limited number of people had issues due to slush and deep snow. CO Wynn also checked numerous fishermen throughout the week. Fishing is still fairly slow in the area with some sunfish and crappies being seen in pails. Snowmobile activity picked up with warmer weather over the weekend. Enforcement contacts were made in the Pine City and Hinckley areas for speeding and failing to stop at road crossings.
WREO Rob Haberman worked at the Red River Valley Sportsman?s Convention speaking to individuals about AIS laws and regulations. WREO Haberman also worked on fish houses left on the ice and litter complaints. WREO Haberman assisted another conservation officer on a snowmobile trespassing complaint near Cross Lake.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored ice houses that still remain on lakes in the area; owners have been contacted to have them removed. Snowmobilers were out in full force. The trails held up rather well for the most part, but the Officer still managed to bury his sled on a few occasions which resulted in a firm example for many attentive snowmobilers of why to stay on the trail. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed and snowmobile exhaust modifications.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took a handful of calls from landowners and drivers that found deer that looked to be in poor health and not moving very well. A couple deer were found that appeared stressed, malnourished and likely having a hard time with severe winter conditions. Deer have been hanging out near roads and trails in order to escape the deep snow and drivers and snowmobilers need to use extra caution to avoid hitting these deer. Extra time was spent patrolling Grindstone Lake and educating anglers about the littering problem on the lake. Littering on the lake this season has been greatly reduced due in large part to efforts by the Grindstone Lake Association and lake residents. These folks have made a huge impact by cleaning up other people?s garbage, handing out garbage bags and urging anglers to take pride in keeping Grindstone Lake clean.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working on checking Mille Lacs and other area lakes for fish houses left on the ice. The Officer checked a few fishermen that were out looking for some late season perch. A wolf depredation investigation is ongoing on a local farm and a predator controller zone was opened up and a trapper was called in to trap for the nuisance wolf. The Officer attended the Mille Lacs Lake input meeting where the regulations for the upcoming season were discussed. Time was spent manning a booth at the Aitkin Commerce Show. Lots of kids enjoyed the laser shot system and lots of law related questions were answered during the two day event. Assistance was given to the Sheriff?s Department on a call of two parties that were stuck on a logging road and could not get themselves out. The Officer, a Deputy, and two parties from a local towing company located the stranded motorists and were able to shovel the vehicle out and get them back to the highway. S Snowmobile activity was also monitored throughout the week and weekend. With the warmer weather lots of snowmobilers were seen out enjoying the trails
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fish house removal issues and found the snowmobile trails in really good condition. A Mille Lacs Lake input meeting was attended, with numerous ideas heard on how to improve the fishery. Warm weekend weather made for an enjoyable time for outdoor enthusiasts. Fishermen should be reminded to buy their license now, as the 2013 license has expired.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on calls regarding ice houses left on the lake after the deadline. Enforcement action was taken for those who had not made an effort to get their houses off the ice by the deadline. Speldrich patrolled area trails on snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for failing to stop at a road crossing, speed and failure to display registration. Speldrich noted tracks in numerous areas where snowmobilers left grant- in-aid trails trespassing on to private property. These are the people we can thank when landowners decide not to continue allowing these grant-in-aid trails on their property. If you see this activity, please call the TIP line.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers and patrolled for ice houses left out past the deadline. Removal compliance was good despite the tough conditions. More snowmobiles were out this past weekend but conditions are quickly deteriorating. Lakes are quickly reverting back to deep pockets of slush. Several 30 something year olds don?t seem to grasp their need for snowmobile safety training certification. Verkuilen also attended the Mille Lacs Fisheries input meeting.