District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2015-05-19

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked boating and angling activity despite cool and wet conditions for the week. Lack of Personal Floatation Devices was still a common violation and even more critical with windy conditions and cold water this time of year. Verkuilen also assisted with an ATV Safety Class, monitored boat trailers for invasive species, and answered questions regarding problem beavers.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked Mille Lacs anglers throughout the week with reports of mixed success. ATV traffic was monitored as the officer hosted an ATV work detail. A large group of people were out having fun and enjoying the trails. A common issue that was found were juveniles on ATVs without helmets. It is required for anyone under the age of 18 to wear helmets. Law enforcement action was taken for such issues. Other enforcement action included boats being transported with drain pugs in, aquatic vegetation on the boats no ATV safety training and failing to display ATV registration.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake and smaller station lakes. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with an ATV work detail in the Red Top Loop trail where quite a few ATVs were seen out enjoying the opening weekend for the trails. The Officer also worked Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement around the Mille lacs lake area and several stops were made including one where the driver was taken to jail for a driver?s license violation. A lot of questions concerning the night ban on Mille Lacs Lake have been answered. Please remember that at the current time no one can be on Mille Lacs Lake after 10 pm with any fishing related equipment. The Officer also gave a fishing law presentation to the 4th graders at Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin for their annual fishing day where kids were taught fish identification, boating safety, fish line tying and other fishing techniques. A call of a possible waters violation was investigated and found that it was permitted work. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, boating, AIS and ATV violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the Law Enforcement Memorial on May 15th with the LEMA Honor Guard. She also attended Elk River Officer Todd Besser?s funeral with the LEMA honor guard. Speldrich worked ATV activity in General Andrew?s enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a day use area. She checked anglers at local accesses. Violations encountered were failure to remove a drain plug and fail to display current registration. Speldrich followed up on ongoing investigations and assisted the sheriff?s department with a disturbance at a campground where a woman had an altered mental state and had a knife. There were no injuries.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to deal with an increase in black bear activity. Property owners have been reporting bear damage and multiple car vs. bear crashes have occurred on area roadways. In almost all bear complaints, the common factor was birdfeeders, dog food or garbage causing a bear to keep visiting. Stowing these items away usually solves the bear problems. Fishing activity was busy and enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, using too many lines, unregistered boats and keeping fish out of season. Time was spent talking to the public at the annual Pine County Safety Day and assisting the county with search and rescue of missing persons.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring boating activity, and checked state forest areas. He attended the Pine County Sheriff?s Department Safety Day over the weekend. Numerous agencies were involved with showing the public the different types of equipment used for law enforcement, emergency, and medical responses in Pine County. CO Wynn also followed up on litter complaints, fishing complaints, and several calls regarding nuisance bears.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Cooler temperatures slow the walleye bite but fish were still seen. A fire investigation was finalized and time was spent enforcing invasive species laws. Enforcement action was taken on boating and fishing violations.

WREO Rob Haberman conducted education outreach at the Minnesota?s Sea Plane Association?s annual meeting about AIS laws and the importance relating to sea planes. WREO Haberman also attended the 2015 Camp Ripley Rendezvous for Boys Scouts teaching scouts the importance of AIS laws and species identification. WREO Haberman also conducted AIS law enforcement and worked on cases in his assigned work area.