Conservation officer reports

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked summer lake activity, including late and early PWC riders, a lot of non-resident anglers, and boat operators perpetually searching for safety equipment. Drought conditions are raising questions and concerns about shoreline alterations and fire use. Verkuilen also checked ATV traffic and monitored their use around a local community festival.  

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling activity throughout the week on Mille Lacs Lake. The live bait restriction ended, bringing more anglers out on the lake over the weekend. Time was also spent monitoring ATV activity on the Soo Line and nearby trails. Several wetland violations were followed up on throughout the week. Griffith worked with a neighboring officer on Saturday to help teach a firearm safety class. Enforcement action was taken on ATV, angling, and wetland violations.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to have a fire extinguisher in the boat, failure to have life jackets for all passengers in boat, failure to display an ATV registration decal, failure to display ATV registration numbers, youth operating ATVs without helmets, youth operating ATVs without a guardian, no lights while operating an ATV, operating an ATV on a state highway, operating an OHM on a state highway, and operating an OHM without registration. She also followed up on a complaint of two landowners removing aquatic vegetation along their shoreline. Resource Protection Notifications and citations were issued.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked ATV and fishing activities and assisted local law enforcement.  A case of a 14-year-old juvenile operating a 1000 CC machine on a busy county highway was found. The youth had no helmet, ran a stop sign across a state highway, no registration displayed, and was operating faster than reasonable. Starr took a call from a college student moving back to a second-story apartment. When a storage bag containing floor rugs was opened, a stowaway possum popped out and made a ruckus. Luckily, it was captured and released unharmed.  

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