Conservation Officer

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. A typical mid-winter slump is keeping houses moving around. Verkuilen also monitored sled traffic, checked some rabbit hunters and attended training.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling enforcement. She also spent time in training at Camp Ripley. She also spent time following up on a complaint of ATV operators rutting up a snowmobile trail and operating off-trail in the Solana State Forest. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended training at Camp Ripley. She received questions about registering antique snowmobiles and followed up on ongoing cases.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked snowmobile, fishing, and ATV activities. Fishing pressure remains high, with panfish and pike showing up on smaller lakes. Training was also attended, along with firearms safety class plans in the vacant Pierz station.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled some nuisance-animal complaints that included wolves harassing cattle and horses. Most of the week was spent on area lakes checking ice anglers. Fishing activity continued to increase along with the increase in ice thicknesses. Time was also spent completing annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week training at Camp Ripley. Wolf depredation complaints were investigated. Time was cut short on Mille Lacs Lake while investigations of illegal operation on grant-in-aid snowmobile trails were conducted. Remember, you cannot operate any motor vehicles other than snowmobiles on groomed snowmobile trails unless otherwise designated.

Isle – vacant.

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