Conservation officer reports | Mille Lacs Messenger | – Aitkin Independent Age


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CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked increased angler activity despite water temperatures that are slow to warm. Turkey hunters and ATV riders were checked making use of the sunny and dry conditions. Verkuilen also attended training and answered questions regarding trespassing.  CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) attended training at Camp Ripley. She also monitored angling, ATV, and AIS compliance in the Isle and surrounding areas. Griffith also spent time with her neighboring officers getting equipment ready for open-water fishing and the fishing opener. Nice weather throughout the week brought anglers to Mille Lacs Lake. ATV activity also picked up on the Soo Line. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with an extra line and using game fish as bait.CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling area for fishing, boating, and ATV riding activity. She also worked on getting equipment ready for the fishing opener. She would like to remind anglers to check boats for proper safety equipment and up-to-date registration. They should also make sure to purchase an angling license and review fishing regulations prior to fishing opener.CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on equipment items in preparation for opening weekend. Calls came in about bear-season questions. Time was also spent regarding firearms safety training requirements and on meetings with volunteer instructors.CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time helping landowners with nuisance-animal calls. Complaints included a fox killing chickens, wolves harassing livestock, and black bears destroying garbage cans, bird feeders and screen doors. Visits were also made to a few properties where homeowners had their spring burning activities get away from them. Fire danger was high throughout the week.CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, turkey hunting, boating, and ATV activity this past week. Violations were encountered for various boating, sport fishing, and fire-related issues.CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. Littering along the St. Croix River continues to be a growing issue. Thank you to those that have cleaned up after others. ATV patrol was done in the Chengwatana State Forest.

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