Conservation officer reports 7-14-21 | Mille Lacs Messenger | messagemedia.co – Aitkin Independent Age

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For the week of July 5: CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) saw local water temperatures as high as they typically get, which brought out a lot of water recreation. Inexperienced PWC riders led to violations related to operation times and lack of required training. Several boats were lacking enough PFDs and proper display of registration. Large holiday gatherings also resulted in juveniles on ATVs without proper safety equipment.CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) focused on ATV activity on the Soo Line Trail and Redtop Trail throughout the week. Mille Lacs Lake and Cedar Lake were also worked for angling and recreational boating activity. A call was fielded about a loon that was on the side of the road and unable to fly away. Griffith brought the loon to Mille Lacs Lake, where it was successfully released. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer who had an ATV rider flee. Griffith also assisted at an ATV accident in the Solana State Forest. Enforcement action was taken on several ATV, angling and boating violations.CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV riding activity. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, failure to have a fire extinguisher in the boat, failure to have life jackets for all passengers in a boat, failure to have a throwable PFD in a boat, failure to transfer sale of a boat, failure to display registration numbers on a boat, operating a jet ski one hour before sunset, unregistered ATV, ATV with expired registration, failure to display ATV registration, failure to display ATV registration numbers, failure to transfer sale of an ATV, operating an ATV with youth passengers without helmets, operating an ATV with youth passengers without seatbelts, and no lights while operating an ATV. Over the busy Fourth of July weekend, Whiteoak also responded to two ATV rollovers and assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office on a domestic assault.CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on two pending cases of property damage in the Mille Lacs WMA with charges pending. ATV, fishing, and boating activities were worked over the busy weekend. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer with a private access lake. A night-ban fishing case was also worked on. Starr also cited an individual for using illegal fireworks, which set a very fast-spreading swamp fire. The Isle Fire Department did a great job and prevented the evacuation of Father Hennepin State Park.CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, boating, ATV and OHM enforcement this week. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV, fishing, and boating violations. An individual was arrested for fleeing in a motor vehicle and various other offenses.

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