District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2014-12-16

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice angling and spearing activity where the warm weather has made lake conditions worse. Expanding ice, increased current, and thick fog made it tough to get around the lakes. ATVs and snowmobiles on the ice continued to generate violations. Verkuilen also worked the final week of muzzleloader hunting where wet conditions and limited visibility also made for slow success.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked an angler with extra lines. The angler stated that he heard about the CO and that if a person should have violations, the CO will likely catch you. A citation was issued to this angler. The following day, a friend of this angler was found in possession of marijuana while fishing. This party stated that he knew that his friend was recently cited and the CO was checking anglers on the ice that day. A citation was issued to this angler. Additional violations included trespassing in which a bobcat was seized.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on smaller lakes and on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and weekend. Assistance was given to the Sheriff?s Office on a vehicle going through the ice on Mille Lacs Lake. The driver had tried to leave the lake in the fog and had wandered too close to a creek flowing into Mille Lacs. The driver escaped but this is a good reminder to be careful out on the ice. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a muzzleloader deer case. The party was found who had shot a deer and the case is being referred to the county attorney?s office for charging. A car kill deer permit was issued and lots of spearing, ATV, fishing, trapping and deer hunting related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included various big game violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a call of hunters? muzzleloader hunting with rifles. Speldrich followed up on a public waters violation where lakeshore owners used rip rap with fill below the ordinary high watermark. Traps were checked throughout the week and calls regarding incidental trapped fisher were taken. Speldrich also received a call where a driver of a motor vehicle hit an owl and wanted to keep it for taxidermy. Firearms seized during the firearms deer season were taken in for appraisal to determine their value.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored ice fishing pressure and found some recreational vehicle registration issues. A deer case was worked on a wolf hunter, which violations were found for possess deer without car-kill permit. Assistance was given to a group of fisherman who drove their ATV into open water. Assistance was given to the State Patrol on a traffic situation. A deer registration issue was followed up on.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw ice fishing conditions deteriorate as the week went by. Sustained, thawing temperatures caused fishing holes and large spear house holes to stay open. Melting surface water has also been draining toward open holes in the ice, causing existing holes in the ice to get larger. Needless to say, those traveling on the ice need to use caution. Many anglers have been removing their permanent ice shelters from area lakes. Some hunting activity was found as some muzzle loader hunters were out trying to harvest a deer during the final week of muzzle loader season.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) followed up on a littering complaint and checked anglers through the week. Ice thickness ranges from 8-14 inches in places. Ice conditions deteriorated over the weekend with warm weather and snow melting. Vehicle traffic is discouraged at this time in the Pine City area, and be sure to wear traction devices over boots if venturing on the ice. CO Wynn also answered questions about and trapping and concerns with trespassing.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Fog conditions made area lakes difficult to navigate. Croatt responded to a vehicle through the ice on Mille Lacs Lake. The driver was assisted out of the vehicle by the area fire department and no injuries were reported. An investigation involving a deer shot and left lying on private land was investigated. Charges are pending and a firearm was seized. Fishermen should use caution when traveling on area lakes due to the warm weather conditions.

WREO Rob Haberman conducted site visits in Pine and Aitkin for wetland restoration and possible public water violations. WREO Haberman also checked anglers on area lakes. Ice conditions are better but caution is still advised with the higher temps over the last few days. WREO Haberman also checked muzzleloader hunters on area state and county lands.