District 10 - Mille Lacs area

Last updated: 2015-07-14



CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) monitored more lake recreation as air and water temperatures continue to increase. Vacation season is at its prime bringing non-residents to the area who often need review of license parameters, fish limits, and Mille Lacs restrictions. Verkuilen also assisted with checking a complaint on a Pine County river, spoke at a lake association meeting, and continued to take questions regarding baby wildlife concerns.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended Isle Days and staffed the Wall of Shame and lasershot. The event had a great turnout with many great question asked. Assistance was given to the Mille Lacs County Sheriff?s Office for lost campers in Kathio State Park and a structure fire south of Isle. An arrest was made on an active arrest warrant out of Aitkin County. A call of a wolf attacking a calf was also investigated. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a highway and operating an ATV in a public road right of way wit out a valid drives license.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working fishermen and boat and water safety enforcement throughout the week and weekend. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a Boat and Water Safety Class at the Big Sandy Corps of Engineers facility. An armoring meeting was attended at Camp Ripley where preparations were made for upcoming in-service inspections of firearms. Patrol was done for ATV activity throughout the Malmo Station and a call of an injured deer that could not get up was handled. The Officer helped staff a booth at Isle Days where the lasershot and TIP trailer were set up. Lots of law related questions were answered and quite a few kids and adults tried their hand at the laser shot system. Questions regarding upcoming fall seasons were fielded and patrol was done for AIS violations. Please remember to drain all of your water related equipment, remove and aquatic vegetation and leave your plug out of your watercraft while traveling down the road.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted Pine County Sheriff?s Office with a search for a suspect in an assault were a knife was brandished. The suspect?s last known location was near the Willard Munger Bike Trail. Officer Speldrich located the suspect and she was taken in to custody. Assistance was also given to Moose Lake PD in the arrest of an individual in possession of methamphetamine. Speldrich received information from another DNR employee that a tent and belongings were abandoned in a forestry campground. An investigation showed that the owner of the property was in custody in the Pine County Jail. Officer Speldrich and Officer Verkuilen patrolled the Moosehorn and Kettle rivers on kayaks. They located an illegal fence across one of the rivers. They also encountered two class 2 ATV operators who decided to wash their ATVs in the river not realizing two conservation officers were watching them.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) investigated a case of a private citizen having a baby wild swan for sale on the Internet. The swan was seized and enforcement action was taken for illegal possession of migratory waterfowl. Fishing was found to be slow over the week. CO Starr was the guest speaker at a lake association meeting, where wild rice, invasive species, shoreline alteration, creel results, and aquatic vegetation topics were discussed. An ATV work detail led to several violations on the Soo Line trail, including registration, youth without ATV permits, and riding on county highways. CO Starr also worked at the TIP trailer and lasershot for the Isle Days event. Vandalism to some WMA property is also being investigated, with some good leads on the case.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time following up on illegal burning complaints and patrolling area rivers. One burning case resulted in charges filed on a property owner that tried to avoid landfill fees by adding a lot of illegal items to a permitted burn. The individual tried to get the burning done late one night but couldn?t quite hide the noxious fumes given off from the shingles, plastic, garbage and household appliances they threw into the burn pile. Time was also spent patrolling remote river areas where some river campers were found trying to improve their odds of catching a limit by leaving out lots of extra fishing rods.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls during the week of baby animals thought to have been abandoned, nuisance animals, and burning questions. He checked on ATV complaint areas, checked anglers around Pine City, and spent time on the Kettle River. CO Wynn assisted the Pine County Sheriff?s Department with retrieval of signs and barrels that were thrown into the Snake River over the holiday weekend. Enforcement contacts included angling with extra lines and failing to display valid boating registration.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area WMAs and state forest. Two separate lake accesses have been damaged from spinning tires digging ruts in parking areas and roads. Time was spent at Camp Ripley on armorer?s training, organizing paperwork for a seized vehicle going to action and completing some online training. Fluctuating weather patterns has put a damper on the fish bite.

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement around his assigned work area. WREO Haberman worked on wetland and public water cases in his assigned work area. WREO Haberman also helped training staff at Camp Ripley for the upcoming CO academy.