Weekly Conservation Officer's report

District 18 - Rochester area

Last updated: 2017-09-18

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week checking anglers on the Mississippi River. Time was also spent checking small game and archery hunters during the opening weekend. A regulations talk was given at a local sportsman?s club and a law and ethics talk was given to a firearm safety class. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession and failure to have Type 4 flotation device on board watercraft.

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) spent time throughout the week focusing on smallmouth bass fishermen in his station. September 11th was the final day for anglers to keep smallmouth bass, and multiple people were found to be in possession of the fish after the closing date. This serves as a good reminder for anglers to familiarize themselves with fall fishing possession limits and seasons. Fishing with extra lines continues to be an issue with anglers throughout the station. CO Hill gave a natural resources presentation to the Region 8 FFA Leadership Conference held at Cannon Falls High School. FFA chapters throughout the entire southeast were in attendance. CO Hill took a report of ATVs illegally operating in the Zumbro River. Other enforcement action for the week included no license in possession, take fish without a license, and transport a loaded firearm.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy opening weekend of the 2017 archery deer and small game season. The hunters were out in force all weekend but it appeared the squirrel success was down. The deer hunters were seeing a few deer but most are just waiting and scouting for the later seasons. Early goose hunters were also found along with horse people in the state forest. Fishing on the big river remains solid with bass, crappies, sunfish, perch, and some pike found in the bag. Some ATV, OHM, registration, and license issues were addressed this week.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and small game and bow hunters over the weekend. Fishing success was good on the river with lots of anglers out. The rain and heat seemed to slow things down for the start to the small game and bow opener.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester #2) spent the week patrolling for sport fishing, small game, and archery hunters. Additional efforts were spent handling wildlife complaints and working ginseng enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for unlawfully picking ginseng in a Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), fishing without a license, taking small game after hours, and burning prohibited materials.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy small game opener. Unfortunately the hot muggy weather made hunting poor at best. Squirrel hunters did poorly stating the gnats and mosquitoes were horrible. Deer hunters on Saturday reported the deer were not moving until after dark. Sunday brought much cooler weather and deer movement increased. Compliance was high and trespass complaints were down. CO Boyum assisted Wisconsin DNR in a ginseng case where a subject failed to purchase a WI license.

CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) had a busy week leading up to small game/archery openers. CO Fogarty located parties preempting State Forest campsites. Education was given in regards to what first come first served means. CO Fogarty also took a TIP complaint of persons using ATV?s at the Wet Bark Trail Recreation area. Two juvenile males were located and made to read the rules of the State Forest out loud. After the reading they both agreed that ATV use was prohibited within the State Forest. CO Fogarty dealt with other State Forest violations and a few ATV violations.

Rochester #1 vacant.