District 10 - Mille Lacs areaLast updated: 2018-03-20
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) answered questions regarding Mille Lacs Lake and the northern pike season. Equipment maintenance was conducted. The officer also assisted with a snowmobile accident in Redtop.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received complaints about ATVs operating on state forest snowmobile trails and rutting them up. ATVs are allowed on groomed trails within the state forest only. Grant-in-aid snowmobile trails are off-limits. Other trails must be signed open to ATVs for you to operate on them. DNR Parks and Trails recommends that you only operate ATVs on groomed trails at temperatures of 30 degrees and colder to protect the trail and make riding enjoyable for all. Speldrich investigated a TIP call of hunting out of season in the Chengwatana State Forest. She also took enforcement action for leaving property at a public access.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked panfishing, ATV, and some snowmobiling activities. Migrating birds have appeared back in the northland, with cranes being the most vocal. A wolf sighting was investigated in Sherburne County, along with an injured eagle that got a ride from concerned citizens to the Raptor Center. Starr checked a group of crappie fishermen and found one of them was possibly going into labor, but she could not ride the ATV back to the landing. She indicated it was past her due date but that she wanted to catch some crappies before the baby arrived.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found some anglers out catching a few sunfish and crappies. Lakes still had good, thick ice conditions but melting snow had anglers dealing with a lot of slush in some areas. A few snowmobilers were still out riding the trails but by the end of the week trails had melted down to bare ground, making some of them impassable. Time was also spent assisting farmers who had wolves hanging around the cattle and calves. One wolf depredation investigation confirmed a site where multiple calves had been killed by wolves. Commercial inspections of minnow retailers were also completed.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) checked anglers and state forest areas during the week. He spent time following up on commercial enforcement, worked ATV complaint areas, and monitored the deteriorating snowmobile trail conditions. Trails are no longer rideable in the Pine City area. Wynn also assisted the Pine County Sheriff?s Office with rounding up loose cattle, a psychological issue, and catching an individual who fled from deputies on foot.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) investigated a wanton waste complaint and patrolled area lakes. A few fishermen were out looking for northern pike and perch on Mille Lacs Lake and having some luck while others were chasing sunfish and crappies on smaller lakes. Most forest roads are starting to see the spring thaw and it is expected that closures will be happening soon.