Conservation Officer Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy snowmobiling activity around much of the area. Area lakes remain navigable on the ice, but the upcoming warm trend could change that quickly. Make sure ice shelters are off by the deadline. Willis worked an ATV/snowmobile detail with other officers in the Nemadji State Forest.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time answering questions and talking about the DNR K9 Unit at the annual Safari Club International Expo in Brooklyn Park. Staples also assisted in picking up one of the newest additions to the K9 Unit. He answered calls about nuisance animals, including one that involved a complaint of cats urinating on a garage and a house. Staples couldn't offer much help other than advice to put up a fence. He spent a day at a local school being on a mock interview panel where seniors prepared resumes and went through actual interviews.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked a detail in the Nemadji State Forest in an effort to educate ATV users on groomed snowmobile trails. Several other COs assisted with the detail. Speldrich checked for ice shelters on area lakes as the deadline is fast approaching. She also checked anglers on area lakes and found 100% compliance with anglers remembering to buy their 2020 licenses. A few crappies and perch were seen. Speldrich investigated a littering complaint where the suspects dumped household garbage over a bridge onto the frozen river below. The suspects were identified. A deer feeding ban is now in effect for Pine and Carlton counties.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers on area lakes. She observed a portable fish house that, upon further investigation, was unattended. There was no identification on the shelter or shelter license displayed. There was also a tip-up out near the house with the flag up. Through the windows she was able to see several lines down in the house. Later, the anglers returned and advised her they had to go in to the bar to get lunch. They said they were super hungry, so they forgot to pull in their lines. They also explained that they were targeting crappies with the tip-up. There was a northern pike hooked on one of the lines that was down inside the house. She took enforcement action.