Conservation Officer Jacob Willis (Brookston) had a busy opening weekend of angling with many boats out despite the cold. One boat was found with two anglers fishing from it with 2008 registration displayed, a leak in the boat and no personal flotation devices on board at all. A citation was issued in this case. Enforcement action was also taken for operating an OHM in the right of way, operating an unregistered ATV, failure to remove a boat drain plug while transporting, no PFDs on board and failure to display registration as required.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent the fishing opener patrolling area rivers and trout streams. Fishing success was slow in the area with very few violations found. Enforcement contacts were made for angling in a closed area and watercraft-registration violations. Extra patrol time was also spent in area state parks. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office in searching for suspects who broke into several vehicles in the Fond du Lac State Forest near Jay Cooke State Park. Ongoing dog training continues with new dogs and K9 Schody.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked fishing opener on area lakes and rivers. OHV enforcement patrols were also conducted throughout the week. Humphrey spent time working in area state parks, wildlife management areas and at public water accesses. Contacts were made for boating equipment, registration and angling license violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Mille Lacs Lake on the fishing opener with CO Matson. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration, no angling license in possession and no fire extinguisher. The weather didn’t cooperate with a snow/sleet mix covering the ground. Still, many hardy anglers made it out. The Nemadji State Forest is now open as trail conditions have dried. Speldrich investigated additional potential public waters/Wetland Conservation Act violations on Sturgeon Lake. Please contact DNR Ecological and Water Resources if you plan to do work in the water and review our webpage for when permits are required (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/permits/water/needpermit.html). For work above the ordinary high water mark, contact the Pine County SWCD. Remember that just because your neighbors are doing it doesn’t mean it’s legal.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) focused on angling and boating enforcement on a busy opening weekend. Anglers braved the weather and crowded landings for opener along the St. Louis River. Complaints of angling in closed areas were handled, along with licensing issues. Time was spent in Jay Cooke State Park and handling ATV-related complaints. Calls for assistance with fires were handled and numerous nuisance-animal calls were taken. Please remove your bird/bear feeders.