Here are some recent highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers who patrol the St. Croix River and its tributaries.
Fishing violations, water safety, and invasive species transport were some of the common themes reported.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes for anglers and watercraft users. Arntzen also investigated several wetland and public waters violations and handled TIP calls. Violations for the week included illegal-length walleye, overlimit of walleyes, fishing without a license, registration issues, insufficient number of PFDs and failure to remove the drain plug.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled the area for shore anglers. One person was reported to have kept a bass during the catch-and-release season. Hanna responded and investigated. The male believed that a largemouth bass was a carp. The violation was addressed and the bass was returned to the water.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received a call from a boater who heard a bang and then saw a Canada goose flopping in the water. After an investigation, it was determined the lakeshore owner had attempted to scare off a goose with a pellet gun because they were tired of them defecating on the lakeshore. The goose died after the pellet hit it in the neck. Enforcement action was taken for taking a goose out of season.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted more ranchers who had depredation problems where wolves harassed cattle and took newborn calves. Calm winds and warmer weather throughout the holiday weekend had lakes and ATV trails very busy. Panfish, bass and pike were biting well on many lakes. One angler was found trying to make the most out of a crappie bite by using four fishing poles at the same time. The angler said to Grundmeier: “Sorry about that. If I’d known you were watching me I would have only used one rod.”
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week enforcing ATV/OHM issues in several areas in Pine County. Many hours were spent on the boat patrolling for unsafe boating activity and checking anglers. People were educated about transporting water from area lakes and rivers.