Conservation officer reports from a busy July Fourth weekend

Highlights (and lowlights) from the past week in the woods and waters of east-central Minnesota.




2 minute read

MN DNR Conservation Officers (Courtesy MN DNR)

Reports courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) spent a good amount of time on the St. Croix River throughout the week. He participated in Operation Dry Water. Anglers were checked and the warming/rising waters have seemed to slow the bite. Enforcement action included operating watercraft with expired registration, insufficient number of PFDs on a watercraft, and unsafely operating a watercraft with persons riding on the gunwales while underway.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a very busy and hot week monitoring boaters on area waters. The Fourth of July saw surprisingly low numbers of boaters out, but violation rates were high. Enforcement action for the week included expired registration, gunwale riding, no navigation lights and PWCs out after hours.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working area lakes and the St. Croix River checking anglers and watercraft users. Arntzen also assisted with searching for a drowning victim on the St. Croix river. Violations for the week included possession of illegal-length walleyes, fishing without a license, insufficient number of PFDs on board and riding on the gunwales.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent a busy Independence Day weekend patrolling for boating and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for several boating safety and ATV safety violations. Krauel also made arrests for boating under the influence and possession of methamphetamine. CO Krauel also spent time assisting at the Conservation Officer Academy.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a majority of the July 4 holiday weekend patrolling area lakes. Public accesses were packed to overflowing and boating traffic was heavy. Most boaters were respectful and operated safely but a few were stopped for driving carelessly and failing to have required safety equipment. The 90-degree temperatures and sunny weather also had a few boaters reporting heat-related illness symptoms.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent most of his time on the water this past week. Many people were out enjoying the hot weather on their boats and PWCs. The most common issue was PWCs operating too close to shore. Read the PWC rule sticker before operating.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a wolf depredation of two calves. It was determined the calves were not killed by wolves. Speldrich responded to a disturbance where a man was allegedly threatening people with a knife. She assisted the sheriff’s office with the call. Speldrich worked boat and water safety over the very warm Independence Day weekend. Enforcement action was taken for failing to have life-saving devices on a watercraft, failing to have personal flotation devices, expired registration, and not following the sheriff’s office ordinance for slow/no-wake. The ordinance was put in place because lakeshore owners complained of high water but some people seemed to not be concerned with it. Additional enforcement action was taken for angling license violations.


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Conservation officer reports from a busy July Fourth weekend