Conservation Officers' reports: July 29, 2020
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes for boating activity with a focus also on aquatic vegetation and shoreline development. Guida addressed an individual operating an air-cooled outboard motor around in numerous circles directly in front of his lakeshore property with intent to cut emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation. Enforcement action was taken on the violations, which also included operating a watercraft with no PFD and failing to display current watercraft registration. Guida observed a personal watercraft operating 30 minutes after the deadline, which is one hour before sunset. The watercraft stop resulted in an 18-year-old operator being arrested for boating under the influence.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted at the Conservation Officer Academy with watercraft instruction. CO candidates were taught regulations and operation of patrol watercraft. McGowan also responded to numerous calls with questions regarding injured wildlife.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) assisted with watercraft Academy training at Camp Ripley. Sullivan patrolled ATV trails in the Foothills State Forest and observed trail use was still extremely high. Anglers and recreational boaters were also checked on area lakes.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd West) monitored recreational boating activity, checked anglers, and patrolled for ATV violations. Calls were taken for people cutting aquatic vegetation in several lakes, a pontoon pushing a floating bog across the lake, and someone keeping turtles in their bathtub with the intent of selling the shells when they died.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing, boating and ATV enforcement activities. Nuisance-bear calls were handled and assistance was provided at an ATV crash in Emily. Best was interviewed for a newspaper article as well. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal youth operation of an ATV, no helmets, no safety training, and traveling within 150 feet of docks on a PWC at speeds faster than slow-no-wake.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent most of the week on the water, checking anglers and boaters. The Cuyuna Rec Area was also worked on the lakes, campground, and trails. Trout fishing was pretty slow.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, watercraft and personal watercraft activity. Invasive species work continues with aquatic vegetation growth. Complaints of possible overlimits and illegal personal watercraft were handled.