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      Marine officer patrolling waterways

      With the recent start of walleye fishing, we took an inside look at what Houghton County Sheriff's Department looks for when patrolling the waterways.

      You will see Deputy Doug Hebner, with the Houghton County Sheriff's Department, patrolling the Portage Canal and local lakes at least five days a week, now even more with start of walleye fishing. He's their marine officer who makes sure every boater is in compliance with the law.

      "What we're looking for is to make sure that your registration is valid, make sure you have your correct PFDs (personal flotation device), and all of your safety equipment that should be on board with you at all times," said Deputy Hebner.

      Sunday was a slow day for fishing on the Portage Canal, but he still came a cross a few who were testing their luck.

      Hebner says they look to see if registration is properly displayed on the boat and if it's valid.

      "The registration is displayed correctly...three-inch block-style letters. He has his watercraft sticker that's good until 2015," Hebner explained about a nearby watercraft.

      "There's his type four throwable flotation device. That's one of the safety equipment we look for. There's a young lady in the back who has her PFD, ready accessible on the chair. His other PFD is in there. There are three people in the boat, which he would at least need three PFDs, which he has them," Hebner added.

      Hebner says for the most part, those who are out fishing generally frequent the area and are compliant. He says they're just out to make sure everyone's fully equipped and safe.

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