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Weekly DNR Enforcement report

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Feb. 24:

District 1 - Baudette area

 CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with an injured barred owl that was found by the police department. The owl was taken to a local rehabber. Paperwork was completed and submitted regarding recent illegal activity on Lake of the Woods. CO Huener checked anglers on Lake of the Woods with COs Vollbrecht, McGowan, Miska and Holt. Violations encountered included angling with extra lines, possessing marijuana and possessing over limits of walleye and sauger. Fishing on LOW continues to be slow.

 CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) performed equipment maintenance, checked area anglers, and completed required training. Area trails were patrolled during a local vintage snowmobile ride and a call of dogs chasing deer was investigated. Enforcement action for the week included snowmobile registration violations, no state trail permit, allowing illegal operation of snowmobiles by a juvenile, and no snowmobile safety training.

 CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods with most anglers reporting a slow bite. Anglers were checked on the Red Lake and Thief rivers, and snowmobile activity was worked on area trails and rivers. State parks were monitored for activity and questions answered in regards to parking and cross-country skiing.

 CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored snowmobile trail activity and checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office locating and checking on anglers who became stranded by weather on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra lines and transport fillets without skin patch.

 Baudette -vacant.

 Blackduck #2 - vacant.

 Karlstad - vacant.

 Warroad #1 - vacant.

 Warroad #2 - vacant.

 District 2 - Bemidji area

 CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers and patrolling area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails. Time was also spent attending a district meeting in Detroit Lakes and investigating a complaint of an illegally possessed deer. Violations included take/possess fish over-limit, no car-kill deer permit, and various snowmobile related violations.

 CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and patrolled area snowmobile trails.

 CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity in the area. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition and were patrolled throughout the week. CO Vollbrecht worked a Lake of the Woods work detail with several different COs. A district training and meeting were attended in Detroit Lakes. CO Vollbrecht and CO Holt assisted with enforcement efforts at the annual Eelpout Festival in Walker.    

 CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking snowmobilers and ice anglers. A district meeting and training session was attended with other officers from Districts 2 & 3. Officer Holt spent one day working the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake and then worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with several other officers. Enforcement activity for the week included angling with extra lines, illegal length walleyes and multiple angling license violations.

 CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and snowmobilers. Many houses are being removed from area lakes. Time was also spent working predator hunters, following up on a complaint of deer dumped in a ditch and an area meeting and training were attended.

 CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting White Earth Conservation Officers with a dumping violation, and the Otter Tail Co Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile that went through the ice on the Ottertail River and patrolling area lakes and trails. Two instances of pickups stuck on the snowmobile trails were investigated. Dogs chasing deer calls were also looked into with the owner of a pair of dogs contacted. CO Vinton attended a district meeting and completed a possible license fraud investigation for North Dakota Game and Fish.

 WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking snowmobile and fishing activity. A meeting with the Region 1 hydrologists was attended at Itasca State Park. Stattelman presented on the Public Waters violation process and the importance of communication within the process. Time was spent working on open cases and moving towards closing out old cases. A district meeting and training was attended.

 Moorhead - vacant.

 Detroit Lakes - vacant.

 Aviation Section

 CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports giving flight instruction to a CO pilot for a majority of the week. Jensen provided a short aerial recon flight for Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake. Jensen flew one wolf pack count flight in northwest Minnesota and performed hangar maintenance tasks during the poor weather during the week.

 CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley/Brainerd on aviation FTO training with Jensen and Buker. Also, an aerial surveillance of the Eelpout Festival in Walker was flown.

 NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas flew more deer surveys, completing permit area 221 in central MN. Snow conditions were very good, and deer numbers could likely be in the 8-10/mile range. Many plots were in open areas with little winter cover.

 NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended to maintenance on 605NR and worked on administrative items.