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WEEKLY DNR ENFORCEMENT REPORT: Rainy River, Wanton waste etc.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for April 14:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) spoke at and assisted a local police department with a DARE class. Follow-up continues with the last couple fish houses left on Lake of the Woods. Many northern pike tip-up anglers have been using the lake with mixed results. Mature female northern pike seem to be spread out a bit more than most years. Enforcement action for the week was taken on an angler using too many lines, ATV and OHM violations. An investigation is pending on a wanton waste case involving three deer that were left hanging since last November.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls of an injured owl and dogs chasing deer. The law and ethics portion of Firearms Safety classes were taught in Oslo, Argyle/Stephen and Newfolden. CO Woinarowicz assisted a North Dakota Game Warden with investigations finding violations of non-residents buying Minnesota resident licenses and taking big game with illegal license.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored activity on the Red Lake and Thief Rivers and access checks were performed. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of a Snowmobile Safety class in Middle River. Trails, WMAs and other areas were monitored for ATV and off-road vehicle activities. Questions were answered in regards to gray wolves, turkey and deer seasons.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angler activity on special regulation lakes and monitored area ATV activity throughout the week. He gave a laws and regulations presentation and assisted the instructors at the Kelliher Firearms Safety classes. Time was spent monitoring spring beaver trapping activity and an accidental catch otter was seized. He completed a commercial inspection at a local taxidermy shop. CO Regas investigated a report of an injured deer which was being followed by a man who appeared to be tracking the deer and was in possession of a rifle. CO Regas and sheriff deputies followed tracks to a residence about a half mile from the original call. The investigation revealed the family’s dog had chased down a deer injuring the deer and the dog’s owner had been tracking the deer to euthanize it. The dog’s owner had taken corrective action with the dog prior to officers making contact with the owner of the dog. Neither the dog’s owner nor officers were able to locate the deer after several hours of tracking it. Time was spent investigating an ATV trespassing complaint and fish house removal progress continues to be monitored on the remaining shelter on Upper Red Lake.  

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers on the Rainy River were reporting a good walleye bite until Saturday when the water clarity diminished greatly. The river is now open through Frontier landing, and opening up at a much faster rate than earlier this spring. Anglers on Lake of the Woods are reporting difficult and slushy conditions that are making travel difficult.

Baudette -vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #1 - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and ATV operators. Fish have also started to run in area creeks. Time was also spent working on a game farm inspection. A firearms related training session was attended in Bagley.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) completed mandatory trainings, monitored anglers and beaver trappers. A draining complaint was closed and permit questions were answered concerning wood cutting on WMAs and shoreline alterations. A dead deer was reported on a lake and a reportedly injured eagle was actually so gorged on a car kill deer it could not take flight.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) prepared for upcoming in-service training, answered calls related to turkey season and checked beaver trappers.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored ice angling activity in the Bemidji area. Reports are spotty with most people targeting perch. Time was spent checking area forest roads for activity and monitoring ATV activity.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling and ATV activity. Most forest roads and trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest are now closed due to melting snow and wet conditions. CO Holt attended a DNR Earth Day/Arbor Day event at the Paul Bunyan Mall in Bemidji. Questions were answered regarding AIS, angling and hunting seasons.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting employees for DNR Fisheries and Waters with a site inspection after a neighboring landowner complained of water backing up onto their property. CO Vinton assisted a North Dakota Conservation Officer with a possible license fraud investigation. Several calls were received of deer parts getting dumped in area ditches. All instances appeared to be the result of the melting snow uncovering the parts dumped during the end of deer season.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked anglers and ATV/vehicle enforcement in closed areas of the State Forests. Enforcement action taken for ATV’s in a closed area, over limit of sunfish and culling/sorting.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the ice pulling away from shore. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and following up on a trapping complaint. CO Forsberg also investigated a license fraud case, conducted a game farm inspection, and followed up on a complaint of tree branches left on lake from tree removal. He also talked at FAS class in Hawley, checked for fish run, and assisted with a commercial fur buyer inspection.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent time working on upcoming trainings. WCA and public waters cases were reviewed and several sites were visited on follow up from last year. Several open cases were worked on and LGUs contacted regarding progress. Cases were discussed and guidance given to field COs regarding WCA issues.

Moorhead - vacant.

Detroit Lakes - vacant.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent the week in Grand Rapids and Brainerd receiving aviation flight training. Aircraft and other aviation equipment maintenance issues were attended to in Grand Rapids.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two wolf pack counts and did some prep work for the upcoming statewide goose survey. 

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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