DNR conservation officers' report: Cold snap slows outdoors activity

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for Jan. 24: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled snowmobile trails and wildlife management areas. Anglers were ...

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

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled snowmobile trails and wildlife management areas. Anglers were checked on Hayes Lake, Lake of the Woods and Red Lake. Violations detected: over limit of sauger, possession of marijuana, fish with too many lines and possess illegal length walleye.

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) investigated a livestock depredation complaint involving a bobcat killing a goat. Angling activity has slowed on LOW, probably due to the extremely cold temperatures.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) presented a snowmobile law class to area law enforcement officers. A bus driver assisted a stranded motorist in the Beltrami Island State Forest. The motorist spent a cold night in his vehicle. He started the vehicle occasionally to keep warm. It pays to be prepared and know what to do when the unexpected happens. Invasive species issues were worked on, and litter complaints investigated.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored snowmobile activity in the vicinity of the I-500 USCC Cross Country Snowmobile Race. Racers from the U.S. and Canada completed the race over a three-day period. Some spectators would watch the racers pass by at a high rate of speed, then try to copy them. Violations detected: snowmobile speeding, snowmobile registration issues, and fish with too many lines.

CO Angela Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on the Red Lake and Thief rivers. Most anglers report a slow bite. Snowmobile activity was slowed by the bitterly cold temperatures. Activity related to the snowmobile race was monitored. A call of a young deer seeking shelter in a straw covered dog house was received.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) monitored angling activity on Red Lake. The walleye bite was slow, possibly due to the cold temperatures. A work crew focused on angling activity on Red Lake and LOW. The officer assisted local law enforcement officers with a suicidal person.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) checked anglers and snowmobilers. While checking anglers on LOW, the officer checked two anglers in a large house. The anglers stated they only had a few fish. The officer checked the fish bucket that was sitting in one of the floor cut outs, and noticed a fish tail sticking out from under the house. A subsequent search revealed 33 walleye and sauger stashed under the house. The fish were seized and citations issued for over limits.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports cold weather and blizzard like conditions kept outdoor activity to a minimum. The officer spoke to the Red Lake County Sportsmen's Club and the Plummer Sportsmen's Club about the past year highlights. He also spoke to a Snowmobile Safety Class, in McIntosh, about laws, safety, and riding ethics. Investigation into complaints from the hunting season continues.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers and snowmobilers. He assisted with a Snowmobile Safety Class, planned a Firearms Safety Instructor Training Class, and participated in a radio talk show about DNR activity. Equipment maintenance and administrative duties were completed.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) reports fewer numbers of anglers and snowmobilers out during the extreme cold weather.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and trappers. Travel on area lakes is difficult due to deep snow and slush. Some areas of thin ice have been reported. Complaints of dogs chasing deer, litter left on the lakes, and snowmobile trespass were investigated.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) checked anglers and patrolled snowmobile trails. Very cold temperatures kept snowmobile activity low. Preparation for a pending trial was done. A student intern participated in a ride along with the officer.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. Conditions for predator hunters are excellent, but fur prices are low. Angler success is low, and travel on the lakes continues to be difficult due to deep snow and slush. Anglers are reminded to check their shelters and prevent freeze in. Snowmobile trail conditions are good, but areas where the wind hits are rough and drifted.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Cold weather, deep snow, and slush slowed angling activity. Snowmobile activity continues to be steady. Snowmobile trails are in good condition.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Outdoor activity was slowed by the cold temperatures. Trappers reported an accidentally taken fisher and bobcat.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. The officer assisted with a taxidermist inspection, and spoke to a Snowmobile Safety Class in Rothsay about laws, safety, and ethics. Aeration inspections were done, and an injured eagle call investigated.


Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson worked on open wetland alteration cases, training updates, and wetland law reviews. A wetland alteration site was inspected. She also checked snowmobilers and anglers.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the helicopter moose survey in Ely and moved helicopters back to Brainerd for needed maintenance. Both helicopters will be on deer surveys this upcoming week.

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