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DNR Enforcement report: Overlimit on Lake of the Woods, Aquatic invasive species law compliance etc.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Aug. 1: District 1 - Baudette area CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) spent time on gray wolf depredation and monitoring for invasive specie...

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Aug. 1:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) spent time on gray wolf depredation and monitoring for invasive species among boaters. He also checked anglers on Lake of the Woods.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked a special enforcement detail, checked area anglers, and monitored ATV activity. Numerous calls were answered concerning the upcoming bear season and youth ATV safety classes. A complaint of an invasive noxious weed along the Thief River was checked. Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration violations and transport juvenile passengers without required helmet.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers and boaters on the Red Lake and Thief rivers. Area trails were patrolled for ATV activity. CO Warren also provided security checks at Lake Bronson and Old Mill state parks as they continued clean up from storm damage and transitioning back to an open status.

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CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) received a complaint of a bear entering an occupied residence and leaving with a bag of sugar and flour. ATV trails were checked for compliance and double tripping complaints on panfish were worked. CO Backer worked a boat and water safety detail on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action for the week included ATV violations, license violations, and boat and water safety violations.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. While checking anglers on Lake of the Woods, CO Gorecki observed a lone out of state angler fishing for several days with good success. When contact was made with the angler, he stated that fishing had been slow, but several filleted out walleye were found in his boat. After further investigation the man was found to be in possession of numerous walleye over the limit, including protected slot fish. The man stated that he has done this for years and this was his "one big trip to Minnesota" for the year. Charges are pending on the suspect.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports water levels on area rivers remains high, and some access sites have limited use. Compliance with the "pull the plug law" has been good. Calls regarding nuisance bear, a cougar sighting, watercraft registration, and deer season questions were addressed.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended a Use of Force Instructor meeting and prepared for fall district training events.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers and boaters. The officer attended a Beltrami County Township Officer meeting, and spoke to the group about ATV issues. Nuisance bear and goose problems were addressed.

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CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) monitored OHV activity in the Mississippi Headwater State Forest. Complaints of wolf depredation, illegal burning, an injured loon, and nuisance bear were investigated. A homeowner stated a bear came through a kitchen window and helped himself to sacks of flour and sugar. Time was spent on boat accesses checking compliance to the Aquatic Invasive Species laws. The officer worked a special enforcement project on Red Lake focusing on angling, boating, and AIS law compliance.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) assisted the USFWS with an investigation. A non-resident angler was found with an over limit of sunfish. The officer assisted Otter Tail County Sheriff's Deputies with a group of anglers stranded on a lake during a thunder storm. The boat was towed to the access. Deputies determined that all the anglers were intoxicated and/or under the influence of marijuana. Drugs were found in the boat, some of the anglers did not have angling licenses, and the craft was short PFDs. Many citations were issued. Boaters were contacted at several access sites and checked for AIS law compliance.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) checked anglers and boaters. The officer along with CO Forsberg worked a project focusing on boating safety compliance. The officers observed violations of late PWC operation, watercraft without lights after dark, no angling license and riding on the gunwales. The officer responded with other law enforcement officers to a report of a downed hot air balloon. Ground forces and aircraft searched the area and were unable to locate a balloon. It is believed the balloon was flying low but never touched down. No balloons or people have been reported missing. Complaints of aquatic plant destruction are being investigated. The officer spent time at the DNR Booth of the Becker County Fair answering questions.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. A Use of Force instructor meeting was attended. Wetland and public waters alteration sites were inspected. Aquatic Invasive Species inspections were done in the Detroit Lakes area, with enforcement action taken for violations.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended a Use of Force instructors meeting. Anglers and boaters were checked. AIS inspections were done. A search warrant document was filed with the court.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Activity on area lakes has been high. A 91-year-old angler was observed fishing with too many lines. When the officer contacted him the angler stated he knew it was illegal and had been watching for the game warden, but his eye sight and hearing wasn't as good as it use to be! Complaints of people shooting geese, shore line alterations, aquatic plant management, and fish over limits were investigated.

Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson checked boaters in Becker and Otter Tail counties for compliance to the Aquatic Invasive Species laws, education and enforcement was done. Time was spent in the DNR Booth at the Becker County Fair answering DNR-related questions.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

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Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew five Leech and multi-lake surveys and provided overhead air support for two drowning locations. Activity was very high for recreational boaters during this warm weather. It's always wise to wear your PFD. It might just save your life. Heineman gave an annual low-level check ride to a CO pilot and he also completed his low-level competency flight to maintain his low-level waver.

Related Topics: FISHING
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