DNR enforcement report: Snowmobile activity on the increase
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Jan. 31: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers on the southwest side ...
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Jan. 31:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers on the southwest side of Lake of the Woods. Maintenance was done on the station snowmobile and other equipment.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) found angling success to be slowing down on the west side of Lake of the Woods. Snowmobilers are using the trails in the area with the trail conditions in excellent shape. Youth are reminded to carry their snowmobile safety certificate when out snowmobiling. Enforcement action taken for angling violations.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) spent time checking anglers and snowmobilers on Lake of the Woods. He followed up on a wetlands violation. CO Birchem met with other conservation officers in Region 1 and worked on some invasive species issues.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked area anglers and monitored snowmobile trails. An evening patrol on the Red River of the North yielded enforcement contacts to a single shelter for angling with extra lines, minor consumption of alcohol, and possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana. Other enforcement action for the week included snowmobile registration violations, no state trail permit, failure to stop a snowmobile at a crossroad, and excessive speed.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked snowmobile activity on area trails and waterways. Activity increased with a few days of warmer temperatures. Anglers were checked on the Thief and Red Lake rivers. Most anglers reported a few pike biting with a few walleyes in the evenings. COs Warren and Woinarowicz handled a call of a coyote with mange in a dog house. A call of a bobcat killing chickens was received and appropriate action was taken. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class in Middle River.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) worked a busy week on Upper Red Lake. The walleye bite has improved with several limits observed throughout the weekend. CO Vollbrecht responded to a call of a dog caught in a snare. The dog managed to free itself before the officer arrived. Violations encountered during the week included angling violations.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Fishing success continues to be spotting despite warmer temperatures through most of the week. Snowmobiling activity increased due to a fresh blanket of new snow and warmer temperatures. He attended a commercial minnow and invasive species meeting. He also handled nuisance animal complaints.
Karlstad - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports snowmobile trails in excellent condition, and activity is above average. Angler success is mixed. Deer feeding questions are coming in and being referred to DNR Wildlife. The officer spoke to a newspaper reporter and radio host regarding winter activities.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted with Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic. Anglers, trappers, and snowmobilers were checked. Litter and sick deer complaints were investigated. The short break in the winter temperatures brought out some skunks and bear for a short time. The officer assisted with two snowmobile crashes. One resulted in a death. A male stopped to warn the rest of his group about a hazard and was struck by one of the other sleds.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Complaints of wanton waste were investigated. The complaints involve deer taken during the deer season.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers. Snowmobile activity remains high, and the trails are in excellent condition. Anglers continue to struggle with deep snow and slush on the lakes. Complaints of litter left on the lakes and snowmobile trespass were investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) investigated several TIP Calls. Snowmobile activity remains high, and the trails are in very good condition. The officer investigated a complaint of a vehicle stuck on a minimum maintenance road that is used as a snowmobile trail in the winter. The occupants, including a young child, were not prepared for the cold weather, and were several miles from maintained roads. The officer, with assistance from snowmobilers, was able to get the people to a warm safe place. Violations detected: unattended angling lines, no angling license in possession, and fail to display snowmobile registration. He attended a meeting about minnows and invasive species.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports an increase in snowmobile activity. Snowmobile speed has become a problem and snowmobilers are reminded that the speed limit is 50 mph on public land, lakes and trails. Angling activity also increased, some people are beginning to plow roads on the lakes, but slush spots are still an issue. Angler success for walleye has slowed, while the crappie and sunfish bite has improved. Predator hunting activity continues to increase. Coyote hunt contests are becoming common. He attended a meeting about minnows and invasive species.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Deep snow and slush is discouraging anglers and some shelters have been removed from the lakes. The officer worked on pending cases with the county attorney. He attended a meeting about minnows and invasive species.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. Deep snow and slush is affecting access to lakes. Snowmobile activity remains high, and trails are in excellent condition. Asset inventory and equipment maintenance was completed. He attended a meeting about minnows and invasive species.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. A TIP call involving fishing was investigated. The officer assisted with a Snowmobile Safety Class Field Day in Rothsay. He attended a meeting about minnows and invasive species.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson arranged a meeting for Districts 1 and 2 officers to discuss minnows and invasive species. She also checked snowmobilers and anglers.
Bemidji #1 - vacant.
Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) moved the helicopter up to Thief River Falls and started the TB management area deer survey.