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ATVs using state snowmobile trails on Lake of the Woods among recent issues facing DNR conservation officers

Reminder to purchase your State Park vehicle permit when using Lake Bronson or other Minnesota state parks, as many of the permits observed have now expired.

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, Jan. 31:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Warroad River. Several complaints have been taken regarding ATVs on the lake state snowmobile trails. Assistance was given with the Roseau Snowmobile Safety Class.

The legislation bolsters CWD research and prioritizes funding for state and tribal wildlife agencies that have the highest incidence and greatest risk of CWD.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) assisted with furbearer registration, spent time patrolling area snowmobile trails and checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. The trails have been in great condition thanks to the hard work of the local snowmobile club. Sura and other officers also monitored activities at the annual Ice Castle Owners Group get together on Upper Red Lake. Violations for the week include fishing with extra lines and leaving lines unattended.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports working snowmobile and fishing enforcement throughout the week. Reminder to purchase your State Park vehicle permit when using Lake Bronson, as many of the permits observed have now expired. Enforcement actions this week included fishing after revocation, underage possession of alcohol and no license in personal possession.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) checked area anglers, monitored snowmobile activity and completed follow-up investigations from this past deer season. Enforcement action for the week included operate unregistered snowmobile, allow illegal operation of snowmobile by juvenile and no State Park permit.


CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) patrolled the area monitoring snowmobile and angling activity this week, and received training at the Border Patrol station in Warroad. Violations for expired snowmobile registration were handled, as well as failure to give notice of transfer of snowmobile ownership within 15 days of purchase.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working an applicant background investigation and attending OPSG training.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports a busy week on Upper Red Lake. Time was spent working angling and snowmobile activity. Prachar spent time at the ICOG Event on Upper Red and assisted Beltrami County with a disorderly individual. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, possession of controlled substances and DWI.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending fur registration day in Erskine. Anglers and snowmobile operators were checked throughout the week. Trapping-related cases were investigated. Various snowmobile violations were encountered.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) registered otter and checked ice anglers.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time checking anglers on area lakes and patrolling snowmobile trails. Work was done on a background investigation.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) continued work on background investigations.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice fishermen and snowmobilers. CO Swedberg also assisted Becker county with a search warrant. Many snowmobilers were checked over the weekend on the trails around the DL area. Most riders were following all the regulations, but some citations were issued for speed, expired registration and no trail pass.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, small game and snowmobile enforcement. Snowmobile activity was up over the weekend. Trails were in good condition. Ice fishing activity has slowed a bit on area lakes.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and ice house activity on area lakes, ice conditions continue to vary, with top water making some areas difficult. An ice fishing tournament was monitored. Snowmobile activity was worked and patrol was conducted on area trails.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity in the Pelican Rapids Station.

Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports an increase in snowmobile and angling activities over the weekend. A much needed break from the wind and some sunshine provided enjoyable lake and trail outings for most. Enforcement action included angling license violations, extra lines and snowmobile registration violations.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, fish houses, ATVs and snowmobiles. Anglers and snowmobilers were out in force this weekend with the sunshine and nice temperatures. Several comments were received from the public that they were happy to see law enforcement out checking people.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked throughout both Douglas and Todd Counties this week monitoring angling activity. Lots of enforcement cases were completed for extra lines, unattended lines and recreation vehicle registration violations. Snowmobile trails continue to be busy as snow and temps work together for great riding conditions. Snowmobiles riding off trails and onto private property is the most common complaint again this season.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action taken included fishing with extra lines, fishing without a license, shelter ID violations and failure to renew ATV and snowmobile registrations. Enforcement action was also taken on a trespass complaint involving hunters chasing fox with their snowmobiles.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking fishermen and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent following up on fish house license and identification issues and checking coyote hunters.

Osakis – vacant.

Fergus Falls – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) continued to check anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken on small amount of marijuana, failure to display fish house license and failure to display snowmobile registration.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) attended fur registration and assisted with five vehicles that attempted to drive down a snowmobile trail and got stuck.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass county for angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports attending training, assisting with fur registration and conducting aeration inspections. He also spent time with recreational vehicle and fishing enforcement.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent most of the week checking fishing and trails from a snowmobile. Fishing activity has been slow locally. The trails are in pretty good shape and several riders were contacted during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various violations.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and snowmobile trails. Anglers were finding some fish in shallow water and the snowmobile trails were busy; the trails are in great condition. Mathy primarily worked on a background investigation and also attended a bear committee meeting. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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