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Boating, fishing and ATV enforcement continue to be a focus for DNR conservation officers

Fishing has been hit or miss on Lake of the Woods with the mayfly hatch in full swing, along with high water.

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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, July 18.

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Fishing has been hit or miss with the mayfly hatch in full swing, along with high water. Enforcement action was taken for anglers using extra lines, possessing illegal-length walleyes, possessing filleted unmeasurable walleyes on the lake and possession of marijuana.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) patrolled the Rainy River and Upper Red Lake for boating and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for a person fishing with extra lines and allowing juveniles to operate watercraft without life jackets/required equipment.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) patrolled the Beltrami Island State Forest, prepared for instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy and responded to a call of a road-killed bear. Enforcement action for the week included operating an ATV without lights and operation of an ATV on a state highway.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling and boating activity throughout the past week. Regas noted the bluegill bite has been good on many area lakes, and the walleyes have appear to have hit the midsummer trends, with anglers catching a few early and late in the day. The bluegill bite has made up for the slower walleye bite. Time was spent handling various wildlife-related calls involving sick and injured wildlife, complaints of reckless off-highway motorcycle riders operating in the road right-of-way and handling an aquatic plant management permit violation. Violations encountered and addressed this past week included exceeding conditions of an APM permit, boating equipment and angling license violations.

In the Blackduck area, new snow improved trail conditions, and snowmobilers were out on the trails despite the mercury dropping below zero over the weekend.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) spent time working angling and ATV activity. Prachar assisted Beltrami County investigators with a case near Bemidji.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with Academy instruction.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area lakes for fishing and boating activity. A TIP call of possible overlimits and double-tripping was taken. A rural Perham resident reported a bear had strolled down their driveway and through their yard. Vinton located a boat and trailer parked on a wildlife management area. Attempts were made to contact the possible owner. If it isn’t removed, Vinton will have it towed. Enforcement action was taken for ATV operation on a state highway, more than the allowed number of occupants and allowing an ATV rider under the age of 18 without a helmet.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working fishing and boating activity. He also assisted at the DNR Academy this week during scenario day. Other time was spent completing follow up on cases from the Fourth of July weekend and equipment maintenance.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases, conducted invasive species compliance checks and worked commercial license enforcement.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Time was spent on leeching activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. AIS regulation compliance was worked. Warren provide regulation information at the Island Lake Association meeting.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working on ongoing cases and responding to nuisance-wildlife complaints. One complaint of a dead goose was investigated, and it was determined that a watercraft ran it over. Landmark would like to encourage people to report those who are chasing and harassing wildlife with watercraft, as it is a crime.

Bagley – vacant.

Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports working ATV complaints on the Central Lakes Trail and planning an ATV safety course. Additional time was spent on equipment maintenance and working area lakes for boating and angling activity.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on aquatic vegetation complaints and weed roller permits, and worked fishing and boating enforcement. ATV activity was monitored with enforcement action taken. Plautz worked with local government units on possible wetland violations this week.


CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) continued to monitor angling and ATV activity in the area. Brown also presented at the Grant County Fair for boating and ATV safety. Even with the humidity and heat, a lot of kids stopped by and learned about the importance of safety.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Numerous boating contacts were made throughout the week. Most violations encountered involved registration issues, including operating watercraft without registration, failure to transfer title and no life jackets on paddle boards.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Assistance at scenarios was also provided at Camp Ripley for the current Academy.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and monitoring AIS law compliance. Baumbarger followed up on injured-animal complaints and fishing complaints.

Osakis – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked a busy week performing angling, boating and off-highway vehicle enforcement. Angling was pretty successful for some people on the lakes, and the ATV traffic was steady throughout. Enforcement action was taken for numerous ATV, angling and boating violations.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) reports working busy Cass and Crow Wing county lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and fishing violations. He also completed trainings and spoke at the Walker Rotary club.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. A nuisance-bear complaint was received. Mathy also responded to a call about a person with a knife. A fishing tip was received that resulted in several parties receiving enforcement action for possessing illegal-size fish and fishing in a closed area. Enforcement action was also taken for an overlimit of bass and several other angling and recreational vehicle violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) assisted Cass County, took reports of nuisance bears, and attended an event with the Wall of Shame. Enforcement action was taken for camping in a WMA.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) prepared training for the ongoing Academy and spent time on the water. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and boating violations. Even though bugs are bad, navigation lights are still required at sunset.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports seeing a decrease in angling and ATV activity for the week. Some enforcement action consisted of angling without a license, no license in possession, no navigation lights on when required, insufficient number of life jackets, failure to display registration and no aquatic invasive species training. He also investigated several wetland/waters complaints and injured-wildlife calls.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

What To Read Next
In this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors, Mike Anderson tells us about the Take Someone New Ice Fishing Challenge, and how you could possibly win a fish house.
Many of the species are predisposed to be sedentary and lurk in hard-to-find places. Some may "learn" to avoid anglers altogether.
The excursion would be, in some ways, an attempt to find common ground over the recent debate about snowmobiles in the Grand Forks Greenway.
To get an event in the Outdoors Calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or by email at bdokken@gfherald.com. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays.