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CWD feeding ban violations cropping up in northwest Minnesota

Angling license violations topped the list of violations encountered for many DNR conservation officers.

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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. 10:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked snowmobile riders around Roseau County and anglers on Hayes Lake and Lake of the Woods. The bite has definitely slowed down, but some anglers are reporting success. Violations for the week included possession of illegal-length pike and walleyes, operating a snowmobile without registration or snowmobile safety training, operating a “non-trail” registered snowmobile on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, expired rental shelter registration, angling with extra lines and possession of marijuana and cocaine.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports spending time patrolling Lake of the Woods, the Rainy River and Upper Red Lake. Sura also spent time on area snowmobile trails as well as working trapping activity. Enforcement action was taken for violations including fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, possessing an overlimit of walleyes and possession of marijuana.


CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) spent most of his time on angling and snowmobile enforcement.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) completed an investigation of dogs pursuing deer and responded to a call about an injured deer in a homeowner’s front yard. He also checked area anglers and snowmobilers. Enforcement action for the week included snowmobile-registration violations and a civil citation for allowing dogs to pursue big game.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked ice angling and snowmobile enforcement this week. Stronger winds made it difficult for groomers to keep up with the drifting snow affecting most area snowmobile trails. Violations encountered this week included CWD feeding ban violations, expired snowmobile registration, allowing the illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile, non-portable ice shelter violations and angling license violations.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking anglers on special regulation lakes this past week. Time was spent assisting instructors with a snowmobile safety class, patrolling area snowmobile trails and working on an applicant background investigation. Angling license violations topped the list of violations encountered.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports slow fishing on Upper Red Lake. Time was spent working snowmobile and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no angling license and using illegal equipment to take fish.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time this week checking anglers and working snowmobile activity. Time was also spent attending a snowmobile safety class in Crookston.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and tagged fur.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. Details were worked on Upper Red Lake and Mille Lacs Lake.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports beginning work on background investigations for the upcoming Conservation Officer Academy.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. With the frigid temperatures, many outdoor enthusiasts spent their time inside of their fish houses with the heaters running. Area lakes are starting to have a lot of plowed roads, and many people are taking advantage of the easy access. Fishing reports are good for a majority of the area for many species. There is also plenty of snow, and groomers have been busy maintaining trails. Swedberg worked a snowmobile and fishing detail with CO Landmark where they came across many snowmobile violations, including the arrest of one driver who was operating a snowmobile while intoxicated.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked ice anglers and snowmobile trails. Ice anglers gave mixed reports but mostly a slow bite with a little trouble with slush in areas. Trails were in good shape, but the cold has limited some activity. Peterson also worked ongoing cases from the deer season and conducted equipment maintenance.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, small-game and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent conducting a background investigation on a conservation officer candidate.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity. Snowmobile activity was worked with most trails in good shape. Wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas were patrolled. Information was provided about area lakes and angling regulations.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobile violations. Ice conditions are slowly improving, but off-road travel with vehicles is difficult and ice depth still varies significantly. Anglers are also encountering slush in areas and flooding when holes are drilled. Those fishing are finding a few fish, but success rates have declined significantly over the last week. While on patrol with CO Swedberg, the officers observed a snowmobile operator committing multiple violations, including failing to stop at intersections before eventually tipping the snowmobile over. The operator’s first words were an apology for drinking, and they were subsequently arrested for DWI. Other enforcement action was taken for snowmobile-registration violations, failure to transfer snowmobile title, failure to register an ATV and illegal snowmobile exhaust.


Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) began a background investigation of a potential future conservation officer. She fielded calls about injured deer and trespass, and worked with a local government unit on a wetland restoration order. Plautz monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity through the cold snap. Deer season investigations related to license violations are ongoing.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) focused on snowmobile and angling enforcement throughout the week. Calls concerning lake access and hunting out of season where handled. Enforcement action included shelter license violations, extra lines and unattended lines.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on fishing and snowmobiling this week. Lots of good contacts were made, with enforcement action taken for a sunfish overlimit, angling with extra lines and possessing drug paraphernalia. Injured-animal calls were also handled.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, fish houses and ATV and snowmobile riders. Fish house-marking requirement questions were handled, and Osborne would like to remind house owners of the requirements to have the correct identification on the outside of your fish house. Slush on area lakes continues to slow anglers down.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action taken included illegal transportation of fish and an overlimit possession. Douvier also investigated a possible waterway violation and continues working on a background investigation for the Division.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and coyote hunters. Additional time was spent on station equipment and following up on a lakeshore-violation complaint. Ice on area lakes has only gained about a half-inch to an inch of new ice this past week. People thinking about driving vehicles on area lakes should use extreme caution.

Osakis – vacant.

Fergus Falls – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking snowmobile riders and anglers on lakes and trails around the Remer area. Kunst also followed up on big-game-related cases.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked trapping, angling and snowmobile activity. She also investigated a trapping complaint.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent a majority of the time during the week on a snowmobile checking trails and angling activity. Not many people were encountered, but the trails are beginning to shape up. Many anglers are struggling with slushy conditions due to the snow we’ve received.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous fishing and snowmobile violations.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked on a background investigation of a CO applicant. Time was also spent working the snowmobile trails. The trails are in great shape. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on the snowmobile trails and other ATV violations.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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