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DNR officers report spotty fishing success on Lake of the Woods, Upper Red

Another week of big weather swings made some days very pleasant and some days downright frigid.

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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, Feb. 14:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and monitored snowmobile activity on trails around Roseau County. Fishing on Lake of the Woods has been overall very slow. Enforcement contacts for the week include possession of marijuana, possession of over limit of saugers, angle with extra lines, failure to transfer ownership and renew snowmobile registration.

The Northwest Region includes some of the state’s premier walleye fisheries, including Lake of the Woods, Upper Red, Cass and Leech lakes, along with the Red and Red Lake rivers, to name just a few.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods, fishing success has been quite “spotty” to say the least. Violations encountered include operating a snowmobile with expired registration, possessing over limit of walleye/sauger and leaving fishing lines unattended.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to monitor angling and snowmobile activity throughout the area. Big game cases from the 2021 season were also investigated.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) assisted the Forestry Division with a timber theft complaint, checked area anglers and monitored snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action taken for no snowmobile safety training, no snowmobile registration, unregistered ATVs and fail to display current shelter ID and license.


CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) checked anglers and monitored snowmobile activity this week and handled nuisance animal complaints. Various ice shelter violations were observed and dealt with this week.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports monitoring snowmobile trail activity and handling reports of snowmobiles trespassing. Time was spent working on a background investigation and handling calls of nuisance predators killing domestic waterfowl and chickens.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports steady angling activity on Upper Red Lake. Time was spent working angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, possession of fillets on special regulation lake and possession of controlled substances.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on a trespass related case this week. Anglers, ATV operators and snowmobile operators were checked. Various angling-related violations were encountered.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) continued work on a division background investigation. Area lakes and snowmobile trails were patrolled.


CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working area snowmobile trails. Weather conditions did not make it easy on riders, as windy and cold temperatures made riding difficult. Many riders were seen, and overall compliance with regulations was good. Other time was spent working on reports from previous cases and assisting area agencies with traffic-related incidents, due to poor road conditions.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases and handled calls regarding ice shelters and coyote hunting.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, coyote hunting and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Hawley.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and prepared for an upcoming court case.

Bemidji #2 – vacant

Bagley - vacant

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued working on final touches of a background investigation. Time was spent on equipment maintenance and handling several nuisance deer and turkey complaints.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers throughout the week. Trail conditions remain in fair condition but more snow may be needed to extend the season as recent warming and rain has exposed ground in open areas. Additional time was spent speaking at a snowmobile safety class in Wheaton and assisting the State Patrol with traffic control at a multi-vehicle crash.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, fish houses and ATVs. Division training was attended at Camp Ripley. Questions were received about fish house removal and litter on area lakes.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts this week on the continued ice fishing pressure on area lakes as well as snowmobiling activity throughout Douglas County. Another week of big weather swings made some days very pleasant and some days downright frigid. Several anglers were issued citations for angling with extra lines, angling without a license and leaving lines in shacks unattended. One shack containing two anglers had an illegal length northern pike on the ice outside the door and after contacting the occupants, one was found to have illegal substances/paraphernalia in his possession. Enforcement action was taken against each angler for the violations.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and snowmobile activity. Douvier also spoke to local students about conservation and law enforcement and continues working on a background investigation for the division.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking fishermen and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent on injured animal complaints and checking fish houses for proper license and identification. Warmer temps have settled the snow on area lakes making travel off of plowed roads easier for anglers.

Osakis – vacant.

Fergus Falls – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for snowmobile and angling activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also spent time following up from cases from this past fall. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) responded to a semi in the ditch, and a missing juvenile. She also spoke at a snowmobile safety class. Enforcement action was taken on fishing without a license.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers. Fishing was slow overall. Work continued on a background investigation. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Jordan Anderson(Wadena) worked area lakes and trails on snowmobile. Enforcement action taken for no shelter license, unmarked fish house, store fish house at public access and extra lines.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports checking anglers and patrolling by snowmobile. Recent warm temperatures have caused snow conditions to diminish in some areas. Some enforcement action consisted of operating a motor vehicle on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, drug/paraphernalia possession and shelter violations.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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