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Sturgeon spawning run draws spectators to Rapid River east of Baudette

Spectators and anglers should not touch, disturb or handle the sturgeon during this fascinating display. People handling or taking sturgeon by unlawful methods, including taking by hand or snagging, may be charged.

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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, May 10:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Warroad River and turkey hunters in Marshall and Roseau counties. He also prepared equipment for the upcoming fishing season.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) primarily worked ATV enforcement and angling activity. He also patrolled forests, parks and public accesses. An investigation was completed regarding a wolf depredation. In addition, an investigation was completed regarding a nuisance bear that was shot and unreported, resulting in enforcement action being taken.


CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) worked primarily angling enforcement on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Multiple violations were found relating to sturgeon angling. Enforcement action was taken for taking fish with illegal methods, no angling license in possession, illegal-length sturgeon and failure to affix a tag to sturgeon.


CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) completed a trapping investigation resulting in enforcement action for illegal placement of a body-gripping trap. He also patrolled the Pine and Beltrami Island state forests and spent time monitoring activity surrounding the sturgeon spawn at the Rapid River. Sura would like to remind spectators and anglers to please not touch, disturb or handle the sturgeon during this fascinating display. People handling or taking sturgeon by unlawful methods, including taking by hand or snagging, may be charged.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) worked mainly boat and water and fishing enforcement this past week. He saw a lot of people out on the water enjoying the good weather this past week. Angling activity has picked up around the Thief River Falls area with good fishing reports from local anglers. ATV activity was also worked, with some violations addressed such as allowing illegal youth operation and failure to display current registration on an ATV.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) assisted a trapper with releasing an incidentally caught bald eagle from a leg hold trap. He also investigated area wildfires and monitored area turkey hunting and fishing activity.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent time this past week patrolling the Red Lake River for angling and boating activity, handling an incidentally trapped otter and investigating a wildfire. Violations included angling without a license, taking fish in the closed season and failure to display valid ATV registration.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports monitoring spring beaver trapping, ATV activity and checking anglers on special regulation lakes this past week. Anglers reported a slow bite for crappies and bluegills. Time was spent handling calls of incidental catches of otters and muskrats, investigating TIP calls of spearing after dark, reports of nuisance bears and conducting follow-up investigations on suspected arson cases. Regas and CO Vollbrecht responded to a TIP call of anglers targeting and catching walleyes. Regas located the anglers and watched them catch several walleyes and place them in the livewell of their boat. Upon contacting the anglers, officers found them in possession of five walleyes. They also addressed a number of boating and license violations. Enforcement action was taken.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking to Red Lake Falls elementary age students about boat and water safety. Time was also spent assisting another officer on a wildfire arson case. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked on area lakes and rivers.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) prepared for the upcoming fishing opener.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. He worked a boat and water detail on the Rainy River. Time was spent patrolling areas for ATV and off-highway motorcycle activity.


CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) attended training at Camp Ripley and followed up on a wolf-depredation complaint. Time was also spent fielding complaints about permanent stands on state land, illegal bear-baiting/dumping activity, and illegal spearing activity.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports spring panfishing has been picking up on area rivers and creeks while lake water temperatures stay pretty low. TIP calls were taken and investigated regarding dumping, fishing for species during a closed season and OHM (off-highway motorcycle) operations in county highway rights-of-way. Vinton had contact with anglers suspected to be using drugs and driving a vehicle with fictitious plates. The violations were turned over to county deputies. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a valid license, taking bass out of season and riding an ATV in the ditch south of U.S. Highway 10 before Aug. 1.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working sport fishing activity, completing old cases and working ATV activity. Panfish have moved into shallow areas and anglers are having success catching them. Swedberg also assisted Becker County with calls for service. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, fishing in a closed spawning area, no helmet on a child while on an ATV and operating an ATV without registration displayed.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sport fishing, spring turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. Anglers reported a slow panfish bite. Area pods were monitored for leeching activity. ATV and off-road vehicle trails were monitored for activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for fire violations in the Pelican Rapids station. With cooler weather, panfish fishing success has slowed some, but will pick up again with warmer weather. A calf depredation was investigated and it was determined that coyotes were the likely suspects.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports crappie fishing has been good on several local lakes. He spent time checking boaters and anglers over the weekend. Compliance on boat safety items, along with current registration, was outstanding. Turkey hunters were also checked with success rates varying, like most springs.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, ATV riders and burning activity. Several families were observed on the boat enjoying some of the nice weather and catching panfish. An investigation of trespass and criminal damage to a wildlife management area was conducted.


CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle activity. Fires were also monitored throughout the week. Leeb also provided assistance to local law enforcement.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked area fishing, boating, AIS, and turkey hunting activity. Several wildlife management areas were monitored for litter and illegal deer stands. ATV and OHM activity were monitored as well. Lake service providers are reminded of the training and proper paperwork needed.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters and handling injured-animal calls.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) focused this past week’s enforcement efforts on angling, recreational vehicle, and fire enforcement. She assisted the State Patrol and Morris Police Department with a vehicle crash. Minnow permits were issued, and a juvenile was warned for taking fish during the closed season.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked angling and bowfishing activity throughout the past week. Time was also spent monitoring recreational vehicles and turkey hunters. Complaints concerning trespassing and wildlife were taken. Holt assisted the Forestry Division with wildfire arson investigations. Enforcement activity involved angling license violations.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent the majority of the past week on the water working angling and boating enforcement. Lots of people were out enjoying the nice weather, getting their boats and gear ready for next weekend’s fishing opener. Several boaters were found without sufficient PFDs onboard, and a few with expired registrations. Turkey hunters were also monitored, and several injured-animal calls were taken throughout the week.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this past week enforcing recreational vehicle and fishing regulations. Baum observed violations for no license in possession, operating an ATV without headlights and prohibited operations of a hydro jet. He also collected deer stands that were left on state land.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling activity. She also took a nuisance-animal call, and assisted a motorist. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) attended training at Camp Ripley during the past week. Several boaters and anglers were checked, with registration and PFD violations being the most common. Enforcement action was taken for failure to have a PFD, failure to display registration, no registration, no license in possession, and illegal sale of tree stock.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking ATV riders and anglers in her station. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a highway, operating an ATV without headlights, ATV riders under 18 without helmets, possession of a small amount of marijuana and taking fish without a license. TIP calls were taken about people targeting walleyes out of season and anglers fishing with multiple lines.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) primarily worked trapping, angling and boating. He also responded to calls. Cross investigated multiple animal-related complaints, responded to a public-access complaint, and assisted Hubbard County with a motor vehicle accident. Cross also assisted with a firearms safety instructor class and a youth firearms safety field day.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, AIS and ATV activity. A few anglers were finding some crappies. Mathy responded to reports of an injured eagle and a public waters filling complaint. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

Walker – vacant.

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