Weekly DNR Enforcement report for northwest Minnesota: Animal complaints, angling and ATVs figure prominently into officer workloads
Homeowners are reminded to remove exterior food sources to lessen bear curiosity and interaction.
Here’s the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, June 22:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods. Anglers were cited for possessing illegal-length walleyes, angling without a license and possessing drug paraphernalia.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and ATV enforcement. In addition, he patrolled area state parks and forests. Heavy winds all week kept many from getting out onto the big lake. Those who braved the conditions had mixed success.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) worked angling and ATV enforcement. Larson reports the high winds throughout the week made fishing on Lake of the Woods difficult with the bite being average. Anglers all seemed to be finding enough fish for a meal if they were able to fight through the waves.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) answered numerous questions on the upcoming elk season and responded to multiple nuisance-bear complaints. Homeowners are reminded to remove exterior food sources to lessen bear curiosity and interaction.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked ATV and angling enforcement this past week. He also handled a few nuisance-bear calls as well. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and watercraft violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV, AIS, boating and angling activity on special regulation lakes this past week. Time was spent patrolling area ATV trails and investigating TIP information. Violations encountered and addressed included operating unregistered ATVs, littering, watercraft registration and angling license violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports slow fishing on Upper Red Lake. Fish are being caught but the success rate has slowed drastically, and most fish are small. Time was spent working angling activity, boat and water safety and ATV activity.
Baudette East – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports responding to various wildlife-related complaints this past week. Time was also spent working angling, wetland and watercraft enforcement.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) handled nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time patrolling area lakes for angling and boating activity. Vollbrecht worked boat and water shifts on Upper Red Lake. Anglers are enjoying an excellent bite. Time was spent patrolling grant-in-aid ATV trails.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking calls of orphaned and injured animals. In most cases, such callers understand the local CO often doesn’t have the resources to deal with those animals and as long as they are not a public safety risk, nature will be allowed to take its course. Vinton was contacted by the local soil and water conservation district about a possible wetland violation that was believed to have been settled years ago. Vinton and the SWCD will continue to monitor the situation.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling area lakes for sport fishing and recreational boating activity. Fishing slowed with changing wind and weather conditions, but picked up over the weekend with some consistent weather. Other time was spent patrolling area ATV trails.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at the CO Academy and worked ATV enforcement and a fishing complaint. Peterson also assisted with a welfare check on paddlers on the Crow Wing River.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sport fishing, AIS (aquatic invasive species) and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time working angling and boating activity. A complaint of manipulating lake water levels was investigated. Patrol was conducted on area trails for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Questions were answered about fishing regulations, firearms transportation and a fawn.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time on Academy training, worked AIS, fishing, boating and ATV enforcement, and investigated a dogs-chasing-deer complaint. Plautz responded to a complaint of a neighbor who enjoys feeding squirrels and another neighbor who’s trapping them and relocating them because they were doing damage to his flowers.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports weather has kept some people from enjoying the lakes over the past week. Richards worked on some license fraud investigations. Time was also spent addressing ATV-related violations in the area.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent this past week focusing on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action included angling without a license and killing a protected bird.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy week on the water with anglers and recreational boaters out in full force. Complaints of boats not using navigational lights after dark and keeping illegal-length fish were worked. Several citations were issued for various fishing related violations, as well as a citation to a parent of a juvenile for operating a PWC over an hour late.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored AIS compliance and recreational vehicles. Time was also spent checking fishing activity and following up on complaints. Wildlife-related calls including nuisance beavers were addressed.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) continued working fishing and boating activity. Nuisance- and injured-animal calls were received. ATV activity was monitored.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) focused enforcement time on angling and watercraft activities. Followup was completed on open cases. ATV/OHM (off-highway motorcycle) violations were handled.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) monitored area lakes for fishing and boating activity. Potential public water and aquatic plant management violations were received and investigated. Follow up was completed on open investigations.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked boat and water and ATV activity during the past week. Numerous automated plant-removal devices were checked in the Wadena and Park Rapids stations. Property owners are reminded to verify legal use of equipment prior to installation or operation. Permits are required in most cases. Enforcement action was taken for operation of a weed roller without a permit, dredging of public waters, operating an OHM on a public road, ATV youth helmet violations, too many passengers on an ATV and failure to display registration.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and boating activity. She responded to a call of an injured juvenile bald eagle with a fishing hook/line stuck in its leg, beak and wing. She also assisted Cass County with an exposed person walking around town and assisted with a search for a missing person.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked on lakes in Remer and Outing. Time was also spent on areas with high complaints of ATV traffic in Outing. ATV violations included operating on a state highway and allowing illegal operating by a juvenile. A call was also taken about an injured snapping turtle.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers, boaters and ATV and OHM riders. Investigations into public water filling and aquatic plant destruction were done. Time was also spent working at the Academy. Calls of nuisance bears and an injured swan were received. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish, crappies and bass have been the most productive for anglers on area lakes. He worked on boating enforcement issues this past week as well. Complaints of PWCs (personal watercrafts) chasing loons and careless operation of wakeboard boats received some enforcement time. Violations observed were no fishing license and expired registration. Complaints of bears damaging bird feeders, getting into garbage and entering a garage were reported.
Lake George – vacant.
Walker – vacant.