Here's the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Monday, June 3:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. A calf depredation was investigated near Lake Bronson. A district meeting and training was attended at Thief River Falls, and an arson was investigated near Grygla. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered ATV with two small children with no helmets.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, AIS, boat and water, and angling enforcement. Taking advantage of the weather, ATV enthusiasts took to the forest this past weekend to enjoy the trails and make some memories. Benjamin strongly suggests people read the regulations booklet before heading out onto public lands with their ATVs. This will help ensure good memories and drastically reduce your chances of violating the law. Enforcement action taken this past week included transporting walleye fillets without the required patch of skin, possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger, ATV passenger under 18 not wearing a helmet, open container, littering, operating an ATV in an area with limitations, operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV without safety certification, illegal snorkel device on an ATV and failure to submit the required bear-tooth sample.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked an ATV enforcement detail in the Beltrami Island State Forest with CO Benjamin. The nice weather brought ATV riders out in force. Although it was a bit dusty, many people commented on how nice it was to be out in decent weather. Enforcement action for the week included no ATV registration, no ATV safety training, no helmet on a juvenile on an ATV, open alcohol container on an ATV, operating an ATV where prohibited, no ATV lights when required, no angling license, and child restraint violations.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent time this past week working boating and angling enforcement around the area. He also found many “baby” animals. Elwell just happened to be in the right place at the right time when he noticed a brand new white-tailed deer fawn stumbling across a street in Thief River Falls. People are reminded to leave fledgling birds, fawns and other critters alone when they find them. Their mothers are nearby and will take care of them. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations, taking northern pike in the restricted slot size, and watercraft-registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working AIS enforcement, boating and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent patrolling area ATV trails and attending a district meeting and training.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports fishing success has increased with the more stable weather patterns. Time was spent investigating commercial violations, working ATV activity, and patrolling Upper Red Lake for fishing activity.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time patrolling in the BWCA with another officer. A district meeting was attended.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports instructing at the new CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking anglers and watercraft operators. A leech-trapping complaint was checked.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) finished commercial pilot training.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes. Anglers continue to have good success with catching walleyes and the area crappie bite has started picking up. Vollbrecht worked a boat and water detail on Upper Red Lake. He found most anglers doing well, with multiple walleye limits observed.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and boaters with focused attention paid to AIS enforcement. Compliance was good with regard to AIS inspections. Water temperatures are rising and panfish have become more active. TIPs of possible overlimits and double-tripping were investigated. A concerned caller from the Alexandria area was provided advice about a small bear in her yard. It was not doing anything other than looking at their hummingbird feeders. Vinton advised her to pull in the bird feeders, trash can and BBQ grill and any other sources of food that might entice it to hang around. Once those things are done the young bear should move on.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working fishing and recreational boaters. Time was also spent meeting with local AIS inspectors and going over reports of potential violations. Swedberg reminds people that just because your lift or boat is going into the same lake it came out of does not mean you can leave dead zebra mussels on it.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) followed up on ongoing cases, assisted with a trapping case, worked with nuisance beaver trappers and answered questions on laws relating to protecting livestock.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working fishing, AIS and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife complaints.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle regulation compliance. Information was provided about ATV safety certification. Leeching complaints and activity were worked. Calls of an injured fawn and dead loon were received.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking anglers, boat and water safety, AIS, and ATV activity in the area. He spent time following up on dock complaints, nuisance animal complaints, and concerns over suspicious deaths of animals.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing has improved with stable spring weather. Boaters and anglers were checked and observed throughout the week. Richards responded to a bowfishing boat swamped in the Ottertail River over the weekend. With extra weight in the boat and a pretty fast current, the boat took on water rapidly and submerged. Luckily, the five people on board were not injured in the incident. During the same timeframe, there was another report of a bowfishing boat on another lake playing load music and disrupting residents on the lake. With freedoms come responsibility and hopefully some courtesy for others. Violations addressed were related to fishing, turkey hunting, minnow trapping, and possessing goose goslings. People are reminded to leave young-of-the-year wildlife alone and not to handle them.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored invasive species on boats this past week and handled ATV complaints. Fishing has picked up in the area with a good panfish bite. Bear sightings and nuisance beaver permits were handled.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports checking a fair number of anglers and bowfishers. Water temperatures continue to trend upward but are still not warm enough to see any tubers or skiers on area lakes. Time was spent investigating an overlimit complaint and issuing minnow and beaver permits.
CO Shane Osbourne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. Several violations of no helmets on passengers under 18 were encountered. Several lakes in the area are experiencing high water and one lake has a no-wake regulation within 150 feet of shore. Please be mindful of your wake.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring anglers this past week, with lots having good success for walleyes and panfish. Evening angling activity is high on the water with a few boaters reminded to turn on navigation lights at sunset. Anglers were cited for no fishing license and for angling with an invalid license, as the spouse on their combination license was actually just a girlfriend. A concerned citizen called in a bowfisher after watching him throw about 20 carp from the bed of his truck into the ditch of a rural dirt road. A citation was issued.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked fishing and recreational vehicle activity during the week. Time was also spent checking bowfishers and the illegal dumping of rough fish, which continues to be a problem. Holt worked with the local sheriff’s office water patrol checking boat and water safety in the Osakis area. Enforcement activity related to boating violations.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week concentrated on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent checking commercial minnow trappers, handling injured-animal calls, and speaking to a group of youth about boat and water safety at the annual Minnewaska Area Kids Day.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) report checking multiple anglers. More anglers have been reporting a better bite in recent weeks. She also checked multiple ATVs and spoke at an ATV safety class. Hughes has also received calls regarding nuisance beavers.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued work on the gill-netting case in Park Rapids from the prior weekend. Time was also spent checking on three separate waters cases that involved filling or amending a lakeshore. Mathy also worked on Bear Committee items and checked anglers in the area.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.