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WEEKLY DNR ENFORCEMENT REPORT FOR NORTHWEST MINNESOTA: Moderate fishing success on Lake of the Woods, snowmobile trails in great shape etc.

Here's a look at the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for March 11:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted Thief Lake Wildlife staff in moving a moose away from a highway. Snowmobile training was attended with Border Patrol and other conservation officers. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. Snowmobile trail enforcement was conducted with CO Vollbrecht around Bemidji. Enforcement contacts included anglers using too many lines, operating a tracked SUV on a snowmobile trail, snowmobile speeding, and operating an unregistered snowmobile.  

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with CO Elwell, seeing moderate fishing success. Enforcement action included angling with extra lines, unattended lines, no angling license, and snowmobile registration violations. Complaints of trespass by hunters with hounds were fielded and ice shelter removal was monitored. Woinarowicz also assisted with the execution of a search warrant.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked Lake of the Woods for ice angling activity with CO Woinarowicz and patrolled the station for snowmobile activity this past week. Nuisance-animal calls were taken. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display registration/unexpired trail stickers on snowmobiles, no shelter license, no identification on an ice shelter, and no angling license in possession.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports the snowmobile trails are in great shape. He worked snowmobile trail enforcement throughout the area. Remember to get fish houses off the lakes prior to the deadlines (March 18 in inland lakes in northern one-third of state, March 31 for lakes on the Minnesota-Canada border.)

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time checking anglers and snowmobiling activity on Lake of the Woods. She also attended a Red Lake Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Assistance was given with executing a search warrant. Enforcement action was taken during the week for angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and possession of dressed fillets on a special regulation lake.

Baudette West – vacant.

Warroad South – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working snowmobile enforcement on area grant-in-aid trails. Time was further spent checking anglers. A sports club meeting was attended in Fertile. Local officers were given assistance on a search warrant.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) continued flight training and answered calls about fish houses and wildlife concerns.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored area snowmobile trails and lakes for activity. Angling activity is minimal after the recent snowfalls. Slush and deep snow continued to get worse on area lakes. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition and several riders were observed over the weekend. He attended advanced FTO training, computer training at Camp Ripley and testified for a court trial in Baudette.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports most anglers were able to remove their shelters before the deadline. Enforcement action was taken on those who made no attempt to remove them. A late-week snowstorm brought 15-plus inches to the area and snowmobilers were finding mild temperatures and trails in great condition. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove shelters and shelters left at public accesses.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week monitoring ice shelter removal in the north and south zones. Shelter owners in the North Zone are encouraged to get their houses off before the deadline next week. Many shelter owners in the South Zone found out during the past two weeks just how difficult it is to get their houses off and some are still struggling with the task. Other time was spent patrolling on snowmobile trails and checking ice fishing activity.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked shelter and snowmobile enforcement. Numerous questions about removal requirements were handled. Peterson also worked aeration inspections and other miscellaneous case follow ups.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent working with individuals attempting to remove their ice shelters from area lakes before the deadline. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked snowmobile activity on area lakes and trails. Trails are in great shape but individuals are having a difficult time on area waters with lots of snow and water on the ice. Ice house removal is in full swing with many questions being answered about removal deadlines and difficult lake conditions. People are reminded that all portions of the fish house need to be removed, as well as litter. Angling activity was monitored with few anglers out and about. A planned snowmobile safety class was postponed due to the weather. Individuals enrolled will be contacted about a new class date.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week answering calls on fish house removal and monitoring snowmobile activity. Nearly 14 inches of snow over the weekend limited angling activity to tracked machines only. Landmark also answered regulation questions at the Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998.  A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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