District 1 - Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked off-highway vehicle, aquatic invasive species, boat and water, and angling enforcement. Several reported shoreline violations were investigated and a Critical Intervention Team course was attended. The bear-baiting season kicks off Aug. 16. Hunters should be sure to review the current regulations (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/bear/bear-hunting-regulations.html), as there have been a couple of changes since last year.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) gave a presentation at the MinnAqua Youth Fishing Clinic in Thief River Falls, provided a ride-along for a local high school student, monitored ATV use during Karlstad’s Moose Fest, and patrolled Lake Bronson. Enforcement action was taken for an open bottle on an ATV, no helmet on a juvenile passenger on an ATV, no ATV registration, insufficient life jackets, no watercraft registration, and allowing illegal operation of watercraft by juvenile.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) talked to area youth during Heritage Days in East Grand Forks. Subjects covered were hunting laws, hunting safety, and the importance of hunting. Elwell also investigated a feral swine complaint, and patrolled the station for angling and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for allowing youth to operate ATVs unlawfully. Parents are reminded that anyone born after July 1, 1987, who is age 12 or older, must have a valid ATV safety certificate to operate on public lands, trails, and frozen waters and when crossing road rights of way. Furthermore, a valid driver’s license is required to operate anywhere it is legal on road rights-of-way, including ditches, inside and outside slopes, and crossing roads. Youth ages 12 to 15 may operate an ATV on a roadway with a valid ATV safety certificate and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on a separate ATV.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports monitoring angling and boating activity on special regulation lakes. Time was spent handling nuisance-wildlife calls, a trespassing complaint and attending training at Camp Ripley.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) attended training at Camp Ripley and patrolled for ATV activity. Time was spent monitoring local ATV trails and forest roads.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time checking anglers and boaters on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. ATV activity and early bear-baiting activity was monitored. Mishler also attended Crisis Intervention Team training and assisted with the ongoing Academy.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a National Night Out event in Ada and an FTO meeting at Camp Ripley. A water-appropriation complaint was followed up on. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes and rivers.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time at Camp Ripley teaching nighttime operation of watercraft and state laws and regulations to the CO cadets. A DNR booth was worked at the Beltrami County Fair. Numerous questions were answered. Time was spent on area lakes checking anglers.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending training at Camp Ripley and continuing work on a couple of background investigations. Vinton, along with several other conservation officers from the region and with assistance from the Parks and Trails Division, dedicated a fishing pier in memorial to CO Kyle Quittschreiber in his hometown. Quittschreiber was tragically killed in an off-duty accident one year ago this month. Members of his family were there and a copy of the memorial plaque was presented to them. Vinton investigated a dogs-chasing-deer complaint, possible destruction of wild rice and an illegal-dumping complaint. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations and fishing licenses violations.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working ATV, boating, and fishing enforcement. Other time was spent assisting at the Looney Daze kids fishing derby, which was renamed to honor former CO Kyle Quittschreiber. A wetlands violation was followed up on as well.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked on a background investigation, ATV enforcement, and wildlife and public waters complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) attended Division training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent answering questions from the public on hunting regulations.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Areas were patrolled for ATV activity. A complaint of illegal leeching activity was received. A site visit of a shoreline violation with the area hydrologist and Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District was performed. Follow up was conducted on complaints of possible wetland fill and sand blanket violations. Warren attended the National Night Out community event in Mahnomen. She also gave a regulation and safety to the Strawberry Lake Association.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring angling activity, ATV/OHM activity, and commercial activity. Anglers are starting to have a little tougher time finding fish, but those who are persistent are finding a few here and there. Landmark spent time answering questions at the DNR booth at the Becker County Fair and received calls from the public regarding potential aquatic vegetation violations and nuisance bear and beaver complaints. Landmark also spent time at the Kyle Quittschreiber Memorial kid’s fishing event in Vergas, where a large number of young anglers and their parents fished and shared stories about Kyle. Enforcement action was taken for off-highway motorcycle violations.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports continuing to discover aquatic vegetation violations. The Fergus Falls Police Department assisted him with a fish overlimit case. Time was spent checking boaters and anglers, with compliance being pretty good. A TIP complaint was received regarding a public water and wetland violation. Richards attended an FTO meeting at Camp Ripley and met some of the COCs at the Academy.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) worked angling, boat and water safety, and ATV activity throughout the past week. Fishing activity has slowed in the area but success remains fair. Various wildlife-related complaints were handled as were questions about the upcoming hunting seasons. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, watercraft over capacity, and storing property at a public access.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. An aquatic plant management check was performed on lakes in Otter Tail County with the APM specialist. One lake had at least seven different violations, with one violation consisting of using an aqua thruster to create a large crater in the lake bottom, spraying herbicide to kill cattails and removing cattails without a permit.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts this past week on AIS activity as well as angler compliance. Assistance was given to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in addressing an AIS violation involving a lake service provider at a local access. Enforcement action was taken for angling without licenses, PFD violations and watercraft registration issues. An individual was cited for burning a large bed mattress on his land. The black smoke from it could be seen from miles away. Time was also spent at the CO Academy instructing watercraft enforcement to the cadets.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent following up on AIS violations, assisting DNR Wildlife with the August roadside survey, and attending training.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to work on a background investigation of a CO applicant. Training was also attended at Camp Ripley. Some time was spent checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Complaints about an injured bear and nuisance beaver were also taken.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking ATV riders and boating equipment for invasive species. Hughes took a call about a nuisance bear, investigated a found kayak, and assisted the State Patrol. She also spoke at a firearms safety class and spent time at Camp Ripley for training.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.