Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas for Monday, Jan. 13:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included no snowmobile trail pass and possessing an overlimit of walleyes and sauger.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and followed up on a call regarding an incidentally trapped pine marten. In addition, Johnson attended a snowmobile training course held in International Falls. Violations encountered included angling with extra lines, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of fillets on the ice, no angling license in possession and unmarked permanent fishing shelter.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) attended snowmobile training in International Falls. He also worked snowmobile and angling enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Violations included angling with extra lines and no angling license in possession.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) gave presentations to youth at the 4-H Activity Day in Marshall County on mammals of Minnesota and ice fishing regulations and equipment. He also conducted follow-up investigations from deer season cases, taking enforcement action for taking deer without a license, lend/borrow big-game license, untagged deer, unlawful party hunting, failure to register big game, using an invalid bonus permit, and illegal sale of a big-game animal.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) conducted snowmobile and ice angling enforcement this past week. He also gave a presentation to a youth snowmobile safety class in Grygla and dealt with an incidentally trapped fisher. Enforcement action was taken for dogs chasing deer and various snowmobile-related violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the past week. Time was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails, investigating a call of a dead eagle and giving court testimony in a case from this past waterfowl season. Violations encountered and addressed throughout the past week included an overlimit of sunfish, possession of dressed fish fillets on the ice of a special regulation lake, and angling without a license.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports fishing success has been down on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, angling with extra lines, possession of illegal-length fish, and possession of controlled substances.
Baudette East – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on local rivers and lakes. Snowmobile and ATV operators were also checked. Various angling violations were encountered.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and talked to the Oklee snowmobile safety class.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) checked anglers on area lakes and patrolled local snowmobile trails. Slushy conditions have slowed angling pressure, but anglers are starting to venture onto the lakes. Ice depths still vary greatly. Vollbrecht worked details on Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Lake. Numerous angling violations were detected and individuals are reminded to check recreational vehicle registration before taking them out. Snowmobile trails were patrolled in the vacant Walker and Lake George stations. Cross-country ski trails were patrolled and cases from the firearms deer season were wrapped up.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked area lakes for anglers. Time was also spent on commercial taxidermy inspections.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with this year’s Academy snowmobile training in International Falls. Vinton focused on the legal and safe use of a radar unit used in snowmobile speed enforcement. Conditions on area lakes improved slightly over the week as temperatures in the mid-20s below zero helped firm up some of the slush. Enforcement action was taken for license and registration issues as well as improper parking at public accesses.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week following up on cases from the deer season. Other time was spent checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Trails continue to be in great condition. Anglers are having mixed results with panfish but most seem to be catching at least a couple fish when they go out. Most success has been during the evening with some anglers having luck overnight.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked on a background investigation, answered calls and followed up on a trapping violation.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Twin Valley.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time patrolling area lakes and trails for snowmobile activity. Angling activity was worked, with anglers reporting fair-to-poor success. Lakes continue to be challenging due to snow, top water and varying ice thickness. Questions were answered on angling and snowmobile regulations.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports slush on lakes has improved some but vehicles are not suggested quite yet on most lakes. Richards was assisted by CO Osborne with a youth snowmobile safety class held in Fergus Falls over the weekend. Snowmobile operators, anglers and shelters were checked. It should be noted that compliance with snowmobile registration and trail stickers (nonresident) has been outstanding.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted a local high school with a fishing event involving fifth- and sixth-grade students near Parkers Prairie. Plautz worked ice anglers and snowmobilers and continues to work on a background investigation. Plautz registered two bobcats in the field and interviewed a fish house owner who failed to purchase a shelter tag for the house.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working snowmobile and fishing enforcement this past week. She also attended snowmobile training in International Falls as well as a DWI refresher course. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and ATV violations. Follow up on a deer case from firearms season was also handled.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent checking coyote hunters, performing commercial inspections, and following up on deer-season cases.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, fish houses and ATV and snowmobile riders. He worked with county attorneys on preparing reports and cases for upcoming trials. Several snowmobiles were stopped for registration issues over the weekend.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) investigated a case in which a wolf was shot near Burleene Township in Todd County. The incident may have taken place during the firearms or muzzleloader deer season. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the TIP line. You can remain anonymous. Time was also spent patrolling snowmobile trails and checking ice-fishing activity. Complaints were received regarding injured animals. Enforcement activity revolved around angling licenses, ATV registration and an overlimit of fish.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) focused on angling, ATV and snowmobile enforcement throughout the past week. Colder weather improved ice conditions in some areas but pockets of slush and thin ice can still be found. Additional time was spent continuing deer-hunting investigations and handling trespass complaints.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) focused enforcement efforts on fishing, snowmobile, and ATV activity. Additional time was spent at Division snowmobile training. Wood is continuing to learn her station and is spending time making many contacts and partnerships with community members.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to work fishing, snowmobile, and ATV enforcement throughout the area. The ice conditions have improved some with less slush found, but caution still needs to be used when venturing to new areas. Additional time was spent following up on open investigations.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) and the rest of Academy 19 completed snowmobile training in International Falls. Fishing enforcement was worked as some lakes have firmed up with the recent cold weather. However, ice conditions remain inconsistent. Anderson gave the law and ethics presentation at two local youth snowmobile safety classes, and also assisted the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office with a snowmobile crash that resulted in injuries to the operator.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked ice anglers out on area lakes. Fishing has been fair with the best bite in the evening on local lakes. Caution is still advised when you travel on the ice. Some anglers are driving cars and trucks on the lakes and the ice is thin and slushy in some spots. He checked snowmobilers on trails and lakes. Complaints of people driving too fast on city streets and down the middle of the road were investigated. Complaints of snowmobiles trespassing on agricultural fields also received attention. He checked on a trapping complaint of trappers not removing their catch and checking their sets as required by law. Complaints of deer-carcass dumping and trespass were investigated.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working angling and snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession. Snowmobile training was attended and completed in International Falls.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports angling activity has started to pick up. Recent cold weather has helped the slush problem a bit and the ice is slowly getting thicker. Perch and walleyes have also started to bite better. Mathy went to a call of a car stuck on a snowmobile trail one mile down the trail from the nearest road crossing. An off-road tow truck had to get the vehicle out and the driver was cited for driving on the trail. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, and snowmobile violations.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked anglers and snowmobile riders. She also took a call regarding eagles caught in a trap. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration and trapping violations.
Lake George – vacant.
Walker – vacant.