Weekly DNR enforcement report for Northwest Minnesota: Turbid water curbs fishing success on the Rainy River

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for April 15: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley, followed up on casework, and ...


Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for April 15:

District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley, followed up on casework, and assisted local law enforcement with various calls for service.  

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked ATV, boat and water, AIS and angling enforcement. Just getting a bite was the highlight of some anglers’ days for most of the week on the Rainy River, as fishing was tough at best. Poor water clarity, floating and submerged debris, fast current, rain, freezing rain and snow all mixed with a pinch of strong winds were the ingredients for this week’s featured dish – and it was served cold! The good news is Four Mile Bay is now open and with some nicer weather in the forecast fishing should be a little more enjoyable. With any luck, the bite will pick back up as well for the remainder of the catch-and-release season for sturgeon.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) conducted armoring duties for the Division’s rifles at annual in-service, followed up on litter complaints, and responded to a call of a black bear stranded in a farmyard ring dike due to flooding conditions. Enforcement action for the week included litter violations and excessive speed for an individual who passed  Woinarowicz traveling 104 mph.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) attended training at Camp Ripley this past week and patrolled the station for ATV activity. Elwell gave a law and ethics presentation to a youth firearms safety class in Argyle. Enforcement action was taken for failure to renew ATV registration and operating an ATV without lights.


CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports that with recent snowfall snowmobilers got another day of riding in before it melted. A few of the local trails were utilized before people parked the sleds for the year. Prachar attended annual training at Camp Ripley, and patrolled for AIS violations and fishing activity.

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) focused primarily on boat and water safety and angling enforcement on the Rainy River over the course of the week. ATV activity was also monitored and assistance was given with a one-vehicle rollover.  

Baudette West – vacant.

Warroad South – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a safety camp in Crookston this past week. ATV safety was discussed with several sixth-grade students from the Crookston area. Time was also spent speaking at a firearms safety class in Fisher. Anglers and ATV operators were also checked.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended in-service training and continued flight training.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored area lakes for angling activity. With the warm weather and snow melt over the weekend, the ice has started to pull away from the shorelines on most area lakes. Vollbrecht attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley and monitored area trails for ATV activity. He spoke to a group of 4-H kids about boating safety regulations and demonstrated different styles of life jackets. An inflatable PFD was activated and the kids were able to see how they worked.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports monitoring spring fish run activity and checking late ice anglers. TIP calls of ATV and OHM activity were taken and are being investigated. Vinton assisted other local agencies during the latest round of severe weather. He also provided the law enforcement portion for a couple of local firearms safety classes.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers. Ice conditions have been deteriorating on lakes and many lakes are hard to access. Other time was spent giving presentations to local sportsmen’s groups and the Detroit Lakes High School fishing team.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended in-service training and followed up on calls and pending cases.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, spring goose hunting and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous calls about wildlife. He gave a law and ethics presentation to a firearms safety class in Felton.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) patrolled area forest roads and WMAs for activity. Area lakes were checked for anglers. A few anglers were still out and about, but people are reminded to use caution as ice conditions deteriorate. Areas were checked for ATV and burning activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week preparing equipment for the change of seasons and attending annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Landmark also addressed several nuisance- or dead-animal calls from the public.

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