Angling, boating and ATV activity make up large share of DNR officer workloads
Once again, a week of mostly windy conditions made it difficult to get on the big water of Lake of the Woods and Upper Red. Overall, all anglers are still having general success.
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for the week of Aug. 1.
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked ATV riders in Beltrami Island State Forest and checked boaters on Lake of the Woods. Violations for the week included possession of an overlimit of walleyes, jet skis operating at above-wakeless speeds too close to shore, jumping wakes, operating late and allowing a 10-year-old to operate.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) spent time patrolling on Upper Red Lake, Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Once again, a week of mostly windy conditions made it difficult to get on the big water. Overall, all anglers are still having general success, including those targeting sturgeon. Sura and CO Prachar wrapped up an ongoing commercial bait investigation and charges were filed. Violations encountered throughout the week included various boating/safety violations, walleye overlimit and jet-ski violations, including a father allowing his 10-year-old son to operate a personal watercraft by himself.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) provided instruction at the Conservation Officer Academy on alcohol impairment detection and enforcement, compass use and land navigation and GPS mapping tools.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) continued to monitor angling, boating and ATV activity this week. Bear-baiting and wolf-depredation questions were fielded. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports working ATV activity in the area. Prachar concluded follow-up interviews and reports pertaining to a commercial minnow case on which he was assisting CO Sura. The case consisted of thousands of bags of emerald shiners taken and sold illegally.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
Baudette #1 – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time on several waters-related cases this week. Time was further spent checking anglers and watercraft operators on area lakes and rivers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. Most area lakes were very busy over the weekend with the warm weather. He assisted at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley for scenario day. Nuisance-bear complaints were taken.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting anglers and boaters this week. Angling activity has slowed with the warm weather, and local guides and anglers report a slow bite. Several reports of injured animals were taken. A CO Prep background was begun.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week performing equipment maintenance, patrolling areas lakes and answering questions at the Becker County Fair. Many people came to the DNR building at the Becker County Fair and were able to see different fish in the tanks, animal mounts and several live fur-bearing species provided by a local game farm. Swedberg also spent time answering questions about nuisance animals and upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked calls about an abandoned PWC and wildlife-related complaints. He also assisted at a local county fair event and worked ongoing cases.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent conducting a deer farm inspection.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) reports working angling and boating activity. Aquatic invasive species compliance checks were performed. Trails and recreational areas were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Leeching and minnow trapping activities were worked.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week investigating new wetland violations and following up with ongoing wetland violations in the station. Time was spent responding to nuisance-animal calls and answering questions regarding aquatic vegetation removal. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and burning prohibited materials.
Bagley – vacant.
Bemidji #2 – vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports spending most of his time on angling and boating activity throughout the week. An investigation regarding an eagle nest was also conducted. Numerous ATV-related violations were addressed this week, including an open bottle and juvenile passengers with no helmets on. According to anglers, fishing success has slowed in the area lakes due to muddy waters and weeds.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders, boaters and off-highway motorcycle riders. A complaint of an individual hitting golf balls into an area lake was received and investigated. Annual training was completed.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked this week on busy waterways as summer recreation is in full force all across the Alexandria area. A few citations were issued for no angling licenses and using extra lines. Remember, nonresident, “family” angling licenses allow for spouses and children under 16 years old to angle and keep fish. They do not cover 22-year-olds, and they most certainly don’t cover the boyfriend of a 22-year-old dependent to lawfully fish, as was discussed by CO Lawler and a boat full of anglers this week. Time was spent at Camp Ripley with the Academy cadets as they continue on their way toward completion.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focused on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. She assisted at Camp Ripley with the Academy this week and is beginning another background investigation. Follow up from investigations was completed and minnow permits were issued.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational enforcement. Time was also spent patrolling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent closing out a wetland and waters case. Complaints of fish overlimits and taking geese out of season were investigated.
Osakis – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent most of the week assisting with Academy training. Time was also spent on ATV and boating enforcement.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked off-highway vehicle traffic and angling throughout the week. Cross also attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for off-highway vehicle and angling violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) spoke at a firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste of fish, transporting aquatic macrophytes and no license in possession.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked angling, boating, ATV and AIS enforcement. Work continues on Bear Committee items. He’s also working on items for the CO Academy. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked area lakes for angling and boating activity. McGowan also assisted at Camp Ripley with training at the Conservation Officer Academy. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.
ATV rec officer – vacant.