Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers for Northwest Minnesota and Adjacent Areas of Northern Minnesota for Monday, April 4:
District 1 – Baudette district
CO Ben Huener (Reed) taught waterfowl identification and enforcement skills to conservation officers who attended the last two academies. The training was at Whitewater State Park.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) spent time in both hard and open water as the Rainy River is again fishable by boat. Anglers from both bodies of water had some success over the weekend. Waterfowl training was completed in southeastern Minnesota. Violations encountered during the week included fishing without a valid licence, operating an ATV on a highway, not having enough PFDs on board, and possessing marijuana.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to monitor ATVs and remaining snowmobile activity in the area. Brown also trained at Whitewater State Park.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) taught the law and ethics portion of the gun safety course at Warren, responded to the call of a wounded deer, and investigated the depredation of a gray wolf.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) monitored ATV activity and conducted seasonal maintenance on equipment. Questions about the upcoming spring turkey season were also asked.
Commander Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking anglers on specially regulated lakes throughout the past week. Time was spent on issuing wildlife permits, researching TP information, and preparing for an upcoming ATV Safety Course/Field Day. Violations encountered and addressed in the past week included ATV and snowmobile registration violations and angling license violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) followed by fish houses and litter left on Upper Red Lake. Prachar worked with CO Pilot Tim Gray, and they used a DNR Enforcement aircraft to observe the lake and surrounding area. Enforcement action was taken for leaving fishing houses on the lake past the set deadline.
War Road #1 – vacant.
War Road #2 – vacant.
Donkey #1 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji district
Commander Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a veterans fair at the Crookston Armoury. Time was also spent vetting anglers and ATV riders.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) angling activity supervised on the lakes of the region. Complaints of dogs chasing deer have been recorded.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended annual continuing education and handled dirt bike road damage and trespassing complaints.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, spring goose hunting and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to various wildlife-related calls.
CO Bill’s Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring ice fishermen and tracking open wetland cases. The ice held up to another fishing weekend and anglers had great success, but this week’s forecast could mean the end of the ice fishing season. Landmark also issued a permit for a roadkill otter and investigated a report of a number of snow geese found dead in a field. Several snow geese were collected by wildlife staff for sampling.
Bagley – vacant.
Bemidji #2 – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) monitored light goose migration and lake activities throughout the week. Many birds under low hunting pressure were observed in the extreme southwest of the station. Goodman found that ice conditions are generally dangerous, as the thickness and consistency vary widely from lake to lake and within each body of water. Additional time was spent speaking to a gun safety class at Ashby, responding to complaints from sick/injured animals and preparing equipment for on the job training.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) helped the US Fish and Wildlife Service with an illegal possession of a federally protected bird this week. Plautz monitored ice fishing activity, noticing a rapid decline in ice conditions. Plautz checked ATV riders and responded to several calls about deer being found dead on properties in the area, likely due to winterkill.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area lakes for ice fishing activity and ice thickness. The region’s lakes are receding from the shore and anglers must take safety precautions. A firearms safety course in Brandon was attended, along with a law and ethics lecture.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a slower week around the resort with fewer and fewer ice fishermen as ice conditions deteriorate. WMAs and WPAs were patrolled for stands of illegal trees and blinds left over from the deer hunt. Screams of injured animals were recorded and a few spring beaver trappers were observed outside.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent most of the week doing waterfowl training at Whitewater State Park. The rest of the week was spent angling and RV enforcement. Wood has also assisted area law enforcement with several crashes. She would like to remind people that the limit of border waters and internal waters on the Mustinka River is the National Road 117 bridge. To the south, the border waters are open for all angling. Although the river is open, please use extra caution when launching and loading boats as the access is covered in large chunks of ice.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational application. Douvier received training from the Law Enforcement Division in waterfowl identification and law enforcement methods. Commercial license checks were also performed.
CO Daniel Baumburger (Glenwood) reports that enforcement efforts for the week focused on checking anglers and ATV riders, and monitoring spring-run fish activity. Additional time was spent investigating a complaint of entrapment and a complaint of illegal materials being burned. Baumburger has prepared the spring equipment for use.
Osakis – vacant.
Elbow Lake – vacant.
Commander Jordan Anderson (Wadena) received training and dedicated time to snowmobile and fishing enforcement.
CO Adam Seifermann (staples) states to check ice fishermen and attend training. Enforcement actions consisted of a variety of angling and recreational vehicle violations.
CO Jacques Hugues (Longville) controlled angling activity. She advises anglers to be careful when traveling on the ice. She also investigated a forest harvesting complaint.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) trained at the duck school and spent time watching ATV riders and anglers throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for driving an ATV without lights, failing to transfer title, and failing to display a valid registration on an ATV.
Commander Nick Baum (Park Rapids) have been trained in waterfowl identification and enforcement. He patrolled the area lakes for sunfish fishing activity. Baum found anglers with varying success. Baum took enforcement action for a variety of infractions, including angling without a license and failing to display a valid ATV registration. Baum wants to remind anglers to check the ice conditions before venturing out on the ice.
Commander Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) mainly controlled fishermen. The ice on the lake held up last week and anglers were rewarded with good catches of perch and sunfish. The forecast rain and heat could make it impossible to access the lakes once the shoreline ice begins to erode. Mathy also spent time working on a deer-related case from last fall and a fishing TIP call. Enforcement action has been taken for a snowmobile violation.
CO Patrick McGowan (walker) patrolled Cass County lakes for late season ice fishing. He also attended Division training. Enforcement measures have been taken for many offences.
ATV Recreation Officer – vacant.