Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers for Northwest Minnesota and Adjacent Areas of Northern Minnesota for Monday, May 2:
District 1 – Baudette district
CO Ben Huener (Reed) demolished an abandoned fishing shelter on Lake of the Woods. The law and ethics portion of the gun safety training was given to the Warroad class. Anglers were checked on the Warroad River and turkey hunters around Roseau and Marshall counties. Law enforcement contacts included anglers fishing without a license.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) continued the preparation and maintenance of the boats and attended a meeting of the Keep It Clean Committee (Lake of the Woods). Another week of high, fast, dirty water and less than ideal weather conditions made angling success quite low for sturgeon throughout the week. Most river controlled anglers used a minimum of 10 ounces of weight to stay on the bottom. Better success was found for anglers in Four-mile Bay. Remember that the sturgeon “keeping” season is open until Saturday, May 7 and that sturgeon fishing is only possible until May 15.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to monitor turkey hunting and ATV activity. He spoke at a firearms safety course and an injured eagle call was answered.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) issued a permit for a deer killed by car and a permit to take nuisance beavers. He continued to monitor turkey hunting activities and followed up on ongoing cases.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) monitored turkey hunting activity this week. Boat maintenance was done in anticipation of walleye opening and pest calls were addressed.
Commander Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports monitoring of spring run activity and area ATV trail activity and seasonal trail closures. Time was spent assisting with water survival officer training at Camp Ripley for the MSP academy and assisting instructors with the Blackduck ATV Safety course/field day. Law enforcement action was taken last week for driving a Class 2 ATV into the ditch of a state highway right-of-way.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports that wet conditions are keeping most athletes indoors today. Time was spent preparing for the open water fishing season and applying AIS (aquatic invasive species).
War Road #1 – vacant.
War Road #2 – vacant.
Donkey #1 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji district
Commander Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a gun safety course at Plummer. A possible wetland violation has been verified. Angling activity was monitored on area lakes and streams.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitoring area streams for spring fish run activities. Incidentally captured otters were seized and donated to the Minnesota Trappers Association fur project. The officer spent a day on the Rainy River controlling sturgeon fishermen. The current remains strong and the bite was slow. A complaint of an individual burning prohibited materials was investigated and closed logging roads were patrolled.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating TIP calls of possible deer kills out of season and an ATV operating illegally south of U.S. Highway 10. Several dead deer calls found were taken with dead swans and eagles. All of the swans appeared to have struck power lines and there was no immediate cause of death for the eagle. Calls were answered about posting private land and what to do with illegal stands on someone’s private property. AC Vinton has completed the Vergas Firearms Safety Course.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking out the latest ice fishermen in the area this week. Rain and warmer weather have started to open up some of the lakes, but ice remains. Be extremely careful if you go out on the ice again. Commander Swedberg also participated in water survival training for the Minnesota State Patrol Academy.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, monitored ice conditions, worked with a slow bow setter, and handled calls about bears and trapping bycatch.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, spring turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. A presentation on law and ethics was given at an ATV safety course in Ada. Time was also spent responding to various wildlife calls.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) area rivers and streams monitored for fish spawning activity. Both WMA and WPA were patrolled for activity. The lakes were checked for ice conditions and angling. ATV and off-road vehicle activity has been worked on.
CO Bill’s Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking on angling and turkey hunting. Commander Landmark assisted other nearby commanders with a possible over-limit complaint. Commander Landmark also seized an accidental otter and issued a possession tag for a roadkill otter. Time was also spent assisting with the Pelican Rapids Firearms Safety Course, where 21 students were certified.
Bagley – vacant.
Bemidji #2 – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) observed that many lakes in the area become ice clear throughout the week. Some of the deeper, more wind-protected lakes will need some sun to be completely ice-free. Goodman worked with turkey hunters and anglers, with both groups reporting minimal success as they battled the shifting winds and rain. More time was spent investigating waterfowl taken out of season and speaking at two gun safety classes.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked in a fish run activity, turkey hunters and spoke at a law and ethics gun safety course. Plautz presented two volunteer safety instructors with their 40-year awards for teaching youth gun safety. Congratulations to Lance Wohlend and James Seelhammer of Deer Creek for their awards. Your work is much appreciated!
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked turkey hunters and fish spawning areas. The cool weather has slowed spawning for some fish, but it will resume soon. A bow carp was found in the middle of a county road intersection in Douglas County. Please have a place to dispose of your rough fish rather than on the pavement or road ditch.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) patrolled around the Alexandria and Osakis areas, primarily monitoring sunfish fishing activity. Icebreaking occurred on most lakes in the region this week, so a few boats were seen on the water, and some anglers were also contacted. Water temperatures are still very low and sunfish are not yet fully active. Bow fishing activity was minimal with the cold and wet weather. A gun safety class was spoken and open water station equipment was prepared for peak season.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focusing on angling and small game law enforcement. Water levels are still extremely high and dam parking lots are flooded. Wood also assisted CO Douvier with a gun safety class.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) indicates the application of the law on fishing and hunting turkeys. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a burning permit.
CO Daniel Baumburger (Glenwood) reports that enforcement efforts for the week focused on controlling anglers, boaters and spring beaver trappers. Additional time was spent checking ATV riders and turkey hunters. As the lakes in the region are ice-free, the station’s equipment has been prepared for use in open water.
Osakis – vacant.
Elbow Lake – vacant.
CO Jacques Hugues (Longville) responded to a loon that accidentally landed in a parking lot. The loon was safely released.
Commander Jordan Anderson (Wadena) investigated a TIP on a trapping-related case and spent time patrolling state forest lands in the area for turkey hunting activities and operations on closed trail violations. The opening of bow fishing was much slower than in previous years, with many lakes in the region still covered in ice.
CO Patrick McGowan (walker) patrolled Cass County for angling activities throughout the week. Commander McGowan also maintained station equipment and completed divisional formations.
Commander Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) responded to a complaint of entrapment and littering at the Lake George station. Mathy also took a call about a sick deer and answered questions about bear hunting regulations. Some turkey hunters were out and a few fishermen were checked. Enforcement action was taken for a trapping offence.
ATV Recreation Officer – vacant.