Mostly Trapping

New conservation officers come onboard
Dec 31, 2019 08:49 ET

(Reprinted from above link)

Weekly DNR Enforcement report for northwest Minnesota: New conservation officers come onboard at various work stations across the region
The snowstorm over the weekend has caused slush on most Bemidji-area lakes.

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, Dec. 30:

District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and trappers throughout Roseau County. Violations encountered included possession of marijuana and illegal importation of minnows from out of state.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad South) completed field training and was assigned to his permanent station in Warroad. He spent time getting to know the area and visiting with many of the resorts in the station. Johnson also worked sport fishing, trapping and snowmobile/ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of walleyes.

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) worked trapping enforcement throughout the station. Anglers were checked on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Snowmobile and ATV riders were checked going to and from the lake. Larson worked with other conservation officers on a walleye-overlimit violation.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) monitored snowmobile and angling activity in the area. Fresh snow over the weekend should make riding conditions close to ideal in the near future. Enforcement action for the week included fishing with extra lines, no ice shelter license, ATV and snowmobile registration violations, litter and no license in possession.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked trapping and snowmobile enforcement this past week. Trails should finally be in great condition with the heavy snowfall this weekend and all the hard work put in by local snowmobile clubs to get them groomed and in optimum shape for riding.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking trapping activity and anglers on special regulation lakes throughout the past week. The recent heavy snow has increased the amount of deep slush conditions on area lakes and created holes and open water on some lakes. Regas reminds anglers to use caution on area lakes if operating trucks and ATVs on the ice and venturing off plowed ice roads. Time was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails and handling various wildlife-related calls. Violations encountered and addressed included snowmobile registration and angling license violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports fishing success has waned on Upper Red Lake. Time was spent working angling activity and commercial minnow inspections.

Baudette East – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports taking various wildlife-related complaints. Time was also spent answering questions from the public and issuing deer-possession permits.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked ice anglers and spearers.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked angling activity on area lakes. The snowstorm over the weekend has caused slush on most area lakes. He worked a snowmobile detail with CO Zavodnik in the Cook area. Cross-country skiers were checked for ski passes.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) focused on angling, snowmobile and trapping enforcement. She dealt with a wolf that was taken accidentally and with a car-killed bobcat. Ice conditions in the area remain fairly poor on many lakes, with a lot of slush and some thin ice and open water still present. Please remember to be cautious when venturing out on the ice, regardless of how well you may know the lake.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports completing the field training portion of the Academy process with Conservation Officer Jordan Anderson, who’s now stationed in Wadena. Anderson will be a welcome addition to the DNR, the Division of Enforcement and the Wadena area. A heavy, wet snow event dumped about a foot and a half of wet snow in the Perham area. Several anglers expressed concerns about their fish houses and many took advantage of the nice day Friday, Dec. 27, to block or remove their shelters. Anglers should also remember the tagging and marking requirements.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. The panfish bite has slowed and most anglers were struggling to catch any decent-sized fish. With the weekend snowstorm, ice conditions are going to continue to be difficult for anglers to get houses out on to lakes. On the bright side, the storm is bringing fresh snow for the snowmobile trails and should pack nicely to improve trail conditions. Caution should be used when crossing lakes, as many lakes have water and slush on top of the ice. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession while fishing, operating a snowmobile without registration displayed, operating a snowmobile with a modified muffler/loud exhaust and no snowmobile safety certificate.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent time working sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. He also spent time preparing for upcoming court cases from the firearms deer season.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity on area lakes. Getting around on the lakes continues to be a challenge with water on top and varying ice conditions. Snowmobile activity was worked, with trails in fair condition. Heavy snow over the weekend should allow for improvement.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports getting settled into her new station this past week after successfully finishing the field training program. Patrol efforts were focused on snowmobile and ice fishing activity. Enforcement action taken included various fishing and ATV violations.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) started in her station this past week. She spent some time getting to know her area and found some fishing and snowmobile activity. Violations encountered were no license in possession and allowing illegal operation by a juvenile. Wood got reports of poor ice conditions on Lake Traverse but observed some smaller-sized trucks on the ice.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, pheasant hunters and ATV and snowmobile operators. Heavy, wet snow over the weekend is beginning to create slushy conditions on area lakes. Anglers are urged to use caution on area lakes as ice conditions vary greatly. Complaints of litter and road hunting were investigated.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) focused on snowmobile and angling enforcement on area lakes and trails. Conditions were slushy but have improved with the recent snowfall. Anglers checked report a slow bite and planned on removing their ice shelters before the winter storm. Additional time was spent handling trespassing complaints and answering questions about trapping regulations.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked the Alexandria-area snowmobile trails this past week after a few significant snowfalls. Quite a few sleds were out and about enjoying the warm riding weather. Lawler assisted several riders dig out after getting stuck in deep ditches. Anglers are now dealing with numerous slush pockets on nearly all lakes, making it a soggy experience. Several citations were issued to anglers for using extra lines, fishing without licenses and keeping illegal-length crappies.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused primarily on angling activity during the week. Time was also spent checking recreational vehicles throughout the area. Ice conditions vary and caution is still advised. Holt worked on preparing a snowmobile safety class for the Osakis area. Enforcement activity related to angling license violations.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, fish houses and snowmobile riders. Ice conditions aren’t improving with the heavy, wet snow and flooding has increased on area lakes. The most common violation encountered was fish houses without proper identification on the outside.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) received calls about a dead owl, dead swan, and a deer struggling in a river. Plautz checked ice anglers, but the weekend storm kept activity to a minimum. Snowmobile trails were monitored and snowmobile safety classes continue to be scheduled. A background investigation continues for a potential future employee.

District 4 - Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time settling into her new station and learning the area. Ice fishing and snowmobile enforcement was worked. There was a large amount of snowmobile activity over the weekend. Violations included failure to renew snowmobile registration and failure to display valid registration.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and snowmobile riders. Work also continues on deer season cases. Heavy snow in the area has been great for snowmobile trails but has made area lakes difficult to access. There isn’t much ice-making going on and slush is appearing frequently. As such, there is reduced angling activity and wheeled fish houses have remained largely off the lakes. Five to 12 inches of ice on lakes has been seen recently. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked anglers, snowmobile riders and trapping activity. She responded to a truck that fell through the ice and a snowmobile accident. Enforcement action was taken for tampering with traps.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked fishing, trapping and snowmobile activity during the week. Several anglers were checked prior to the snowstorm, with many reporting difficult travel on area lakes. Several snowmobilers were checked during and after the snow, with trail conditions reported to be good. Due to poor ice conditions, many anglers are utilizing portable houses on the lakes. Reminder that if a portable house is left unattended on the ice, a shelter license and the owner’s information must be displayed.

Lake George – vacant.

Park Rapids – vacant.

Walker – vacant.