WEEKLY DNR ENFORCEMENT REPORT: Pressure ridge on west side of Lake of the Woods, Moose trapped in ice
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Dec. 19:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Hayes Lake and Lake of the Woods. Trappers were checked, and local law enforcement assisted with a vehicle crash. Enforcement action taken for illegal length walleye and no ATV registration.
CO Larry Millbridge (Warroad) worked with DNR Waters personnel on a shoreline alteration violation investigation. Anglers on LOW were checked. A pressure ridge is restricting anglers from getting to popular fishing spots on the west side of the lake. A carcass dumping incident was addressed.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke to a group of coyote hunters about laws and ethics who were participating in a coyote hunting tournament. Anglers and ATVs were checked. Woinarowicz responded to a call of a moose stuck in the ice of a ditch, and answered questions about the Snowy Owls in the area.
CO Angela Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on the Red Lake and Thief rivers. Anglers are catching primarily northerns, with a few walleyes. Warren responded to a call of a moose frozen in the ice. Warren and the caller chiseled and pulled for two hours to free the moose, but the moose did not recover and died. An eagle carcass was recovered and transferred to DNR Wildlife officials to determine cause of death. WMAs were patrolled and ATV activity monitored.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) reports good success by walleye and pan fish anglers. Most lakes have 10-12 inches of ice. Incidentally taken bobcats were picked up, and ATVs checked.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) checked anglers on LOW and Red Lake. Anglers report good success. Ice conditions vary on the lakes and caution is urged. Complaints of over-limits of fish and deer carcass dumping were investigated. Violations detected and enforcement action taken, included several over-limits of fish, fishing with too many lines, unattended lines, and fish without a license.
Blackduck #2 - vacant.
Karlstad - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports that ice fishing activity has increased, but some lakes still have very thin ice or open water. Archery deer hunters are out and seeing some deer. A complaint of elevated stands left on a WMA was investigated.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked ATVs, anglers, spear fishermen, trappers, hunters, and fish shelters. Investigations related to wetland alterations, fire, and WMA issues were done. Mild weather has allowed many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the frozen lakes.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and fish shelters. An incidentally taken fisher was picked up from the trapper.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) focused enforcement efforts on angling, fish shelters, spear fishermen, and ATV activity. Ice conditions vary on area lakes and some open water areas remain. A TIP call of muzzleloader shots during the closed season in the Bemidji Game Refuge was investigated.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers, fish shelters, ATVs, trappers, and archery deer hunters. People venturing onto the ice should continue to use caution. Archery deer hunters report seeing few deer.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) is working on a background investigation of a conservation officer applicant. Vinton spoke to a Lions Club and answered questions about the past deer season, invasive species, and ice fishing. A cougar was reported in the Perham area.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) spoke to Youth Snowmobile Safety Classes in Moorhead and Hawley about laws, safety, and riding ethics. Angling activity is increasing on area lakes. Ice conditions vary and caution is urged. Large vehicles are not advised. Angler success has been pretty good. Complaints of WMA issues, trespass, and an over limit of fisher were investigated. Seefeldt worked with North Dakota game wardens on several license fraud cases. ATV and snowmobile owners are reminded to check their machines for current registration.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers, fish shelters, and trappers. Wetland and public waters alteration sites were inspected. Complaints from the firearm and muzzleloader deer season continue to be investigated. Stattelman met with DNR Wildlife personnel regarding issues and protocols. Stattelman appeared in court on an archery deer case.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, fish houses, trappers, and ATVs. The fish bite is pretty good. Peterson appeared in court regarding an archery deer case. An incidentally taken fisher was picked up.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, fish houses, and ATVs. Ice conditions vary from open water to 10 inches of ice. Complaints of wetland alterations, trespass, and unpermitted aeration systems were investigated. An incidentally taken fisher was turned in by the trapper.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest) followed up on wetland alteration cases in Polk, Marshall, Becker, and Ottertail counties.
Bemidji #1 - vacant.
Natural Resources pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended rotor-wing ground school, completed an annual helicopter flight review and did instrument training in the airplane.