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Conservation officers encounter pot-smoking angler, sick eagle, straying snowmobilers and more

People shooting from their vehicles. An ice angler smoking pot. An eagle suffering from lead poisoning. Snowmobilers trespassing on private land.

That's just some of the things conservation officers encounter in a few day's work.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provided the following weekly enforcement report that conservation officers (CO) filed on March 1 for the District 3 area in Fergus Falls, which includes Douglas County:

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) monitored fish house removal from area lakes. Shelter owners were reminded to clean-up their areas and that shelters cannot be left on public accesses. Angler success was spotty.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters. Complaints of shooting from vehicles, snowmobile trespass on private land, and snowmobiles operating in WMAs and WPAs were investigated. The fish house removal from area lakes seems a little slow.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated a coyote hunter by using a snowmobile complaint. The fish house removal and debris clean-up activities were monitored.

CO Mike Shelden (Alexandria) inventoried shelters and debris areas on the lakes. Anglers, snowmobilers, and coyote hunters were checked. One angler was observed smoking marijuana and had a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was served and the subject was transported to jail by the sheriff's department.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) monitored fish house removal and debris clean-up on area lakes. Angling and snowmobile activity levels remain high. Predator hunters and investigations of people that applied for the landowner turkey preference were done. The officer spoke to a Boy Scout Troop about furbearers and conservation officer duties.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports angling activity has slowed and travel on lakes is difficult for wheeled vehicles. Anglers, snowmobilers, and predator hunters were checked. Fish house removal activity was monitored. Complaints of predator hunters chasing coyotes with motor vehicles, shooting from motor vehicles, transporting loaded firearms, and trespassing were investigated.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on angling and snowmobile activity. Fish house removal activity was monitored. Angling activity was up over the weekend. The officer assisted with angling and snowmobile enforcement in neighboring stations. The officer concentrated on a coyote hunter complaint area and located hunters transporting loaded firearms in motor vehicles. The officer assisted with teaching the final class for the Morris Firearm Safety Class.

CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reports many anglers out over the weekend, but angler success remains slow. Large numbers of fish houses were removed from the lakes over the weekend. Snowmobile trails were patrolled, and anglers, snowmobilers, predator hunters, and ATVers were checked. An injured eagle and owl that were recently picked up and examined are suspected of having lead poisoning.