Published March 21, 2011, 02:01 PM

DNR Enforcement report: Illegal pike bait, Deteriorating ice conditions etc.

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) said work continues with informing the fishing public about illegal bait used for pike fishing, and large quantities of illegal bait is being seized.

By: Minnesota DNR, Grand Forks Herald

Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for March 21:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Work continues with informing the fishing public about illegal bait used for pike fishing, and large quantities of illegal bait is being seized. An illegal deer feeding case was investigated in the Bovine TB feed ban area. CO Huener helped with a Firearms Safety Class in Roseau. Anglers were checked at the Roseau Customs Port.

CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) notes that anglers on Lake of the Woods have started removing their fish houses as conditions begin to deteriorate. Northern pike anglers were out in numbers with many questions and issues in regard to the new dead bait regulations. Anglers were checked with CO Huener. Enforcement action was taken for angling and fish shelter violations.

CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) took part in a weekend patrol of anglers on Lake of the Woods. Conditions are changing daily with the weather. Enforcement action was taken on over limit of walleye, snowmobile and ATV registration, and other miscellaneous fishing violations. Officer Birchem assisted in a presentation given on the proposed license fee increase.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored ice shelter removal, answered a call of dogs chasing deer, and prepared equipment for possible flood response. He worked with CO Huener investigating possible deer feeding sites in the bovine TB feeding ban area and checked crappie fishermen on the Red Lake River.

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored ice house removal from the Red Lake and Thief rivers. CO Warren was interviewed by a college student interested in pursuing a career as a conservation officer. The officer was also interviewed in regards to her preparations for possible flood activity. Follow up was conducted regarding individuals feeding deer in the bovine TB feeding ban area. A call of deer and possible coyote carcasses dumped in a ditch was received with the investigation ongoing.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) monitored panfish angling on area lakes. Remaining fish houses on Red Lake were marked by GPS. CO Vollbrecht participated in a work detail on Lake of the Woods with CO Huener, CO Gorecki, CO Birchem, and CO VanderWeyst. Violations encountered during the week include unregistered ATV, angle without license, angle with extra lines and over limit of sauger.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Pike anglers are reporting good tip-up success in the Zippel Bay and Rocky Point areas of Lake of the Woods. Snowmobiling conditions have diminished due to warmer temperatures, but there is still enough snow on area trails. Enforcement action taken included angling, snowmobiling, and littering violations.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) monitored fish house removal from area lakes. The local snowmobile trails are almost clear of snow. The officer participated in an interview with a regional newspaper about wolves and other DNR issues. He also took part in a live radio talk show.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) responded to complaints of wanton waste, butchered deer carcasses dumped in road ditches and coyotes killing domestic cats. The officer participated in a live radio talk show with CO Bensen. Fish house removal was monitored, and the officer responded to a burglary alarm with local law enforcement officers. Firearms Safety Classes were scheduled. Signs of spring are starting as waterfowl return to the area.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) investigated wanton waste complaints involving deer taken during the 2010 season. A few anglers were checked and fish house removal was monitored.

CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) monitored angling and fish house removal activity, including complaints of litter left on the ice. The officer responded to calls of illegal burning and a deer that had fallen through the ice. Follow-up on a wetland restoration order site was done. The officer spoke to a Firearms Safety Class about laws, safety and ethics.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports lots of water on top of the ice on lakes, making it very slippery. The ice is starting to pull away from the shore in a few places making access difficult. Violations detected: leaving a fish house on a public access, no ATV registration, and no angling license in possession.

CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) continues to monitor water levels in the Buffalo and Red rivers, check on overland flooding, and prepare for a flood response. Complaints of trespass by coyote hunters, and cutting trees and placing them in the Wild Rice River for erosion control were investigated. Anglers were checked and fish house removal monitored.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and monitored fish house removal. The officer assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge with vehicles driving onto Tamarac Lake; the lake is a non-motorized area. Complaints of dogs chasing deer and snowmobile operation were investigated. Three young men were contacted after they intentionally ran over some raccoons with their truck. The guys were picking the animals up and intended to sell them to a fur buyer. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, monitored fish house removal, and took action for fish house left on public accesses. He also investigated complaints of dogs chasing deer and unattended fishing lines.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and responded to TIP calls involving fish. A dead bald eagle was picked up and a confiscated fisher disposed of. Fish house removal was monitored. Some lake access points are deteriorating, making access to the lakes difficult.

Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson answered questions about aquatic invasive species at the New York Mills Trade Show. Wetland alteration case files are being reviewed.

Bemidji #1 - vacant.

Natural resources pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a training flight and attended to administrative tasks.