DNR Enforcement report: Illegal bait problems continue, Flooding issues etc.CO Ben Huener (Roseau) conducted angling and invasive species checks on Lake of the Woods. Many anglers are still being educated about the potentially dangerous bait being used, and lots of illegal bait is being seized. Although tip-up fishing for pike has been spotty, many large pike are being caught.
By: Minnesota DNR, Grand Forks Herald
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for April 4:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) removed illegal permanent stands from local Wildlife Management Areas. CO Huener presented the law and ethics portion of the Firearms Safety Training class in Lancaster. Angling and invasive species checks were conducted on Lake of the Woods. Many anglers are still being educated about the potentially dangerous bait being used, and lots of illegal bait is being seized. Although tip-up fishing for pike has been spotty, many large pike are being caught.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) spent time on fish house removal issues. Northern pike anglers were checked along with invasive species checks on bait. Discarded deer carcasses are prompting complaints from the public.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) followed up on a person burning his fish house that was frozen on Lake of the Woods, with charges pending. Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River saw lots of anglers last week. Ice conditions were pretty good before the weekend sun and rain. The Rainy River saw most of the accesses open with fishing being fair. Enforcement action was taken on over limits and ATV registration.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the Firearms Safety Training Class in Warren. Calls on nuisance beaver, injured deer and owls, dumping of deer carcasses were received. A public waters violation was investigated and area waterways were monitored for flooding conditions.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored angling activity and water levels on the Red Lake and Thief rivers. CO Warren spoke at a deer hunter’s association meeting and answered questions on firearms transportation and trapping. Equipment maintenance was performed.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) assisted instructors with two classroom portions of firearms safety training. Follow up was conducted on a trapping complaint and area ATV activity was monitored. CO Backer checked area anglers and received complaints of double tripping. Equipment maintenance was performed. Enforcement action for the week included overlimit of fish and ATV violations.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) monitored anglers on area lakes. The panfish bite has been spotty. CO Vollbrecht monitored area WMAs and closed state forest roads. Maintenance was performed on station equipment.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing activity throughout the week. Anglers are having fair success on the Rainy River. Numerous reports of 20+ inch fish being caught and many sturgeon as well. CO Gorecki investigated littering complaints and ice houses being left on the ice. Enforcement action included fishing and boating violations.
Karlstad - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) reports a few anglers taking to the ice pursuing panfish. Winter equipment maintenance was done and summer equipment taken out of storage. An interview with a regional newspaper about various DNR topics was done. An injured deer was dispatched.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, responded to calls of sick/injured deer, and investigated the burning of prohibited materials. An adult was Firearms Safety certified so he could participate in a Colorado elk hunt. Equipment was readied for flood response.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted the sheriff’s department with a search for a missing person.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) continues to monitor river water levels and overland flooding issues. A number of roads have been closed due to water over the road. The Red River will move into the moderate flood stage soon. TIP calls involving fish over limits and a swan shooting were investigated. The swan was shot and left in a field northeast of Barnesville. Anyone with information should contact the officer or call the TIP Hotline at (800) 652-9093.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) monitored angling, ATV, coyote hunting and snowmobile activity. A lake service provider aquatic invasive species training class was attended. Complaints involving coyote hunters and sick/injured animals were investigated. He continued work on a use of force instructor project.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers. The crappie and sunfish bite has improved and so has the angling activity. He investigated nuisance animal and trespass complaints.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, monitored the snow goose migration, disposed of a dead raptor and investigated angling TIP calls. The officer assisted a police department with a drug case investigation.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson assisted with the bait dealer invasive species training in Park Rapids, and the lake service provider invasive species training in Detroit Lakes. The training sessions had over 60 people at each site.
Bemidji #1 - vacant.
Natural Resources Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a night training flight and attended to administrative tasks.