DNR Enforcement report: Illegal trapping, Annual training, Spring fishing etc.CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored sturgeon fishing and fire activity throughout the week. Anglers reported an improvement in fishing success as the Rainy River’s clarity improved throughout the week.
By: Minnesota DNR, Grand Forks Herald
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwestern Minnesota for the week of May 2:
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated illegal trapping and attended training at Camp Ripley. An injured bald eagle was caught and brought to a raptor rehabilitator.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. An illegal fire was investigated with charges pending on the suspect. Numerous phone calls were returned to the public.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River and monitored ATV activity. The Wildlife Division was assisted with a sharp-tailed grouse survey. CO Birchem investigated a trespass complaint on state property. Enforcement action for the week included operating watercraft without navigational lights, insufficient PFDs, operating ATV on highway, and possessing spear near water before May 1.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended annual training for firearms and defensive tactics, wilderness first aid, and technology training at Camp Ripley. Calls concerning nuisance beavers and bears were answered. CO Woinarowicz patrolled area waterways and marshes at the end of the beaver trapping season.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of a Firearms Safety class in Middle River. A possible gray wolf depredation was investigated and areas were patrolled for ARV activity. CO Warren followed up on a call of traps not being checked in a timely manner. Calls were received in regards to nuisance bears and a possible nuisance beaver. Area ditches and rivers were monitored for fish run activity and angling activity.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and issued special beaver permits for road damage issues. A number of otters were seized from accidental catches and area fish run activity was monitored. CO Backer assisted volunteer instructors with a Firearms Safety day for two classes in Blackduck and one in Kelliher.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Blackduck) monitored spring fish run activity and answered questions on minnow trapping. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Closed forest roads were monitored for any activity.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored sturgeon fishing and fire activity throughout the week. Anglers reported an improvement in fishing success as the Rainy River’s clarity improved throughout the week. Fire activity has increased with several wildfires currently under investigation. Annual training was attended at Camp Ripley and commercial minnow operations were monitored.
Karlstad - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and gave an interview to a regional newspaper on fishing activity. Injured deer were checked on and complaints of nuisance animals were referred to the DNR Wildlife Division.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) helped teach ATV Safety with the sheriff’s department for area youth. Area angling activity was monitored and training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) attended training at Camp Ripley. Many anglers were found taking advantage of the suckers that were in area creeks. Enforcement actions were taken for illegal equipment as some anglers were using large hooks and weights in an attempt to snag the vulnerable fish. CO Vinton attended a local firearms safety class and discussed laws and ethics with the class. A possible shoreline violation was investigated. CO Vinton represented the Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division at the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA) memorial service in Detroit Lakes.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) received a report of anglers unlawfully possessing walleyes from the Buffalo River. Angler checks were conducted. CO Seefeldt assisted state and federal officers with arson investigations in Becker County after several fires were intentionally set. Reports were forwarded to the county attorney on a case where juveniles were taking muskrats out of season, shooting muskrats with firearms, and shooting from a motor vehicle. A law presentation was given to the Felton Firearms Safety Class.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking fishing activity and monitoring fish run activity. A Firearms Safety Class was attended and laws and ethics were spoken on. Instruction was given as a Use of Force Instructor at Camp Ripley for in-service. Area ATV activity was monitored and fire enforcement was worked around the station. CO Stattelman investigated a number of TIP calls including bass out of season, fishing in closed areas, walleye out of season, and trespass.
CO Alan Peterson (Osage) responded to a complaint of a dead horse that had been killed and a throat injury to a dog at the same farm. Suspects on the horse kill are dogs, coyotes or other scavengers after the horse had an unfortunate collision with an old plow in the pasture. The horse most likely was being chased or harassed. No fresh wolf sign was found. Area fish run activity was monitored and beaver trappers were checked.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking shore anglers. Crappie action was slow. Turkey hunters were checked, complaints of persons shooting geese and destroying nests were investigated, and assistances was given to a local police department with a fight. CO Forsberg worked on a wildfire arson investigation, investigated a dead loon call, and did equipment maintenance.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) monitored spring fish run and ATV activity. The law portion of an ATV Safety class in Bemidji was taught and annual training was attended at Camp Ripley. Calls of nuisance bears and trapping complaints were investigated.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson attended annual enforcement training as well as working turkey hunters, anglers, invasive species and fish run activities. CO Hanson also found a locked bank bag which had been cut open along a Becker County River. The bag was turned over to the sheriff’s department for investigation.
Natural resources pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the statewide goose helicopter survey on Friday.