Conservation officer Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time on the lakes focusing on fishing, ATV, and snowmobile enforcement. Many eager people were out enjoying the warmer weather over the weekend and several kids were observed playing in the snow. Still a very common violation is not properly displaying a shelter tag or identification on fish houses left overnight. Other violations encountered were fishing with extra lines, leaving lines unattended, expired registrations on ATV/snowmobiles, and no license in possession. Ice conditions vary widely across the area and caution needs to be used when venturing out onto area lakes.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on fishing and snowmobile enforcement and assisted Wildlife staff with furbearer registration. The number of furs registered was up drastically from last year, which is surprising given the low fur prices. Some snowmobile trails were groomed, but conditions remain poor. Enforcement action for the past week included trapping without a license, taking fisher out of season, failure to validate a site coupon, angling with extra lines, no license in possession, and failure to display snowmobile registration.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports snowmobile and winter angling activity is picking up. Several riders have taken to area road rights-of-way to ride and have found some trails passable, though the snow base on those trails is still needing more snow. Anglers are finding 11 to 14 inches of ice and larger houses are starting to show up on area lakes. Anglers should always use good judgement and check ice conditions for themselves. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, failing to display valid snowmobile registration, no shelter license and no angling license.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Area lakes were busy over the holiday weekend with anglers. Anglers were able to find some panfish and the occasional walleye. The first groomers were seen on area snowmobile trails, but more snow is needed for quality riding. Violations for the week included slot violations for walleyes and crappies on Lake Lida, registration issues on snowmobiles and ATVs, and no license in possession. Swedberg also assisted Becker County with several calls for service and a medical on area lakes.
Compiled from area Minnesota DNR conservation officer reports for the week of Jan. 4.