From fishing to ATV enforcement, summer activities in full swing for DNR conservation officers

Injured- and orphaned-animal calls continue to come in. People are encouraged to leave animals in the wild. The chances of animals surviving drastically dwindle if they are taken into a home. If you care, leave it there!

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, June 13:

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended training in Bemidji and checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. A citation was issued for an illegal-length walleye.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) checked anglers fishing on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Fishing was good throughout most of the week on both bodies of water. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits of walleyes, fishing with extra lines and fishing without a current license. Sura also worked an AIS (aquatic invasive species) detail in the Baudette area.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) conducted a radio interview on steps to take when encountering baby wild animals, nuisance-bear deterrence and boating safety. He also instructed at the CO Academy and monitored area fishing and ATV activity. Enforcement action taken for the week included no ATV safety training, no helmets on juvenile ATV passengers, allowing illegal operation of an ATV and ATV-registration violations.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent time patrolling for ATV, angling and boating activity this week. Training was received, nuisance-bear complaints were taken and a firearms safety class was attended. Violations encountered included watercraft registration and commercial minnow trapping violations.


Once again, a week of mostly windy conditions made it difficult to get on the big water of Lake of the Woods and Upper Red. Overall, all anglers are still having general success.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working angling activity on special regulation lakes this past week. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake angling and AIS details, investigating TIP information and handling reports of and issuing permits for nuisance beavers. Regas also assisted the sheriff’s office with rescuing two horseback riders and their horses who became stranded in a boggy area due to high water and muddy conditions. Violations encountered and addressed this past week included possessing an overlimit of bluegills on Blackduck Lake, possession of protected slot northern pike, no throwable lifesaving device on board a motorized watercraft and watercraft registration and angling license violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) worked AIS activity in and around Lake of the Woods County.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Baudette #1 – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports giving ATV presentations for new DNR Wildlife personnel and students from Washington Elementary in Crookston this week. Time was also spent instructing at the DNR Enforcement Academy. Anglers and watercraft operators were contacted throughout the week.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports handling TIP calls of anglers taking overlimits of bass and panfish. Observations were made on several groups, but no violations were uncovered. Calls of problem bears are being directed to local Wildlife offices, and people are asked to check out the DNR “Be Bear Wise” page on the DNR website. Calls of OHM and ATVs in the road right-of-way were also taken. Calls about public water access from a township road were addressed with township supervisors and complaints of parking at a public water access were handled.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling for ATV, boating and AIS activities. Many people were still in the process of getting their boats and equipment in the water and had a great weekend to do it. Swedberg also spent time assisting Becker County with a search warrant and search and recovery for a drowning victim. Over the weekend he assisted with an AIS detail in Beltrami County. Overall compliance with AIS laws was good.


CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Follow up on open cases continued. AIS-compliance checks were performed. Training was attended in Bemidji. ATV and off-road vehicle patrol was conducted on area trails. Warren taught laws and ethics at a firearms safety class in Fosston.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on wetland and shoreline
violations with area soil and water conservation district staff. Time was also spent handling miscellaneous nuisance-animal calls.

Bagley – vacant.

Bemidji #2 – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders during the week. Calls concerning wildlife, permits and angling were handled. Additional time was spent conducting equipment services.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up with investigations early in the week. Plautz registered and is taking names for youths needing an ATV safety class in the Henning area. The class will be held June 25 in Henning.

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) arrived in the station and familiarized himself with the area. He checked anglers and monitored ATV activity. A nuisance-bear call was also fielded. Mild fishing success was observed throughout the week.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators and OHM operators. A goose-shooting complaint was received and investigated. AIS questions were received and answered.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked sport fishing activity this week. Lots of anglers were contacted who had success for panfish and bass. Injured- and orphaned-animal calls continue to come in. People are encouraged to leave animals in the wild. The chances of animals surviving drastically dwindle if they are taken into a home. If you care, leave it there!

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the week focused on angling and boating enforcement. She stopped by Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria over the weekend during the kids fishing tournament and found lots of smiling kids having a great time. Also, minnow permits were issued and enforcement contacts were made.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and boating activity. A training was also attended.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent attending training and testifying at a court trial in Douglas County.

Osakis – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) attended multiple trainings, checked area lakes and patrolled for ATV traffic. Additionally, questions from the public were fielded and answered. Cross reminds people there are burning regulations in place and if a fire is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, a burning permit is required. A burning permit can be obtained online or through the local fire warden.

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this week patrolling the area for angling, boating and recreational vehicle activity. Baum investigated a TIP call on Leech Lake with another officer. He took enforcement action on several violations related to angling and recreational vehicle operation.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) investigated a fishing and litter complaint. She also attend two ATV safety courses. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked angling and boating activity throughout the week. He also spent time assisting with Division training. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and angling violations

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time assisting with Academy instruction, testifying in court and attending a community event in Wadena. Training was prepared for a driver’s education class and OHV law for other law enforcement.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports anglers having some luck on local lakes. He reports assisting other DNR divisions and the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District with site visits for APM and Wetland Conservation Act violations. Some violations for the week consisted of operating an ATV without headlights, operating on closed trails in a state forest, failing to display registration, under 18 helmet required, non-registered non-motorized watercraft and failure to display valid watercraft registration.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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