The purpose of the Minnesota DNR Division of Enforcement weekly report is to promote the effective law enforcement and education that protect Minnesota's natural resources. Information is gathered from the Division's 18 districts as well as various subsections and compiled. This reported is dated May 14. District 2 — Bemidji area
In advance of the 2018 boating season, Minnesota will be the first state in the nation to require carbon monoxide detectors and warning stickers on certain boats. Sophia's Law, named after 7-year-old Sophia Baechler, who died tragically from carbon monoxide poisoning while on her family's boat, takes effect May 1.
This Wildfire Prevention Week (April 15-21), the Department of Natural Resources encourages people to look past the late-season snow and start getting ready for wildfire season. "In a couple of weeks, this snow will melt and we'll dry out fast — that's when wildfire season will kick in," said Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor. "The question shouldn't be 'if' wildfires will occur, but rather 'when' and 'where.' It's good to use this time to look at what we can do now to prevent and prepare for wildfires." Simple things homeowners can do now to prepare:
Visitors to Jay Cooke State Park are awed by the scenic views of the St. Louis River and the historic swinging bridge. But one thing they won't find at this iconic park is water for drinking or flushing toilets. That is because the park's main water line failed this winter, forcing the park to shut down the water supply and close all of its bathrooms with flush toilets.
In an effort to prevent wildfires, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges woodland property owners to compost their yard waste rather than burn it. "Burning should be a last resort for yard waste — especially in April and May, when wildfire risk is especially high," said Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor. "Composting prevents wildfires and reduces air pollution, so it's the safest possible way to manage yard debris." The University of Minnesota Extension offers a step-by-step guide to composting yard waste on its website.
New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state. "Anyone who wants to keep pike in Minnesota's inland waters needs to take a close look at these regulations and be prepared to measure the pike they want to keep starting on Saturday, May 12, fishing opener," said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The deadline for anglers to remove fish houses from lakes in Minnesota is approaching quickly, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Removal dates are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The removal deadline south of that line is the end of the day Monday, March 5. The deadline north of that line is the end of the day Monday, March 19.
A series of events celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will take place throughout Minnesota in 2018.
Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is this Saturday, Jan. 13 through Monday, Jan. 15. During the weekend, Minnesota residents age 16 or older can fish or dark-house spear without an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing or spearing. "Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors in the winter," said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment and retention supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "This weekend is a way to encourage anglers to get out and take a kid fishing."
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, reports of inconsistent ice thickness on area lakes continue to be a safety issue for anglers and anyone driving vehicles, including OHVs and snowmobiles, on the lakes. The fatality rate this season is already higher than the last two seasons combined. All fatalities have occurred while driving an ATV or snowmobile. In a news release, DNR Walker Area Fisheries Supervisor Doug Schultz stated ice thickness on Leech Lake is very erratic, ranging from 6 to 16 inches.