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Possessing dressed fillets on special regulations lakes remains a common fishing violation, DNR officer says

Anglers south of U.S. Highway 10 and State Highway 34 in Minnesota are reminded the shelter removal deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 6.

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Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officer in northwest Minnesota and adjacent areas of northern Minnesota for Monday, Feb. 27.

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River. A student from Baudette High School rode along with Huener and observed checks on Lake of the Woods. Fishing continues to be slow on the big lake, with small saugers making up most of the kept fish. Assistance was given to CO Hams processing an overlimit. A deer-feeding case is being investigated in the Greenbush area. Other violations for the week included multiple enforcement actions for people operating a snowmobile greater than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, with one snowmobiler going 34 miles per hour over the speed limit.

CO Tony Hams (Warroad North) spent the week checking area ice anglers and following up on various complaints. Violations encountered this week were overlimits of walleyes/sauger, transporting fish without skin patches, and fishing without a license.

CO Coby Fontes (Baudette East) spent the week enforcing ice fishing regulations and following up on TIP complaints. He reports a common violation he encountered was people possessing dressed fillets on lakes with special regulations. He urges folks to carefully look at the laws pertaining to this before venturing out onto special waters. Fontes also encountered a traffic hazard and intervened. Several charges resulting, including driving while intoxicated and possession of drugs and paraphernalia.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) investigated a complaint of an individual who possibly intentionally ran over five deer in Marshall County. He also investigated a complaint of the unlawful taking of a gray wolf. Follow up from open deer season cases was also conducted.


Newfolden among communities that could benefit from $15 million of undesignated funding in the DNR's Flood Hazard Mitigation Program.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Regas noted most anglers reported a slow bite as the colder weather returned to the region. Regas worked a snowmobile enforcement detail with CO Hutchins on area trails and monitored activity around the annual Blackduck Stumpjumpers Snowmobile Club Drag Races. Time was spent monitoring snowmobile trail and cross-country ski trail activity, handling a call regarding wolf concerns and issuing car-killed wildlife possession permits. Regas responded to a call of an eagle that had appeared to have been hit by a car. Upon arrival, Regas discovered it was a wild turkey that was misidentified as an eagle. Enforcement action for the week included no cross-country ski pass and angling license violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports good trail conditions and slow fishing. Enforcement action was taken for angling with unattended lines, angling with extra lines, failure to display a shelter tag and possession of marijuana.

Warroad South – vacant.

Baudette West – vacant.

Thief River Falls East – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports patrolling area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails. Time was also spent checking anglers and ATV operators.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) attended NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) boat incident investigation training in Hudson, Wis.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) monitored shelters for the upcoming fish house removal deadline. Anglers south of U.S. Highway 10 and State Highway 34 in the Perham area are reminded the shelter removal deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 6. Calls were answered about what happens if a shelter is not removed by the deadline. In addition to a fine, the angler may be responsible for the cost of removal and the loss of their shelter. Every effort should be made to remove them by the deadline. Also, shelters may not be left at the public accesses. The end of the fishing season saw a late winter storm and cold weather. A fill-in-public-waters case was closed with successful restoration.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area snowmobile trails and checking anglers. Area trails benefited from the recent snowfall, and plenty of snowmobilers were seen throughout the week. Swedberg also spent time around the Detroit Lakes area as the town finished its Polar Fest activities with some snowmobile races, a polar plunge and fireworks. All events went well, and many contacts were made. Enforcement action for the week included speeding on a snowmobile, operating an unregistered snowmobile, failing to transfer a snowmobile and operating a snowmobile with modified exhaust.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked snowmobile activity on area lakes and trails. A call of an individual with his vehicle stuck on a snowmobile trail was received. People are reminded to determine whether a road is open or part of a snowmobile trail system before driving on them. Angling activity was worked, with fish house removal starting to increase. Warren completed required online training.

CO Brett Fox (Bemidji #2) spent the week patrolling for snowmobile and ice angling activity. Fox worked snowmobile enforcement with a neighboring officer. An investigation into a trapping violation was completed. Fox also assisted a farmer in returning an escaped cow to its pen. Violations this week include fishing with extra lines and an overlimit of crappies.

Bagley – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) worked snowmobile and ice shelter enforcement this week. Trail conditions improved with recent snow and grooming, while angling success was limited. Additional time was spent assisting the sheriff’s office with a crash and instructing a snowmobile safety class in Underwood.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time checking fish house activity. There’s a significant decrease in fish house numbers on the ice. Severe weather throughout the week kept most activity to a minimum. Plautz completed mandatory training, worked with the Wisconsin DNR on a complaint and followed up on several dogs trespassing/chasing deer complaints. Coyote hunters were observed throughout the week. Snowmobile trails have improved with the recent snow, and groomers have been active.


CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) continued to monitor angling and snowmobiling activity in the area. A reminder to have your ice houses off the lakes by the end of the day March 6. He also assisted neighboring counties with apprehending a person with multiple felony warrants.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, snowmobile and ATV riders, and fish houses, which have been coming off of area lakes at a good pace. Questions about feeding deer and shed hunting were received and answered.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended NASBLA training all week in Wisconsin, learning about watercraft incident investigations. Very knowledgeable instructors made it a very beneficial training.

CO Felicia Znajda (Osakis) has been seeing an improvement in overall fishing reports. With that being said, violations have also been on a rise. Fishing with too many lines, unattended lines and northern pike within the protected slot being kept are among the violations.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent this past week focusing on angling enforcement and working on follow up. Phone calls from people with general angling questions were handled, and minnow permits were issued.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports completing various district tasks and fielding station calls and questions. A deer-possession permit was also issued.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Baumbarger participated in a snowmobile detail over the weekend in the Grand Rapids area. Additional time was spent monitoring fish house removal and following up on deer-feeding complaints.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement and monitored local cross-country ski trails. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations, angling violations and cross-country ski violations.


CO Corey Sura (Remer) patrolled area snowmobile trails and worked on ongoing investigations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken on multiple snowmobiles with expired registration.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) attended training throughout the week. McGowan also worked snowmobile trails, with numerous violations detected.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time checking area lakes and trails. Snow conditions improved during the week. TIPs were received regarding litter around fish houses and enforcement action was taken.

Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports attending training in St. Paul.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to primarily check angling activity. The perch bite was good again this past week. Mathy also responded to a report that a vehicle may have gone through the ice. It turned out the report was not true. No vehicles went through the ice. Mathy also followed up on a deer-feeding ban complaint. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of perch and a deer-feeding ban violation.

ATV rec officer – vacant.

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