Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending May 18. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods. A barred owl was rescued from the Roseau River. It had become entangled in fishing line that was attached to a snagged lure in a tree. The wet, hypothermic owl was untangled, dried off, warmed up and released to the wild the next day. Enforcement contacts for the week included angling without license, angling with extra line, litter, and operating watercraft after sunset without navigation lights.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) concentrated on boating safety and angling enforcement. A possible wolf depredation was also investigated. Many boaters and anglers were out this weekend with the nice weather. Boaters and anglers are reminded that all watercraft need to have at least one Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device for each person on board. This applies to all watercraft including kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. A Class IV throwable (boat cushion) does not count as a life jacket but must be immediately available on watercraft 16 feet or longer (except for canoes and kayaks). In addition, anyone under the age of 10 must wear their life jacket unless the watercraft is docked, moored or anchored for swimming. Violations encountered this week included boating, angling and ATV violations.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked fishing and OHV activity during the week. Numerous questions have been received about recreational opportunities available. Please refer to the DNR website for trail, campground and facility status. Nuisance-beaver and -bear complaints were received and a deer caught in a cemetery gate was released.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports many people were out enjoying the lakes and state forest areas. The walleye bite remained slow but it’s getting better as the water warms. Mathy followed up on reports of an angler fishing muskies out of season, a crappie-overlimit complaint, a nuisance-bear complaint and assistance was provided in response to a horseback riding accident in the Paul Bunyan State Forest. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and OHM violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check angling and boating activity. She received multiple calls of fish being dumped along roads and accesses. Enforcement action was taken for keeping largemouth bass out of season.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The nice weather brought out a fair amount of anglers. Success is slow. According to anglers, the water is cold and the fish are less active. No fishing license in possession and expired registration were the most common violations observed. He assisted a boater who was having mechanical trouble on Fishtrap Lake. The boat owner left his radio on and that drained his battery and then he could not start the boat. Posner received a complaint of a bowfishers dumping rough fish in the Pillsbury Forest near Rock Lake. He checked turkey hunters, who report poor success and not seeing as many turkeys.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, state park and invasive species enforcement. He worked a wetland draining complaint, a second walleye-carcass-dumping complaint in as many weeks, and taught a wildlife identification class. So far this year, nearly all folks observed paddling kayaks did not have PFDs on board. Kayaks are watercraft, and not as seaworthy as other craft, which makes PFDs a must. One life jacket deficient, a kayaker checked also had no fishing license and no trout stamp on a designated trout lake. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license, no trout stamp, possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, and a number of ATV and boating violations.

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