Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Aug. 17, 2020. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. A group of anglers was checked on the Roseau River who were found to be in possession of an overlimit of walleyes. Upon further investigation, it was determined the boat’s operator was intoxicated. The operator was subsequently arrested for BWI. Other anglers were checked on the Roseau River and success varied. Several boaters at the Northwest Angle were warned for operating boats after sunset with no navigation lights.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring angling, off-road vehicle, and aquatic plant management activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Lakes continue to see higher-than-average use by mostly recreational boaters, although anglers are finding a decent panfish and walleye bite on some lakes. Calls from the public included bear-baiting questions and complaints about bowfishers. Landmark assisted local deputies with a boating crash on an area lake. The operator was making a turn and the edge of the tube he was pulling dug into the water, throwing him from the boat and overturning the watercraft. Fortunately, there were no injuries, but incidents like this highlight the importance of wearing your life jacket while on the water. Enforcement action was taken for juveniles under 18 on an ATV without a helmet and failure to affix valid boat registration.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. She also assisted the Wildlife Section with roadside pheasant surveys. Wood took a call regarding an injured bird that turned out to be a red-tailed hawk that had been shot and had a broken leg. The bird had to be euthanized. She issued several minnow permits. Enforcement action for the week included allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, failure to display ATV registration, burning prohibited materials, and burning without a permit.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on the ATV and in the boat. The amount of fishing activity appeared down in the area. While on the boat, however, Anderson observed numerous potential aquatic plant and public waters violations. Riparian property owners are reminded to research whether a permit is required for plant removal before potentially violating the law. Anderson assisted the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office in locating lost ATV riders who became stuck after taking a wrong turn. Enforcement action for the week included aquatic plant management/public waters violations, youth not wearing a helmet on an ATV, too many passengers on an ATV, and an ATV DWI investigation.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked anglers and ATV riders. She responded to lost jet skiers on Leech Lake and an ATV crash, and wrote a nuisance-beaver permit. Enforcement action was taken on various ATV, fishing, and OHM violations.CO
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports a lot of bear activity in the station throughout the week. Bears have already been hitting baits after the baiting season started Aug. 14. Unfortunately, bears are still getting into dumpsters and garages along the shore. A reminder to bear hunters: Consult with U.S. Forest Service and DNR regulations regarding off-trail ATV travel. Although it may look like a road/trail to operate your machine, it very well could be an illegally maintained trail. Also keep in mind that long-standing bait stations on public land are first come, first serve. Hill took a report of a male party arguing that it is “his bait” and that he has been baiting it for many years. This kind of behavior is unnecessary and there are many opportunities elsewhere to establish a bait station. Hill spoke with a person for illegally harvesting wild animals within the Highway 61 State Game Refuge.