Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending May 5. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports the fishing opener brought wind and snow along with cold weather. That didn’t stop many anglers. The conditions did limit the number of fish that Vinton observed. Several anglers were reminded that, though the DMVs are closed, they could still renew their boat’s registration on-line. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing licenses, taking fish out of season, untagged bait trap and failure to display registration on an ATV.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports spending time checking anglers, ATV, and turkey hunting activity in the Pelican Rapids station. The number of anglers observed on opening weekend was significantly lower than in past years due to the rain, snow, and wind. Those anglers that braved the tough conditions on opening day were rewarded with a decent walleye bite. Some anglers reported that several fish caught in main-lake areas were still dropping eggs. Meanwhile, the cold weather appears to have slowed the spring panfish bite. Boaters are reminded that even though DMV locations are closed they still need to have current registration purchased. You can renew your registration online via the Minnesota DNR website. Assistance was also provided to county deputies on a report of an unoccupied watercraft and a domestic assault. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered watercraft, failure to affix valid registration on a watercraft, angling without a license, and angling without a license in possession.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. The fishing opener was worked over the weekend. Rain, snow and high winds kept most anglers away. An individual was contacted after he was seen using a drone to harass a nesting pair of eagles. The individual stated he was only trying to get a view of the nest.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports many anglers were out walleye fishing on the large lakes in the area despite the cold and, at times, snowy conditions. The walleye bite was relatively slow but most anglers found at least a few fish. Prior to the weekend, a call came in of a kayaker who needed help because they were unable to maneuver in windy weather and large waves on Lake Winnibigoshish. Mathy and CO Fairbanks responded and assisted the kayaker in getting off the lake. The kayaker, who was making their way from the Mississippi Headwaters to Louisiana, had many necessary supplies for their trip but failed to bring a life jacket for the journey. A citation was issued after they were rescued. The outcome would have been much different if the waves would have overtaken the kayak. Mathy also looked into complaints of domestic cattle carcasses dumped near an ATV trail, dumped sucker and deer carcasses, a hydro jet excavating the lakeshore, a beaver dam complaint, and a possible fish overlimit complaint. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) responded to a fire call at Judge CR Magney State Park. An accidental visitor-started fire was discovered and extinguished before it could really take off and do major damage. Manning also responded to a call about an unwanted gull looking for a new nesting location near someone’s front door. Opening weekend of fishing saw a good number of anglers, particularly along Lake Superior and lakes not too far inland. Many lakes farther inland in the Hovland area still had ice on them even after the nice weather on Saturday. 

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