Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending June 14, 2021. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports time was spent following up on previous cases and primarily working ATV enforcement throughout the week. Many ATV violations were encountered, and he observed quite a few individuals under the age 18 not wearing helmets. Zavodnik also encountered an individual carrying a 3-year-old passenger on a moped. During Zavodnik’s observations, the passenger had no helmet on and was riding in the operator’s lap as both lanes of traffic were slowing down for them. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, boating activity, and checked public accesses. In addition, time was spent attending training at Camp Ripley and speaking with kids at “Safety Town,” which is a local event geared towards teaching children how to be safe in many aspects of daily life. Calls received included trespassing and wetland-filling complaints, nuisance bears, possessing a captive-bred red fox, and assisting local law enforcement agencies.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked an AIS detail on Upper Red Lake with Lt. Benjamin and CO Sura. He also checked anglers on the Red Lake River. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license, angling with privileges suspended, transporting dressed fillets without a patch of skin, no helmet on a juvenile on an ATV and a walleye overlimit.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports working AIS enforcement on Upper Red Lake. He noted very good compliance rates. Sura checked anglers at various public accesses on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for violations including transporting fillets without skin patches and transporting fillets reduced to more than two pieces per fish.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports angling over the last week was limited due to extreme heat. Fair success has been observed and heard about on various species. Richards displayed a TIP Wall of Shame for the Fergus Falls Summer Fest celebration over the weekend. Various questions were answered relating to wildlife-type issues and for angling license issues
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Fishing complaints were handled, including people keeping fish in the slot, overlimits and not draining water from minnow buckets when leaving the lake. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no fire extinguisher and not enough life jackets.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to see high activity on the water with anglers, recreational boating activity, and PWC operation. Unlawful PWC operation continues to be a problem in the area with numerous PWCs found operating during closed hours and also complaints regarding PWCs chasing/harassing wildlife. Additional time was spent working ATV activity and following up on a nuisance-bear complaint.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time during the week on the water and ATV trails. The lack of rain in the area has caused water levels to drop on area lakes and rivers and is limiting access for certain types of watercraft on some of these waters. Enforcement action for the week consisted of various ATV violations, operation of a mechanical weed removal device without a permit, excavation of lake bottom, PFD and personal watercraft violations. Instruction was provided on OHV laws for other law enforcement.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports having a busy week checking anglers and recreational boating activity on Rainy Lake. Time was spent working ATV complaints in the area along with answering questions regarding the special regulations for walleyes on Rainy Lake. Enforcement action taken this week was for possessing multiple illegal-length walleyes on Rainy Lake. Simonson urges people to take a look at the regulations book before heading out fishing and to call if you have questions about something specific that you can’t find.