Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending June 2. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) spent time this past week working boating and angling enforcement around the area. He also found many “baby” animals. Elwell just happened to be in the right place at the right time when he noticed a brand new white-tailed deer fawn stumbling across a street in Thief River Falls. People are reminded to leave fledgling birds, fawns and other critters alone when they find them. Their mothers are nearby and will take care of them. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations, taking northern pike in the restricted slot size, and watercraft-registration violations.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing has improved with stable spring weather. Boaters and anglers were checked and observed throughout the week. Richards responded to a bowfishing boat swamped in the Ottertail River over the weekend. With extra weight in the boat and a pretty fast current, the boat took on water rapidly and submerged. Luckily, the five people on board were not injured in the incident. During the same timeframe, there was another report of a bowfishing boat on another lake playing load music and disrupting residents on the lake. With freedoms come responsibility and hopefully some courtesy for others. Violations addressed were related to fishing, turkey hunting, minnow trapping, and possessing goose goslings. People are reminded to leave young-of-the-year wildlife alone and not to handle them.
CO Shane Osbourne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. Several violations of no helmets on passengers under 18 were encountered. Several lakes in the area are experiencing high water and one lake has a no-wake regulation within 150 feet of shore. Please be mindful of your wake.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) noticed a significant increase in angling activity over the past week, mostly thanks to more agreeable weather. With the increased activity, more anglers and boaters neglected some of the basic requirements, primarily angling licenses, PFDs, and watercraft registrations. Enforcement action was taken in all cases. Several area schools have let out for the summer and many juveniles were stopped on ATVs for a wide variety of violations. Their parents were advised that ATVs are not the babysitter.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) cleaned up again after the same “parents behaving badly” as last week – this time in a local WMA. She took reports of bears behaving badly (read: “behaving like bears”) and of a young wolf visiting an area campground. Manning assisted COs Fagerman and Wahlstrom and local volunteers with a firearms safety field day. Anyone interested in becoming a DNR safety training volunteer can contact a local CO for information on the process.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled ATV and angling activity in her station. She assisted with training for the sheriff’s office for ATV and AIS enforcement. Ladd also continued an investigation where a trailer was left on state forest land. The trailer was far from road worthy and full of trash, car parts and tires. She located where the trailer originated and eventually who left it there. The suspect claimed he left it for someone else to have and that he was paying it forward so hopefully some good fortune will come his way. Enforcement action was taken.