Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending Dec. 21, 2020. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) continued monitoring area angling activity. He also patrolled during the fisher/marten and bobcat opening weekend. Numerous traps and snares were checked. Enforcement action was taken for no helmet on a juvenile on an ATV, no license in possession and failure to display current ATV registration.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling activity this past week. Anglers reported a good bluegill bite on area lakes. The walleye bite varied on Blackduck Lake. Time was spent looking into a report of anglers trespassing and monitoring trapping activity. Violations encountered and addressed included ATV/snowmobile registration and angling license violations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reported heavy ice fishing activity this past week as ice thickness has increased on a number of lakes. Lots of people have been walking out, and some even are taking ATVs. Ice conditions still widely vary and caution should be exercised. With recent cold weather, conditions have positively progressed. Several citations were issued to anglers for marijuana possession, extra lines, expired ATV registration, and no shelter license. Information was received regarding a goose being run over purposefully by a motor vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports ice fishing activity is on the rise in the area with people starting to have some success. Simonson monitored trapping activity in the area with the fisher and pine marten season opening this past weekend. Enforcement action taken this past week consisted of fishing without a license in possession, operating ATVs without headlights, and ATVs not having registration. Simonson also assisted another agency by providing lights and traffic control after icy roads caused people to end up in the ditch.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the pine marten-trapping opener, as well as anglers throughout the past week. Trapping participation seems higher with the good conditions for getting into the woods and high marten numbers. Enforcement action included extra lines, unattended lines, no shelter licenses, unmarked fish houses, failure to transfer snowmobile ownership, and operating highway vehicles on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail. An incidentally taken pine marten was picked up prior to the season.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the fisher, pine marten and bobcat trapping opener, with plenty of trappers out in the woods this season. Sutherland also checked multiple panfish anglers, who had some good success on area small lakes. Enforcement follow-up work was also done from the past firearms deer season.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) talked with many anglers who had some success with panfish in the area. As ice conditions improve, many anglers are now taking ATVs and small vehicles to their fishing spots. Trapping activity was also monitored as trappers took to the woods with the opening of the fisher, pine marten, and bobcat season.