Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending July 12, 2021. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled for recreational vehicles, watercraft, and fishing activity. Baum took enforcement action for multiple violations ranging from no license in possession, failure to display registration, no ATV headlights, failure to display ATV registration, allowing illegal operation of ATVs by youths, ATV operation on the public road right-of-way prohibited, and a limited license violation. Baum investigated aquatic plant violations on area lakes. Baum reminds boaters to check for required safety equipment before launching their watercraft.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working angling and boat and water safety in the Pelican Rapids station. Time was also spent following up with aquatic vegetation, AIS complaints, and attending the funeral of retired CO Joyce Kuske. Anglers are finding fish mostly cooperative, though the bite has started to slow a little bit. Calls from the public included reports of potential vegetation violations, questions about boat registration, and questions about bowfishing. Enforcement action was taken for exceeding the speed limit within a state park and angling without a license in possession.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area lakes and public accesses for angling, boating and AIS enforcement. A report of a possible infested water was passed on to the Division of Ecological and Water Resources, and a report of a bald eagle, with something wrapped on its leg, was fielded. The eagle was trying to carry off a large piece of carrion and flew away when Vinton arrived. Questions were answered about legal dock and lift placement now that lake water levels have fallen due to the lack of rain. ATV-operation violations were reported.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) conducted patrols for ATV and angling activity this week. He also handled a nuisance-bear complaint. Additionally, assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies involving a homicide investigation. Violations encountered included failure to obtain a burning permit, angling without a valid license, no angling license in possession and no helmets on ATV passengers under 18 years of age.
CO Hannah Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on angling, boating safety and other recreational vehicle enforcement. She assisted another local CO with an ATV safety class in Fergus Falls and issued minnow permits. Wood and CO Leeb encountered several collector boats on the Alexandria chain for a boat parade and noticed most of the boats did not have any registration displayed. The officers remind boat owners that this type of boat still requires the registration to be displayed while on the water. If the boat was made before 1959, the registration numbers and sticker can be displayed on a detachable board, but must still be displayed while on the water. Enforcement encounters for the week included failure to transfer title, operating without current registration, failure to display registration, angling without a fishing license, under 18 without a helmet on an ATV and no throwable PFD on board watercraft.