Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending June 24. The complete report is available at

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) worked boat and water safety, angling enforcement and ATV enforcement this past week. Elwell also fielded a number of calls about nuisance bears, one of which was a young bear in the city of Thief River Falls. The bear was behaving itself as it traveled through town and there were no reports of bird feeder damage, trash-can pillaging, or stolen picnic baskets. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display current watercraft registration, various PFD violations, failure to display valid ATV registration, and operating a Class I ATV on a county highway.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. Anglers are reporting a good evening/night bite. He investigated a complaint with CO Regas regarding individuals taking snapping turtles out of season and throwing them into a fire. The investigation revealed numerous other violations. Several individuals will be receiving citations.  

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports conducting annual emergency vehicle operation training for Division officers and investigating TIPs of possible overlimits. Vinton responded to a call for assistance from the Becker County Sheriff’s Office about a missing 2-year-old. The child was found under the bed. He also assisted the Detroit Lakes Police Department with an accident involving an injured child. Vinton was the guest speaker for the Rush Lake association meeting. Several topics of concern from cabin owners were addressed. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, burning prohibited materials and passing in a no passing zone.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports boating and angling were the prominent activities this past week. Anglers reported that success has been better than the previous week. Commercial activity was monitored for compliance. A landowner was contacted when open fires were noted on their property in the middle of the day. It was found they did not have permit and the fires were extinguished. Along with a neighboring officer, Slatinski assisted with locating a canoe on the Littlefork River that had been reported by another paddler. The canoe was lodged up against a rock in the middle of the river and was full of water. The reporting party had also found camping gear floating further downstream several days prior to getting off the river. The canoe was located and the owner was identified. The owner said everyone was accounted for and nobody was injured.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) contacted numerous ATV operators. One couple had gotten turned around. They had a map but they had no idea where they were and had not stopped at the previous intersection to check the street sign. Manning checked anglers and boaters on inland lakes and at state and Forest Service campgrounds. She also assisted Cook County searching for a person on a welfare check and took a complaint about foxes killing chickens.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. A stripped-out boat was dumped at the One Pine access with all identifying information painted over or removed. Bermel was able to scrape paint away from the registration number and track down the owner of the boat. They removed it and a litter citation was issued. Other enforcement action included failure to display watercraft registration and no PFDs.


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