District 2 - Bemidji area

Last updated: 2015-04-21

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports responding to wildfire investigation requests around the northwest part of the state. Time was also spent working spring fishing complaint sites and checking watercraft operators. A possible wetland violation site was inspected. Minnow retail inspections were completed. Violations encountered this week included no type 4 PFD, untagged minnow trap, no burning permit, no minnow retail license, and fail to check minnow traps.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) participated on a radio talk show, answered multiple wildlife concerns, and checked WMAs. He also monitored fish runs and leech/minnow trappers. Fires are still a concern.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked shore fishermen, picked up an incidental otter and prepared for upcoming spring divisional training.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a day on the Rainy River with CO Prachar. CO Vollbrecht responded to a complaint of a grass fire near a house. Arriving in the area it was determined the landowner was burning off dead grass in their yard when the fire quickly spread. The landowner successfully put the fire out with a garden hose. Follow up interviews were conducted in an outgoing wildfire investigation. A complaint of a neighbor firing a gun in a residential area was taken. It was determined the individual was shooting pigeons inside a large metal outbuilding. Complaints of ATV?s operating on closed trails were taken and areas monitored.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) followed up on a minnow retailer inspection and checked ATV activity. Time was also spent working on a background investigation on a possible candidate for the next CO academy.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports continuing with background investigations, attending training at Camp Ripley, and assisting at a large fire near Vergas. A campfire that was not fully extinguished lost an ember that the wind blew into a large stack of split firewood. The Vergas VFD needed the assistance of a local farmer and his tractor to pull apart the stack to get it under control. Shore fishing activity since ice out has increased and anglers should be reminded that they are required have a valid angling license in possession while angling.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also responded to calls of trespass, a fire, as well as checked some open water anglers.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports crappie fishermen are out in large numbers but fishing seems to be slow with the cool water temps. Time was also spent working on waters issues, seizing accidentally taken otter and talking about laws at the Pelican FAS class. He also recovered a dead eagle, investigated a leech trapper complaint and worked a bow fishing complaint.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity on area lakes with many anglers finding crappies and warmer water temps in shallow bays. The public is reminded that plugs need to be out of the boat while in transport. CO Warren attended a DOT employee event with the TIP Wall of Shame. Many questions were answered. Fish run activity was worked on area rivers and streams. CO Warren spent time following up on complaints of burning prohibited materials and assisting DNR Forestry with grass fires. Areas were patrolled for OHV activity and checks performed on ATVs and OHMs. Areas were also monitored for leeching activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring fire, angling, spring beaver trapping, and turkey hunting activity in Clay and Becker counties. A wanton waste case was investigated where six snow geese were dumped into the Buffalo River. Anyone with any information regarding this case in encouraged to call TIP at 1-800-652-9093. A wildfire in southwestern Clay County was investigated with CO Hutchins and LT. Seefeldt. Open water angling activity is now picking up since the lakes are ice free. Some anglers are starting to find panfish in the shallows. A moose that was comfortable with its living situation caused a concern with Clay county residents. The officer observed the moose and it was determined that it was not sick or injured. Multiple other wildlife calls were also investigated. The officer also attended an out of state jury trial.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on an upcoming WCA appeal hearing. Time was spent conducting site visits on possible violations. Spring in-service training was attended and UOF training given at Camp Ripley. Public water concerns were addressed in the DL area.