Conservation Officer Report: Anglers out on unpredictable ice
Conservation officer Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers targeting perch and panfish. Ice is beginning to show signs of accelerated erosion; warm forecasted temperatures will make the ice thickness unpredictable. Another truck we...
Conservation officer Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers targeting perch and panfish. Ice is beginning to show signs of accelerated erosion; warm forecasted temperatures will make the ice thickness unpredictable. Another truck went partially through the ice on Leech Lake. Anglers will have to use enhanced caution when traveling on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
Officer Jim Guida (Brainerd #2) worked sport fishing and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week.
Anglers were observed catching fish on area sheets of thin ice and limits were being monitored.
Officer Guida observed a large amount of illegal ATV trail operation. The trails which are currently closed risk extended closures due to irresponsible and illegal operation during the ground thawing period. The operation is very damaging to the trail base and requires extensive work to repair.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on litter complaints. He continued with investigations of blocks of wood and garbage left on the ice by anglers after removing their fish houses. A few panfish anglers have been out trying their luck with mixed results. He worked complaints of vehicles on the closed roads in the Pillsbury Forest. Warnings were issued for people driving past closed road signs. He also worked on Leech Lake regarding a TIP of folks leaving garbage on ice and fish over limit.
Officer Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling activity. Anglers reported poor success with ice rapidly deteriorating. Multiple calls were received of ATVs and trucks through the ice. Broughten investigated a call of a fish house left after the deadline.
Enforcement action included multiple angling violations.
Officer Jeff Halverson (Staples) checked panfishermen on the last ice of the season. Officer Halverson worked ATV complaints on riding in Wildlife Management Areas. Halverson also investigated a burning violation and handled injured fox and deer calls.
Officer Patrick McGowan (Pine River) checked late season ice anglers throughout the week. Anglers are finding a fair amount of panfish, but are finding ice conditions in poor shape. Enforcement action was taken for several over limits of fish, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
Officer Tim Collette (Crosslake) monitored ATV activity in seasonally closed state forests and checked late season ice anglers. Success has been good, but caution is advised as the ice is deteriorating very rapidly. Areas of open water and bad ice are appearing on most area lakes.
Reports of litter left on the ice and possible fish over limits were investigated. Enforcement activity included ATV passengers under 18 without helmets, expired registrations, no angling licenses, and not having angling licenses in possession.
Officer Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers that were chasing sunfish and crappie on area lakes. Ice conditions are becoming extremely poor with warm weather and some lakes are inaccessible. Violations included angling without a license and over limit. Sullivan also
assisted local law enforcement with the recovery of a missing person near Brainerd.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled area ATV activity and assisted the county on a call of a male displaying a handgun at a passerby. She also patrolled area lakes for any late ice anglers.
Most areas are no longer safe for angler activity and anglers have been smart and stayed off the remaining ice.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ice fishing, ATV, and fire activity. A stolen trailer and snowmobile were recovered.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) responded to a grass fire this week as the snow in the area is almost all gone. Officer Hunter assisted the county on a domestic and also worked at the Northwest Sports Show in Minneapolis.