DNR Report: Anglers decided to 'chance it,' fish without licenses

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Conservation Officer Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with fur tagging and attended a meeting with the Minnesota Trappers Association. There has been a fair amount of snowmobile activity in the area. He spent extra time working complaint areas where enforcement action was taken for careless driving and failing to stop for stop signs. He gave assistance to angling enforcement on Mille Lacs Lake, where they took action for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, angling with an extra line and recreational vehicle registration violations. At one fish house with three anglers, they wrote three citations because the people did not have angling licenses. They stated they thought they would just chance it because they were only fishing for a short time.

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy snowmobile activity in the area. He also reported that ice fishing remains difficult due to slush, but anglers who are able to get to their spots are seeing some success. He took enforcement action for no snowmobile safety training, no state trail pass and failure to display registration.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended DNR Honor Guard training last week at Camp Ripley, worked with a neighboring officer checking snowmobilers and anglers and answered calls regarding nuisance turkeys and snowmobile trespass issues.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked area trails for snowmobiling activity. She took enforcement action for failing to properly display registration, expired registration and modified exhaust. She answered questions regarding collector snowmobile registration and continued work on a background investigation.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked snowmobile and angling activity throughout the week. Anglers are fighting through the slush and tough lake conditions. Snowmobile activity was heavy with the nice weather and great trail conditions. Unfortunately, violation rates were very high, with failure to display registration and numbers, expired registration, altered exhaust systems and failure to obtain snowmobile safety certificates.

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
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