40 DNR officers conduct sting on Lake of the Woods
Charges are pending against an unknown number of people for illegally taking, transporting and/or possessing too many walleyes on Lake of the Woods, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported this week.
In a statement issued by Chris Niskanen, DNR communications director in St. Paul, at the request of the Herald, an investigation by the DNR’s Division of Enforcement documented numerous violations. The investigation included activities of fishing guides and also involved illegal bear guiding activity, the statement said.
Acting on “substantial and creditable information,” about 40 DNR conservation officers last Thursday executed search warrants and seized evidence to support charges that will be filed soon, the statement read.
DNR officers conducted interviews of suspected and documented violators.
“A great deal of consideration was taken in the planning and execution of this operation,” Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement Division director, said in the statement. “Our goal was to perform our court-ordered duties as safe as possible and without any unnecessary delay or inconvenience for any businesses or public.”
DNR conservation officers are in the process of completing reports and compiling evidence in preparation for charges that are expected to be filed.
Niskanen said no further information is available at this time, adding he wasn’t aware of any timetable for filing charges.
While the DNR’s investigation documented disregard for laws designed to ensure conservation of sport fish, it also revealed other fishing guides in the area followed the law, ensuring the protection of the resource, the DNR statement said.