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Minnesota DNR - News Releases

December 30, 2007
Press Release

Chisholm ATV trail proposal out for public review

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public review and comment on the proposed construction of an 11-mile ATV trail connecting the city of Chisholm with Highway 5 and Connorís Road just northwest of the city in west-central St. Louis County.

The trail, designed to facilitate travel into Chisholm from points north, is planned as a grant-in-aid route open only to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

The proposal, submitted by the Northern Traxx ATV Club (sponsored by the city of Chisholm), begins on Cemetery Road north of Chisholm and continues northwesterly between Highway 5 and Highway 84, crossing Highway 84 near its intersection with Highway 134 (Dewey Lake Road). After crossing Highway 84, the trail continues northwesterly past Dollar Lake before intersecting with Connors Road. If approved, this trail will be operated, maintained and managed by the city of Chisholm in conjunction with the Northern Traxx ATV Club.

The ATV trail segments described in the clubís proposal have already undergone rigorous DNR review. The project addresses potential user safety and environmental concerns identified during the DNR review, including the need for water crossing permits, potential wetland impacts, and safe use of public road rights-of-way. The proposal also incorporates design features intended to discourage speeding along the corridor, which incorporates sections of existing road, snowmobile trail, and user-developed riding trails.

The DNR welcomes public perspective on this project proposal. Copies of the proposal and site map are available at

Requests and comments may also be directed to Steve Hennessy, DNR Tower Area Trails and Waterways, 650 Highway 169 Tower, MN 55790, (218) 753-2580, ext. 253, or e-mailed to

Minnesota conservation officer tales - January 2008


Conservation Officer (CO) Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted CO Gary Forsberg (Fergus Falls) on a complaint of a duck with a dart in his head. With the help of corn and a landing net, the COs captured the duck, and removed the dart from the side of the drake mallardís head. The duck was released and is apparently doing ok.


When CO Tim Collette (Longville) asked an angler about his long-expired ATV registration, the man replied he didnít need one because he was using it for agricultural purposes. Collette challenged the man to come up with a farm animal in his fish house. The man sheepishly admitted he didnít have any with him, so a ticket was issued.


CO Mike Shelden (Alexandria) cited an angler who was fishing with too many lines. When asked why, the angler said he was ìjust setting the lines for proper depth.î  Shelden discovered that all the lines were down 20 feet with shiner minnows on them.


A concerned citizen called CO Greg Salo (Mora) regarding a hawk that was injured by a bird feeder. The homeowner had trapped the hawk in a laundry basket. Salo removed the laundry basket and discovered an injured partridge from a nearby game farm.


CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) was checking anglers on Black Lake in Hennepin County when he came upon a man with two piles of sunfish on the ice. One pile had really small sunfish and the other pile contained larger sunfish. When Kahre asked the angler about the piles, he said he had to ìweed outî the little fish. A few minutes later, the officer turned around just in time to see the angler stomping the smaller bluegills back into the hole with his foot. Kahre retrieved the fish and confronted the man. The anglerís excuse was that he thought he could just put the fish back that he didnít want. Kahre explained the rules and sent the angler away with the appropriate paperwork.


CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) located two snowmobilers who had caused a car accident and left the scene in Hennepin County. The snowmobilers were illegally riding against traffic at night and on the shoulder of the road. The driver of a car saw the snowmobile headlights coming at him. The driver believed it was a car traveling in the wrong lane. Fearing a head-on crash, the driver of the car veered into the ditch. The juvenile snowmobilers didnít understand why the car swerved at them and also drove into the ditch. The snowmobilers thought the driver was impaired but later discovered the driver was trying to avoid hitting them. The suspectsí parents were called to the scene to work out an agreement to resolve the damage and towing bills.


Conservation Officer (CO) Gary Forsberg (Fergus Falls) received a nuisance raccoon complaint from a Otter Tail County homeowner who said a raccoon followed the ownerís dog into the house. The raccoon took up residence in the bedroom. The homeowner spent the night on the couch after unsuccessfully attempting to capture the raccoon. Forsberg, with assistance of a DNR Wildlife employee, removed the raccoon in the morning after it was found curled up sleeping in the homeownerís bed.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) had an interesting situation following up on a complaint of a person running a game farm without a license. When Hemker asked if there were any more animals than what were in the pens, the homeowner said there was one more pheasant inside house watching TV with his daughter.

Still time for public to comment on proposed state park at Lake Vermilion

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the DNR Commissionerís Advisory Task Force are looking for input from the public on what would make the proposed state park at Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota a place they would want to visit.
The proposal is to acquire approximately 3,000 acres of land for a state park, including approximately five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline. The property, which is owned by U. S. Steel, will otherwise be developed for private housing. The Minnesota Legislature is expected to consider the park proposal during its upcoming session.

To comment, people can go to the DNR Web site at and click on the ìLake Vermilion park proposalî banner located in the upper right corner of the page. Participants can click on ìSend Us Your Commentsî to share their thoughts about what experiences and facilities they would like to see at the park.

The Task Force will consider the public comments as part of its process for making recommendations to DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten in January.

More information about the proposed park and the Advisory Task Force is available on the DNR Web site at

Northern pike slot limit remains in place on Lake of the Woods

A slot limit for northern pike remains in place on Lake of the Woods, a portion of the Rainy River and other connecting waters on the Minnesota-Canadian border, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Rule changes effective Dec. 15 do not apply to these waters, which have special regulations in place, said DNR Fisheries Program Consultant Al Stevens. Before venturing out, anglers need to review northern pike regulations now in effect at

Regulations now in effect on Lake of the Woods, a portion of the Rainy River and other connecting waters allow a continuous season on northern pike but require that anglers can only keep fish that are shorter than 30 inches or longer than 40 inches. Anglers on these waters may not possess more than three northern pike at any time, and only one of those fish can be longer than 40 inches.

ìThe rule change confused some anglers,î Stevens said. ìThe change in rules does not mean less restrictive regulations for Minnesota-Canadian border waters that already have special regulations in place.î

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