District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and snowmobiles in the area. Some time was also spent working on cases from the deer season. Lake ice is still variable with 5 to 12 inches seen in the area. Slush has become a problem in spots and there are some thin-ice areas around. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked muzzleloader deer hunters. The hunters he checked report seeing good numbers of deer, just not many in range. Complaints of deer-carcass dumping and trespass were investigated. A complaint of road hunters in the Verndale area was received. Ice angers were out and are catching some fish, but the ice conditions are poor and dangerous. He checked snowmobilers riding the ditches and worked on complaints of snowmobiles trespassing on agricultural fields.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) and COC Mikeena Mattson worked an ice-fishing detail on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods this past week. Ice fishing and recreational vehicle violations were primarily addressed, with enforcement action taken for angling with extra lines, unattended angling lines, no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, overlimit of fish, unmeasurable fish on a special regulation lake, no shelter tag, no shelter identification, failure to display ATV/snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ATV ownership, underage consumption, under 21 in possession of alcohol, small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked area lakes for angling activity and checked Crow Wing and Morrison county snowmobile trails. Some Brainerd-area trails had gates closed and trees across. Guida investigated a snowmobile trespass complaint were a snowmobile was disabled on an agricultural field. The landowner was very upset with the trespassing and wanted enforcement action taken against the snowmobile operator. Guida assisted COC Hanna with Step 4 field training and focused on snowmobile operation and enforcement.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports working ice fishing, snowmobile, and cross-country ski activity. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for violations including snowmobile registration and excessive speed, and no vehicle permits in the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for snowmobile and ice fishing activity throughout the past week. Lake ice conditions are very poor with heavy slush. Very few anglers were observed. Snowmobilers are enjoying abundant snow conditions, and enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) and COC Leeb focused enforcement efforts on snowmobile and fishing activity this past week. The park was patrolled for activity and park permit issues were handled. Enforcement action was taken for numerous snowmobile and fishing violations.

--- --- --- --- ---

Reminder: Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.

--- --- --- --- ---

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice angler activity as the ice thickens up. Area conditions are slushy and thickness varies considerably. Verkuilen also issued roadkill tags and assisted with maintenance of Division equipment.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked on a background investigation for a potential new hire. She also followed up on ongoing investigations, handled a dogs-chasing-deer call and answered snowmobiling related questions.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) would like to remind anglers that ice is very sketchy this year, with slush and poor conditions prevalent. Panfish and some small pike are showing up, along with some large pike that cannot be harvested within the regulations. He also completed preparation for an upcoming court case and a trespass civil hearing.

CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent the majority of the past week on snowmobile patrol. Time was also spent checking small-game hunters, trappers, and late deer-season hunters. A few ice anglers were checked. They were having varied success.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week patrolling for snowmobile activity in the station. A meeting was attended in the metro and assistance was provided for an Honor Guard detail at a military funeral. Time was also spent working on a background investigation and equipment maintenance.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, snowmobile, pheasant- and deer-hunting activity this past week. He assisted the State Patrol with parking violations along Highway 22. Ice anglers no longer can park there. Snowmobile operators riding machines with modified mufflers were contacted and registration issues were addressed.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) came off a lake from checking anglers when a person pulled up and asked if the ice was safe enough to drive a side-by-side ATV on. Bertram advised he wouldn’t drive on the lake yet. Later that afternoon, Bertram was called to respond to an ATV through the ice on the same lake. Bertram couldn’t believe it when he arrived – it was the same person who asked if the ice was good. Luckily, no one was injured.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports patrolling area snowmobile trails with all the early snowfall we have received. Class presentations were given on the career as a CO at local high schools. Snowmobile safety classes were also attended to talk about laws and staying safe while recreating.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week patrolling for snowmobile activity and checking anglers on area lakes. Anglers are reporting various ice levels with large amounts of slush on top of the ice. Krauel would like to remind anglers to use caution when venturing out on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display snowmobile registration, transporting a loaded firearm, possession of marijuana, and angling with extra lines.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and hunters. Dumping complaints were investigated. Snowmobile complaint areas were worked.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) completed training at Camp Ripley, worked on a background investigation, and worked snowmobile activity in the area. Time was also spent following up on deer and wetlands cases.

--- --- --- --- ---

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local conservation officer or regional safety training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR website.

--- --- --- --- ---

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) reports flying wolf telemetry as well as tending to maintenance-related tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports completing in-service training at Camp Ripley and tending to seasonal maintenance and training issues for the Aviation Unit. Jensen also spoke to the local Civil Air Patrol wing in Brainerd.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter preparations and maintenance for upcoming winter surveys. He also attended a funeral in Collegeville for one of the National Guard helicopter crash victims.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week working on open cases with field COs and local government units. Site visits were conducted.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on cases in his assigned area. Snowmobile enforcement was conducted on area trails and ice conditions were checked. Calls for service were taken during the week and muzzleloader hunters were checked.

--- --- ---

Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement