CO Reports: Consistent ATV and OHM registration, other violations

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Aug. 5, 2020

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) took complaints related to leeching, nuisance animals, public accessing water off a township road and too many people fishing on the lake.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time teaching boating operations and laws at the CO Academy. He spent time working area lakes checking anglers. The muskie bite has improved, but most anglers are having a tough time finding fish.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for ATV activity, contacting APM permit holders and reminding them of their responsibility to collect and remove vegetation dislodged by weed rollers and other devices, and investigating a potential wolf-killed calf. A family from out of state was educated with regard to licenses requirements and limits for children under 16 years of age. Enforcement action was taken for failure to retain a patch of skin on walleye fillets, parking violations at public water access and ATV youth operation.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week assisting with the CO Academy. The focus was on watercraft operation. Other time was spent answering questions about the upcoming bear season, nuisance animals, and recreational vehicle registration.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases, and handled miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints, minnow trapping and litter.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. AIS compliance checks were performed. Trails were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. A complaint of a nuisance bear doing crop damage was received.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked multiple ATV riders and anglers. She responded to a call of an injured eagle, received nuisance-bear reports, and investigation multiple aquatic plant violations. Enforcement was taken for unregistered ATVs, OHMs operating in the road right of way, and no fishing license in possession.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked ATV and sport fishing enforcement. Violations found included angling without an angling license, failure to display valid registration and operating an ATV without headlights. One ATV rider was stopped for operating a Class 1 ATV on a county road without headlights on. The rider was driving with a cancelled driver’s license and operating an unregistered ATV.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted with training the new conservation officer cadets in watercraft training. The new officers were taught boat approaches, watercraft laws, DWI enforcement, and trailering. McGowan also took several calls pertaining to nuisance wildlife, and wake board boats causing shoreline damage.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) monitored angling and boating activity this week. Guida fielded a trespass complaint. Reports were filed with the local prosecutor and equipment maintenance was performed.


CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports that boating and ATV activity are still keeping things busy for her. Ladd also responded to a report of boaters on Round Lake near Tamarack chasing and harassing wildlife, including a family of ducks and a family of loons. She reminds boaters that we are boating in their home and should steer clear of wildlife while boating. Also, that behavior is illegal. Common courtesy, common sense, and a bit of self-education would help everyone out there recreating.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) checked users of the Cuyuna recreation area. Many people are enjoying the trails and lakes. ATVs were seen using the trails. Flerlage also received a complaint of ATVs and dirt bikes trespassing on private property.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked recreational activity in the Foothills State Forest. He ran into consistent ATV and OHM registration violations. Sullivan also made contact with a person who was operating an ATV under the influence of alcohol and was also in possession of a firearm. Sullivan patrolled area lakes, which continue to so see high use.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating and ATV activity. Advice was given on a bear complaint and a wolf-depredation call was handled.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity, including PWC-operation complaints. He also assisted with a search warrant, addressed a road-killed bear issue, and checked anglers at the Mille Lacs re-opener.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated two wolf depredations. ATV and OHM activity was worked with other COs over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display registration, expired registration, under 18 without helmets, and operating ATVs without headlights on.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored the re-opening of the walleye catch-and-release season. There was less-than-expected fishing pressure. A resource protection order was served on a possible wetland fill violation and questions are coming in on upcoming fall seasons. Enforcement action was also taken on a commercial minnow license violation.


CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, boating, and ATV/OHM activity this past week. Time was spent following up on various complaints regarding PWC operation and overnight camping in an aquatic management area. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, sport fishing, PWC/boating, and AMA-related violations. Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake is now open for catch-and-release only.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with Academy watercraft training. A complaint of a walleye overlimit was investigated on an area lake. A sunfish overlimit resulted in enforcement action on an area lake as well. A public nuisance complaint regarding electric fencing across a river was also handled.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports a lot of angling and water-related recreation this past week. Enforcement action for the week consisted of a bass overlimit, angling without a license, no fire extinguisher on a watercraft, insufficient PFDs and no Type IV (throwable) PFD. Several youth were stopped on OHMs/ATVs for registration violations, no safety certificates and for operating where prohibited. He also reports a nuisance-bear and litter investigation. Seifermann responded to several wildlife-related calls from the public.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week checking anglers and boaters. Lakes with hot fish bites were worked, which led to overlimit cases being made. Wetland violations were also investigated.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) took a variety of nuisance-animal calls, including zebra mussels, skunks, raccoons, bears and a report of an escaped elk. He worked with neighboring officers with a boating detail and prepared for the upcoming fishing week at the academy. He also fielded calls about firearms safety courses.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled local lakes and rivers checking boaters and anglers. A grandpa and has grandson were happy to see an officer and get a ride/tow to shore when their jet ski flipped upside down and became bogged down with water. Site visits were also conducted on wetland and public water cases.


CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week patrolling for boating safety violations. Krauel also spent time patrolling for ATV and OHM activity and assisting at the Conservation Officer Academy. Enforcement action was taken for no navigation lights, no fishing license, angling with extra lines, no ATV registration, and no PFDs. Krauel also made an arrest on a felony warrant and possession of methamphetamine.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for lack of life jackets, expired watercraft registration, and lack of navigation lights after dark. Nuisance-animal calls were also handled.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license and no registration. Several animal-related calls were handled.

Aviation Section

Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) flew an enforcement flight for a local CO and attended an online training.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a training flight, attended to maintenance and worked on administrative tasks.

Standby NR Pilot Jessica Holmes (Grand Rapids) reports completing several training flights in preparation for an upcoming wild rice survey. Holmes also attended a wild rice managers virtual meeting.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports checking angling activity in the Brainerd area.


NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed another week of helicopter spraying invasive hybrid cattail. Plots were completed in the Thief River area and Alexandria. Then he and the crew moved to Willmar. Reports have come in from area wildlife managers that past years’ efforts spraying are beginning to result in an increase in waterfowl numbers on our management areas.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on public waters, APM and WCA cases. He worked with other COs and local government units. AIS law compliance was worked and public access areas were checked for compliance.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) assisted Academy staff with ranges for training. WCA cases were worked on, with several completed restorations. AIS and ATV enforcement was worked.

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Prepared by Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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