CO Reports: Ride safely - Get training; follow the rules and regulations

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Jun 23, 2020

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District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time patrolling area lakes for angling and boating activity. Vollbrecht worked boat and water shifts on Upper Red Lake. Anglers are enjoying an excellent bite. Time was spent patrolling grant-in-aid ATV trails.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking calls of orphaned and injured animals. In most cases, such callers understand the local CO often doesn’t have the resources to deal with those animals and as long as they are not a public safety risk, nature will be allowed to take its course. Vinton was contacted by the local soil and water conservation district about a possible wetland violation that was believed to have been settled years ago. Vinton and the SWCD will continue to monitor the situation.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling area lakes for sport fishing and recreational boating activity. Fishing slowed with changing wind and weather conditions, but picked up over the weekend with some consistent weather. Other time was spent patrolling area ATV trails.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at the CO Academy and worked ATV enforcement and a fishing complaint. Peterson also assisted with a welfare check on paddlers on the Crow Wing River.


CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time working angling and boating activity. A complaint of manipulating lake water levels was investigated. Patrol was conducted on area trails for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Questions were answered about fishing regulations, firearms transportation and a fawn.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked boat and water and ATV activity during the past week. Numerous automated plant-removal devices were checked in the Wadena and Park Rapids stations. Property owners are reminded to verify legal use of equipment prior to installation or operation. Permits are required in most cases. Enforcement action was taken for operation of a weed roller without a permit, dredging of public waters, operating an OHM on a public road, ATV youth helmet violations, too many passengers on an ATV and failure to display registration.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and boating activity. She responded to a call of an injured juvenile bald eagle with a fishing hook/line stuck in its leg, beak and wing. She also assisted Cass County with an exposed person walking around town and assisted with a search for a missing person.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked on lakes in Remer and Outing. Time was also spent on areas with high complaints of ATV traffic in Outing. ATV violations included operating on a state highway and allowing illegal operating by a juvenile. A call was also taken about an injured snapping turtle.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers, boaters and ATV and OHM riders. Investigations into public water filling and aquatic plant destruction were done. Time was also spent working at the Academy. Calls of nuisance bears and an injured swan were received. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish, crappies and bass have been the most productive for anglers on area lakes. He worked on boating enforcement issues this past week as well. Complaints of PWCs chasing loons and careless operation of wakeboard boats received some enforcement time. Violations observed were no fishing license and expired registration. Complaints of bears damaging bird feeders, getting into garbage and entering a garage were reported.

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Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

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District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted at Camp Ripley with Academy firearms training and worked complaints of ATV trespass where the adjacent landowner made an ATV/OHV trail well onto the caller’s property. Ladd also worked angling and boating activity on area lakes and handled several calls of nuisance bears.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area lakes and contacted anglers and a pleasure-boating group. One angler believed that an angling license was not needed if fishing from a dock. The subject was educated about angling license requirements. ATV trails in the Foothills State Forest continue to see high use.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked sport fishing, commercial bait harvest, boating and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for no licenses, no registration or trail passes, no helmets, allowing underage operation and not enough PFDs.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes for boating and watercraft enforcement-related activity. Numerous anglers and boaters were out. Enforcement actions were taken for violations related to PFDs, PWCs and license infractions. The Pelican Beach Day Use Area remains closed until further notice and trespass and alcohol violations were addressed.


CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing county lakes throughout the week. Numerous anglers and boaters were observed on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous fishing and boating violations.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species and ATV activity. Time was also spent monitoring aquatic vegetation removal and lakebed concerns with mechanical devices.

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Click here to Download a copy of MN Fishing Regulations

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District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time maintaining equipment, delivering equipment, working on office work, following up on calls, and helping with the Academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a wolf-depredation call. Three injured calves were documented and confirmed likely injured by wolves. USDA trappers were contacted and traps were set. Speldrich patrolled area lakes, taking enforcement action for failing to display current registration. ATV patrol was conducted and enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs in public waters. A reminder to Class 2 owners that operation on roadways is permitted but you must be to the extreme right of the roadway, not right down the center of the lane where regular motor vehicles travel.


CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on boat and water safety complaints resulting in violations for riding on gunwale, unsafe wake, and expired registration. Bear sighting are on the increase, with some campers needing to be escorted out of a campsite due to bear activity. Starr also investigated a fawn that was killed by a very well-mannered Lab. It is a very good reminder to keep pets contained to avoid conflicts with wildlife.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, boating, ATV/OHM, and various other activities this past week. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, sport fishing, and controlled substance-related violations. Wetland and public water complaints were also investigated.

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Turn in Poachers (TIP) in Minnesota - Report a violation in progress:

To report a violation: call 800-652-9093 24 hours a day, or key in #TIP on your cell phone.

To report a violation that isn't time sensitive: Use the form at

Don't let poachers spoil your future fishing or hunting enjoyment or success.


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District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity this week. He assisted Kandiyohi County in the search for a missing bicyclist, who was later located. He observed his first brood of pheasant and turkey chicks this past week.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports monitoring boating, angling and ATV activity. He reports receiving calls from the public in regards to wildlife-related concerns. Enforcement action consisted of a public waters violation, a wetland violation, taking smallmouth bass within the restricted slot south of the St. Cloud Dam, and several boating and registration-related violations. He also reports assisting neighboring agencies with a pursuit, verbal dispute and welfare check.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports that rocks were a common theme of calls this past week. One instance involved large rocks that were being used to block an illegal ATV trail in a WMA. They were removed. Another call involved people blocking a public access ramp of a popular fishing lake with large rocks. Another subject decided to build an illegal rock point into a lake. Bertram handled several non-rocky calls as well.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports a lot of people out enjoying the nice summer weather. Enforcement was taken for extra lines, expired ATV registration, and no PFDs while on the water. Benkofske and the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating an abandoned boat found on the St. Francis River near Santiago.


CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) followed up on public water and wetland violations, and took complaints of trespass and illegally keeping wild animals.

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Please contact DNR Ecological and Water Resources if you plan to do work in the water and review the DNR webpage for when permits are required (

Remember, just because your neighbors are doing it, doesn’t mean it’s legal.

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Aviation Section

CO Standby Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) continues training flights and boat surveys in Region 1.

NR (Natural Resources) Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a helicopter training flight and attended to administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a WCA photo flight and attending an online meeting with Minnesota Pollution Control regulators.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed a helicopter maintenance flight and administrative tasks. Final equipment preparation for the cattail phot flight were completed.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week teaching use of force and defensive tactics at Camp Ripley for the Academy.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) spent the past week working on Wetland Conservation Act cases in his assigned area. Time was spent on AIS enforcement and other duties.

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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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