CO Reports: Sunfish over-limit blamed on wives forgetfulness

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Aug. 11, 2020

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District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. Time was spent following up on ATV complaints and patrolling trails. He responded to a personal injury accident involving a motorcycle hitting a deer.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting anglers and boaters at the public water accesses and discussing AIS prevention and boating safety. Vinton provided information for distribution at a section of a public bicycling and walking trail connecting the city of Vergas with Long Lake. A large section of the trail is a floating boardwalk. Vinton attended a meeting of field training officers at Camp Ripley and met with the new officer that he will be field training this fall.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working sport fishing and assisting Becker County with a drowning on Little Detroit Lake. Swedberg took enforcement action on two anglers with an overlimit of sunfish on an area lake. The men were both in possession of two limits of sunfish and claimed their wives had left the previous night and forgotten their fish. Swedberg called both wives. Neither had any clue about fishing and their husbands admitted to the overlimit.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working sport fishing and assisting Becker County with a drowning on Little Detroit Lake. Swedberg took enforcement action on two anglers with an overlimit of sunfish on an area lake. The men were both in possession of two limits of sunfish and claimed their wives had left the previous night and forgotten their fish. Swedberg called both wives. Neither had any clue about fishing and their husbands admitted to the overlimit.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. ATV and off-road vehicle patrol was conducted. Warren assisted a local county with a search for a possible drowning victim. Information was provided about nuisance-goose permits.


District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) spent the majority of the week instructing at the CO Academy. Anglers, boaters, and ATV riders were also checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked ATV riders and anglers. She investigated multiple aquatic plant violations and assisted other agencies.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on area lakes and rivers. Anderson worked with the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office patrolling the Crow Wing River through Huntersville State Forest as complaints have been received about litter and underage drinking. An ATV law training was given to local law enforcement, and time was spent on ATV patrolling in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent a few days patrolling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid registration on a canoe and failure to have an angling license in personal possession.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked sport fishing, ATV, and aquatic plant control activities this past week. Enforcement action was taken for no licenses, no helmets, illegal youth operation, and illegal use of hydraulic jets. Assistance was provided with a felony assault and fleeing case. Nuisance-animal complaints were also handled.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) worked ATV trails during the week and saw a decent amount of use. He attended Honor Guard training in Duluth. Received complaints of bears causing damage and getting hit on the road.


CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled area lakes and focused on invasive species enforcement on area highways. Sullivan also attended field training meetings.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked watercraft, angling and ATV activity. Time was also spent on a shoreline vegetation issue and animal complaints.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked ATV activity and boating activity. Ladd assisted with training at Camp Ripley for Academy 20.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling and boating activity. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for training with the Conservation Officer Academy, and assisting local law enforcement agencies with calls for service. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station waters for boating and sport fishing activity. He completed an out-of-area work detail was completed with a neighboring officer. Guida prepared for upcoming DNR Enforcement Academy training.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Aquatic vegetation is growing lush, resulting in a lot of time and work picking trailers clean. He also assisted with a search warrant, performed some firearms armoring, and responded to complaints regarding bear and beaver damage.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to deal with Wetland Conservation Act violations and nuisance-bear complaints. Several calls were handled that involved black bears destroying field corn. Time was also spent instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy during sport fishing week.


CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, boating, and ATV/OHM activity this past week. Time was spent investigating a big-game case and public waters/wetland issue. Additionally, calls were fielded regarding public waters/wetland issues, late-night shooting, mishandling of fish, and bear licenses. Enforcement action was taken for various boating and ATV violations.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week on the water checking boats and anglers. There were many with aquatic vegetation on boats and trailers as they were pulled from the water. People were doing a good job cleaning off all of the vegetation. Drug evidence was brought to the BCA from a previous case.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent most of the past week assisting with instruction at the CO Academy. A field training meeting was also attended. A TIP complaint regarding possible overlimits of panfish was followed up on and he attended a youth sporting event held by the Sauk Centre Conservation Club.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked activity through the rain showers this past week. He assisted with fishing week at the CO Academy. Information was received concerning a bear that has been observed several times in the area. People who see a bear in the area are encouraged to enter them into the DNR bear tracking app found on the DNR website.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports seeing a continued increase in outdoor recreation. He also reports seeing an increase in nonresident anglers with violations. Seifermann and CO Bertram investigated a wetland complaint that resulted in several wetlands being drained (the investigation is ongoing). Calls from the public involved a report of juveniles setting nets in a river, an injured deer and an injured great horned owl that was caught and transported to the Raptor Center by a volunteer. Seifermann also reports assisting the sheriff’s office with a vehicle in a lake. The driver was arrested for 2nd Degree DWI. This is the second vehicle in a lake that Seifermann has assisted with in two weeks.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week working anglers and boaters. ATV and bear complaints were handled. Aquatic plant and wetland violations were investigated.

District 12 - Princeton area


CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders, and patrolled state lands. Londgren received and investigated complaints of litter, dogs chasing deer, and public water violations.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted Wright County with a medical emergency at Lake Maria State Park. Several nuisance-animal calls related to beavers, foxes and geese were dealt with this past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, as well as boat registration and ATV violations.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused efforts on boaters and anglers. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATVs, issuing wildlife-possession permits, and patrolling state lands. Enforcement action was taken for dispersed camping illegally, littering, and transom riding on a boat. One personal watercraft was stopped after the operator traveled almost 40 miles per hour without wearing a life jacket. Horse passes were checked on Sand Dunes State Forest trails. The violation rate was high and enforcement action was taken.

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.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) worked on training and administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) worked anglers and aquatic invasive species enforcement throughout the past week.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued working on helicopter spraying of invasive hybrid cattails on state wildlife management areas. Plots were completed in the Region 4 area, and the crews have moved to the Mankato area. Spray conditions have been good, with only a few weather delays.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on public waters, WCA and aquatic plant management cases. Time was spent following up with officers and local government units. Site visits were conducted.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) conducted site visits for WCA violations in Aitkin County. AIS and ATV enforcement was conducted in Cass and Crow Wing counties. Case work was conducted and area calls were addressed.

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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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