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CO Reports: ATV violations reported, burning regulations in place

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - June 14, 2022

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District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Adam Seifermann (Staples) reported some violations for the week consisted of operating an ATV without headlights, operating on closed trails in a state forest, failing to display registration, under 18 helmet required.

CO Seifermann also reports anglers having some luck on local lakes. He reports assisting other DNR divisions and the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District with site visits for APM and Wetland Conservation Act violations. Seifermann noted violations for non-registered non-motorized watercraft and failure to display valid watercraft registration.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) reminds people there are burning regulations in place and if a fire is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, a burning permit is required. A burning permit can be obtained online or through the local fire warden. Cross attended multiple trainings, checked area lakes, and patrolled for ATV traffic. Additionally, questions from the public were fielded and answered.


CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this week patrolling the area for angling, boating, and recreational vehicle activity. Baum investigated a TIP call on Leech Lake with another officer. He took enforcement action on several violations related to angling and recreational vehicle operation.

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.

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


CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) investigated a fishing and litter complaint. She also attended two ATV safety courses. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked angling and boating activity throughout the week. He also spent time assisting with Division training. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and angling violations

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time assisting with Academy instruction, testifying in court, and attending a community event in Wadena. Training was prepared for a driver’s education class and OHV law for other law enforcement.


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.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports giving ATV presentations for new DNR Wildlife personnel and students from Washington Elementary in Crookston this week. Time was also spent instructing at the DNR Enforcement Academy. Anglers and watercraft operators were contacted throughout the week.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports handling TIP calls of anglers taking overlimits of bass and panfish. Observations were made on several groups, but no violations were uncovered. Calls of problem bears are being directed to local Wildlife offices and people are asked to check out the DNR “Be Bear Wise” page on the DNR website. Calls of OHM and ATVs in the road right-of-way were also taken. Calls about public water access from a township road were addressed with township supervisors and complaints of parking at a public water access were handled.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling for ATV, boating, and AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) activities. Many people were still in the process of getting their boats and equipment in the water and had a great weekend to do it. Swedberg also spent time assisting Becker County with a search warrant and search and recovery for a drowning victim. Over the weekend he assisted with an AIS detail in Beltrami County. Overall compliance with AIS laws was good.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Follow up on open cases continued. AIS-compliance checks were performed. Training was attended in Bemidji. ATV and off-road vehicle patrol was conducted on area trails. Warren taught laws and ethics at a firearms safety class in Fosston.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers in the area, with the walleye bite heating up in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and having expired registration on a watercraft. Sutherland also gave two youth ATV safety class presentations.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) focused on boating safety and angling activity during the last week. Time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance in the area and working a detail in the BWCA. Holt attended training and took miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Enforcement activity involved angling violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to focus primarily on fishing, boating, and ATV activity. A good panfish and walleye bite was reported from most anglers. ATV trails are in good shape but are very dusty in areas. Violations addressed included angling without a license, ATV’s on state highways, and youth passengers not wearing helmets.


District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets, children on ATVs without helmets, and fishing without licenses. Benkofske also attended and spoke at the Big Sandy Lake Association annual meeting.

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking anglers and ATV riders, and monitoring activity throughout the recreation area. The Off Road Triathlon over the weekend had a good turnout despite a rainy start to the day. Enforcement action for the week included park pass and recreational vehicle registration violations.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored ATV activity throughout the week. Mille Lacs Lake was also worked, with many anglers enjoying Take a Kid Fishing weekend. Complaints of nuisance animals and litter were followed up on. Enforcement action was taken for multiple boating safety and angling violations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and boating safety on Mille Lacs Lake, with compliance found to be very good. Nuisance-animal calls were taken care of, and a family of baby raccoons was taken to a rehab facility. Panfish activity was found to be good. ATV activity was down this week and many recreational properties were empty.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked the Mississippi River and area lakes for boating and angling activity. Several boating contacts were made checking safety equipment. Westby also spent time working ATVs near Spider Lake, and several trails are closed due to logging and the trails are closed to all traffic of any kind for their own safety. Please stay off closed trails.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked fishing licenses and conducted boat and water safety checks on the water. He monitored public water accesses for aquatic invasive species and monitored ATV activity. Vang also attended a meet and greet/Q&A session with the conservation officer candidates from the current DNR Academy.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. He investigated cases concerning no fishing licenses, littering and speeding on an ATV. He also handled the administrative duties associated with those cases.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) assisted other officers with a work detail in Chisago County. COs made contact with many people angling and participating in recreational activity. One angler had two northern pike in possession but did not know the rules. The pike were in compliance with the regulations but the angler was advised that ignorance is not an alibi.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Krauel also patrolled for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no life jacket, and expired watercraft license.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) assisted Non-Game Wildlife with a trumpeter swan survey flight and waterfowl research with a wood duck telemetry flight. He flew for enforcement looking for APM and WCA violations.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports finishing a northeastern Minnesota swan survey and competing a rotary training flight. Instruction was given to the Minnesota State Patrol Dispatcher Academy on the DNR Aviation program.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued flight training with another pilot and worked on items in preparation for the upcoming cattail-spraying season. He also worked on administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) completed North Shore photo flights along with a sketch mapping flight. He worked on training curriculums and training folders. He provided flight instruction for a unit pilot. A wetland enforcement flight was done at the request of another officer.

Standby CO Pilot Jake Willis (Grand Rapids) flew multiple training flights this week and transported parts for another pilot at a remote airport. An enforcement flight was flown for an ongoing TIP call and for a wetlands violation.

NT Pilot Gracie Zeller (Brainerd) continued flight training. She began preparations for a booth at Girls in Aviation Day and attended to administrative tasks.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked an AIS enforcement detail at Upper Red Lake with Region 1 officers. Case work was conducted and ATV activity was worked.

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