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CO Reports: Fishing heating up in areas - Don't take over your limit

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - May 31, 2022

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District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) worked a busy holiday weekend with many anglers readily catching fish. Two TIP reports were investigated, one of which resulted in three anglers found to be over 30 walleyes over the limit.

Mathy also investigated an angler-harassment complaint and a public waters alteration complaint. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for several angling and boating violations.

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


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.

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports a busy Memorial Day week with a lot of ATV, boating and angling activity. Anglers had mixed luck but many had some fish onboard. Enforcement action consisted of several ATV, watercraft and angling violations. Seifermann would like to emphasize the importance of not intervening with young wildlife unless the animal is visibly in distress. He also encourages ATV owners to review laws and regulations regarding the different classifications of ATVs and the respective licensing requirements.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass County lakes for boating and angling activity. McGowan also worked details on Upper Red and Mille Lacs lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and angling violations.


CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time over the weekend working boating, fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations, including no OHM trail pass, no OHM registration, careless/reckless operation of an OHM, youth helmet violations, and operating an ORV on the road and road right-of-way. One rider was contacted for violations and said he was “new to the game.” Unfortunately, they hadn’t taken the time to read the rules of “the game” beforehand. Read the rules first, and call a local CO if you have questions.

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for ATV, angling, and boating activity. He found several individuals enjoying the long holiday weekend. Baum took enforcement action on multiple recreational vehicle and angling/boating violations. Baum reminds people to ensure they have all required equipment before taking the boat or ATV out.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers. Enforcement action was taken on multiple people fishing without licenses, and an overlimit of fish.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports mainly working angling and watercraft enforcement work this week. Time was also spent checking ATV operators. A complaint regarding a vehicle stuck inside a WMA was received. Follow-up work on public waters and wetland violations continues.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. He worked boat and water shifts on Upper Red Lake and Lake Mille Lacs.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ATV enforcement, boating and angling. Peterson also spent time handling calls of an abandoned boat, a fish overlimit, and wildlife-related calls.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week patrolling for boat and water safety, checking anglers, and following up with shoreline and wetland violations. The bite started to pick up again for all species of fish and anglers have been happy with their success rates. Compliance was generally good over Memorial Day weekend, with the most common violations being expired registration and an insufficient number of PFDs. Boat owners are reminded it is their responsibility to make sure their boat is registered and equipped with proper safety equipment. Calls from the public included reports of nuisance bears and complaints of possible overlimits. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs, unregistered watercraft, failure to transfer watercraft title, illegal-length fish on special regulations lakes, possession of drugs and paraphernalia, and other miscellaneous watercraft and recreational vehicle violations.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) spent the majority of a busy Memorial Day Weekend on the water as he checked anglers and enforced boating safety laws. Several violations were encountered including insufficient life jackets, failure to activate navigation lights after dark, and boat registration issues. Other violations encountered were no fishing licenses in possession and operating ATVs on a state highway. Large numbers of anglers saw good success with a steady walleye bite over the weekend. For some anglers, the bite was too good. Three anglers were found in possession of an over-limit of walleye, resulting in the seizure of over 60 fish.

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

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.


CO Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activities with the walleye action heating up. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, expired registration on a watercraft and not having enough life saving devices on board a watercraft.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) focused on boating safety and angling activity during the previous week. Time was also spent handling miscellaneous wildlife complaints and monitoring ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, keeping bass out of season and angling with extra lines.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) - reports working angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement throughout the surrounding areas. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, illegal length walleyes, and several boating violations.


CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports working a busy Memorial Day weekend. Angling activity was high and people were even seen out tubing and jet skiing despite of the cold water temperatures. Several fishing, boating, and ATV violations were addressed.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) put an OHV work detail together for the holiday weekend at the Spider Lake area. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juveniles, excessive speed, fail to stop, careless operation and various registrations issues.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled this week for angling and all-terrain vehicle activity. A large amount of time was spent handling nuisance animal complaints. Officer Guida fielded TIP calls of over limits and unlicensed anglers. Numerous watercraft contacts were made this week. Equipment and license checks were completed. Violations were detected and enforcement action was taken.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking boaters, anglers, and ATV riders. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV operation, kids without helmets, unregistered vehicles, no life jackets, no navigation lights, no angling licenses, and illegal length fish. CO Benkofske also arrested a drunk boater on Splithand Lake who was over three times the legal limit to be operating the watercraft.

CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking anglers, boaters and ATV riders throughout the busy holiday weekend. Multiple violations were found with ATV riders include juveniles without helmets, operating on a state highway and operating past closed trail signs. CO Kunst wants to remind ATV riders that signs that say “trail closed” are not just posted for looks – riders must abide by all signs or expect a citation.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked holiday weekend lake activity including a lot of dock assembly, shoreline maintenance, and “first time out this year” boaters. ATV riders were also out, resulting in registration violations and trespassing complaints. Verkuilen also checked turkey hunters, monitored invasive species, and talked with mushroom foragers.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time working ATV activity and angling activity in the Isle area. Nuisance-bear calls were followed up on, as well as complaints of shoreline owners cutting bogs. Griffith also responded to ATV accidents over the busy weekend. Enforcement action was taken on multiple boating safety issues, and ATV violations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and ATV activities and attended training. Water temperatures are still cold and storms hampered a good bite. Some turkey hunters were found to be having late-season success. Assistance was given on a multi-car accident where life flight was required.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked the busy holiday weekend, contacting many people angling, boating, and ATV riding. Violations encountered included operating unlicensed watercraft, no helmets on juvenile ATV passengers, operating an ATV without headlights on, underage consumption of alcohol, no fishing license in possession, and various boating safety related violations.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) continued to work area lakes for angling and boating activities. Many people were out for the Memorial Day weekend and several contacts were made with boaters without enough life jackets on board. Lots of panfish anglers were contacted over the weekend on many lakes and rivers.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked boaters and anglers and monitored ATV activity.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent a busy memorial weekend working on the water. Several anglers were finding success amidst the unpredictable weather patterns. CO Krauel also worked on several ATV complaints of riders on the snowmobile trails in the closed state forest. Enforcement action was taken for minor consumption of alcohol, no fishing license, illegal length Northern Pike, and riding off road in a state forest.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled area for recreational users like boating and riding ATVs. In the process, CO Hanna observed a large amount of black smoke coming from a field where a fire was. The land owner stated he was burning parts from a camper. Other parts included a recliner and other prohibited materials. The Fire department was called to put the fire out because he was burning prohibited material.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) assisted wildlife in finding radio collared wood ducks and prairie chickens. Also moved plans around for upcoming Trumpeter Swan Survey.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying an angling enforcement support flight and providing flight support for an ATV work crew. Jensen also flew a helicopter training flight and checked shore anglers during the holiday weekend.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance items and did training flights with two pilots. He also did administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids). He attend training at Camp Ripley. Charles worked on scheduling upcoming forestry health flights. Aircraft inspections were scheduled and checked on.

Standby CO Pilot Jake Willis reports flying training flights as well as helping reposition aircraft for an upcoming survey.

NR Pilot Gracie Zeller (Brainerd) continued flight training and attended to administrative tasks.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) continued working on cases in his assigned area ranging from wetland impacts and oversized docks. WREO Haberman worked around the Brainerd area of the holiday weekend conducting AIS, ATV and boating enforcement.

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