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CO Reports: Personal watercraft may only be operated between 9:30AM and 1 hour before sunset

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - July 13, 2022

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District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Jordan Anderson (Wadena) reported enforcement action was taken for operating a PWC after hours, no life jacket on a PWC, no navigation lights, and various other fishing and boating related violations.

CO Anderson also investigated a TIP call on potential illegal bait harvesting and spent time on the water. Enforcement action was taken for operating an off-road vehicle on a public roadway.

Image of a portion of the Minnesota DNR Personal Watercraft Laws brochure from the MN DNR website. View the full brochure at https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/safety/boatwater/pwc-brochure.pdf
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports a steady increase in recreational traffic into the area. Area lakes, rivers and campgrounds continue to see an increase in demand. He also reports seeing many hunters getting private property ready for the upcoming bear- and deer-hunting seasons. Now is a great time to legally post your land in preparation for the upcoming seasons. Enforcement action consisted of a mix of boating angling and ATV-related offenses.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked boaters and anglers. ATV and AIS enforcement were also worked. Mathy also provided assistance when a motorist had a medical incident. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked ATV and angling activity. She also investigated various fishing related complaints.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) reports working ATV traffic, recreational watercraft traffic, AIS, and angling. Activity was steady and angling was successful for quite a few anglers on the water. Cross took calls about nuisance bears and from concerned citizens about wolves living near their home. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft, angling, and ATV violations.


CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) reports working busy Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for activity. McGowan also assisted at Camp Ripley with CO Academy training. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports completing a deer hunting related case involving deer from the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Time was also spent instructing at the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were also received.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) spent time checking anglers on area lakes. The panfish bite remains strong and anglers are catching walleyes in the evenings. ATV activity was monitored on area trails and forest roads.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports fishing activity has slowed, with many walleye anglers failing to locate fish. Calls of possible dogs chasing deer and ATV trespass on local wildlife management areas were investigated. Vinton continued work with the local government unit on a wetland violation. Questions were answered about the inability to purchase a fishing license through the ELS system and whether a 15-year-old who’d taken the watercraft safety class but had lost his copy of the permit could still operate a personal watercraft.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked boating and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken on multiple violations. Peterson also handled miscellaneous calls and complaints regarding wildlife, minnow trapping and abandoned property.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. A call of an abandoned PWC was investigated. Assistance was provided at Itasca State park. Area trails were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity.


CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up with cases and enforcement action over the Fourth of July weekend. Time was also spent working ongoing wetland and shoreline cases as well as investigating new complaints. Calls from the public included complaints of wetland fill, public waters excavation, and miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week with many Minnesotans and vacationers from out of state on area waters. Sutherland took enforcement action for angling without a license, operating an unregistered watercraft, operating a watercraft without enough life jackets, operating an unregistered ATV and allowing minors to operate an ATV without a helmet. Sutherland also took multiple bear-related complaints in the area with multiple bird feeders being torn down by the hungry bear families.


CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked anglers and recreational vehicles during the previous week. Time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance and handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Holt worked a TIP complaint and followed up on open investigations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) followed up on several angling and ATV complaints. The sunfish and crappie bites on local lakes continue to be good while the walleye bite seems to be slowing down. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley assisting with training at the Academy.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) spent time on boating and ATV enforcement. Numerous nuisance-wildlife calls were handled. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, as well as PFD and registration issues.


CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time monitoring activity throughout the recreation area. The mine pits were busy with anglers and recreational use throughout the week. Enforcement action included park pass violations, registration and insufficient life jackets. Paddle boarders are reminded they are required to have a life jacket at least with them while paddle boarding.

CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time patrolling the lakes and ATV trails in the area. Violations found included failure to have an angling license in personal possession, failure to display registration and taking fish without a license. Kunst also received various aquatic plant management complaints and followed up on them.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled the station this week. Litter complaints have been received and are being investigated. Guida testified in court on a deer-hunting case. He also fielded aquatic plant vegetation removal permit violations.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity where water recreation is more prominent than angling. ATV traffic was monitored and assistance was provided at the Aitkin Fair booth.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked angling and ATV activity. Time was also spent following up on littering and angler-harassment complaints. Enforcement action was taken on various violations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and boating activities, along with nuisance-animal calls. Public outreach efforts included an Aitkin County Fair DNR booth and assisting the St. Cloud Police Department with a youth fishing event. Numerous car vs. animal incidents are taking place.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked ATV and sport fishing enforcement over the week. Time was spent at the Aitkin County Fair. Questions were answered regarding various topics. Bear-related complaints are a common theme this time of year. Putting away common attractants such as garbage and bird feeders is best practice if nuisance bears are in the area.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) took a call of livestock possibly killed by wolves. Investigation showed the livestock was killed by wolves and a federal trapper was called to assist. Time was spent on area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity. With warmer weather, angling activity has been slow. Westby spent time working ATV activities and several stops were made for operating on the highway and no helmets for juveniles.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATV activity, checked anglers, conducted boat and water safety and AIS checks, and conducted equipment maintenance. Calls of nuisance bears and ATV complaints were taken throughout the week. Overall activity was down following the Fourth of July weekend with few contacts made. Compliance was good.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers and assisted the sheriff’s office this week. Administration tasks and vehicle maintenance were done this week. The local catfish bite has increased, with a couple of overlimit cases made.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, insufficient boating safety equipment, and no ATV registration. Several injured-animal calls were handled.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled the area for angling from a boat and shore. Hanna fielded calls about nuisance deer and bears.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. He also spent time working on a case where an individual was shooting deer out of season. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no life jackets, and shooting deer out of season.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) flew a wood duck telemetry flight and attended a DNR pilots meeting.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports attending a pilot meeting and following up on potential aquatic plant management violation sites.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on cattail spray planning and did annual Forestry fire training. He also attended the quarterly pilot meeting.

CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) worked on scheduling future mapping flights. Aircraft maintenance and repair issues were attended to. He attended the quarterly pilot meeting. Aircraft were repositioned for upcoming flights.

Stand-by CO Pilot Jake Willis (Grand Rapids) completed online and ground training this week. A pilot meeting was attended where he, along with two other Aviation Unit members, received their gold wings for their uniforms.

NR Pilot Gracie Zeller (Brainerd) began preparing for the summer cattail project. She got her briefing for the 2022 fire season and attended a meeting where she proudly got her wings pinned.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on case updates in his assigned area. AIS enforcement was conducted at area landings and roadways. ATV and fishing activity was worked.

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