Nuisance animals, other nuisances reported

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Jun 30, 2020

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Tim Gray (Bagley) handled nuisance-animal complaints and a wolf depredation in a neighboring station.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. Complaints of nuisance bears were taken. He worked boat and water details on Upper Red Lake. Numerous violations were detected and angling remains very good on most days.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with Division of Enforcement training at Camp Ripley.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area lakes for fishing and boating activity. With the nice weather there were a lot of people out enjoying the lakes. Swedberg focused his enforcement efforts on jet ski violations over the past week and talked to a lot of juvenile operators about proper jet ski operation and safety when out in groups. Other time was spent following up on aquatic plant violations including those involving weed rollers and aqua thruster machines.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at the Academy, attended emergency vehicle operations course and worked ATV enforcement. He also followed up on complaints of hydro jets operating illegally to control weeds and lake sediment.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. A call of a boat washed up on shore was investigated and the owner was located. Area trails were worked for off-road vehicle and ATV activity. Questions were answered about leeching, boating regulations and nuisance-bear activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring ATV, angling, and boat and water safety activity. The hot weather has led to an increase in recreational boating traffic and anglers are focusing on fishing more in the mornings and evenings. The panfish bite has picked up and anglers are still finding a few walleyes on a couple of the area lakes. Calls from the public included reports of nuisance bears, complaints of bow fishers, and reports of possible shoreline and vegetation violations. Landmark discussed regulations with area bow fishers during a tournament and observed good overall compliance. As the weeds begin to thicken on area lakes, Landmark would like to remind lakeshore owners to check into aquatic vegetation regulations and to make sure they are abiding by the regulations for operating weed-control devices. Enforcement action was taken for failure to obtain a burning permit and burning prohibited materials.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The nice weather brought out a fair amount of anglers. He checked boaters and PWC operators on area lakes. PWC violations observed were driving too close to shore at faster than no-wake speed. Boating violations observed were no registration and insufficient PFDs. He received a complaint of bears getting into garbage cans and knocking over bird feeders. Some of the other complaints received were PWC (Personal Water Craft) operators chasing loons and boat operators causing damage with their wakes.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working areas with high ATV activity in her station. ATV violations included failure to display valid registration, operating without headlights and children under 18 years old without helmets. Boating enforcement was also worked, and violations included angling without a license and operating watercraft without navigation lights. A littler complaint was also taken.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) reports concentrating efforts on fishing and boating. Anderson worked with CO Troy Richards on Upper Red Lake over the weekend. Fishing success was spotty and boat safety compliance was excellent.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check angling, boating, and ATV activity. She responded to calls of an injured loon and a bear causing damage to property. She also assisted with a motorcycle vs. deer crash.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and recreational vehicle use. A deer-possession permit and nuisance-beaver permit were issued. Complaints about nuisance bears and dogs chasing deer were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length northern pike, no angling license in possession, and ATV violations.

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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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District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd West) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. The lakes were very busy and violations included angling without licenses, lack of life preservers, kids under 10 without life jackets being worn, expired registrations, and operation of personal watercraft at high rates of speed near shore and swimmers. He also took several calls of loons being harassed and run over.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes. Numerous anglers were checked throughout the week reporting limited success. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of violations.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species and ATV activity. Illegal aquatic vegetation removal and various wildlife calls were handled. Training was attended and assistance was given to the sheriff’s office in a stabbing incident.


CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this week for no licenses, no PFDs, bow riding, fish overlimit and no helmets. During an ATV stop, the driver stated he saw Best sitting off the side of a township road, and knew he was driving too fast, but wanted to see if she was “courageous” enough to follow at a high rate of speed to get him stopped. Enforcement action was taken for his operation, no ATV safety and no helmet on a 14-year-old passenger.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) assisted with alcohol training at Camp Ripley for Academy 20. Sullivan also worked area lakes and ATV trails. Anglers reported fishing was average and the water is starting to warm up. Boating safety violations included no type IV throwable and no fire extinguisher. ATV user numbers started to decrease due to the heat. Several illegal-registration violations were enforced.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Dry local conditions are causing low water levels and more boating hazards than usual. Mille Lacs Lake activity was high resulting in new anglers unfamiliar with its unique regulations. ATV riders and fireworks users should also be aware of the drought-like conditions over the holiday weekend.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time maintaining equipment, delivering equipment, working on office work, following up on calls, and helping with training the Academy at Camp Ripley. The calls she followed up on included questions on fishing, Mille Lacs fishing regulations, swans, wolves killing livestock, and a deer possession permit.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on a wolf depredation where calves that were attacked and injured have now died. She also followed up on complaints of state forest users dispersed camping in areas not authorized for dispersed camping. Speldrich was informed of an unoccupied picnic area with a camp fire still smoldering. She extinguished the fire. With the lack of rain in the area this type of carelessness could have resulted in a very bad situation. Thankfully someone reported it.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked boat and water complaints, nuisance bear activity, fishing activity, and ATV use. Walleyes are still biting well, as the Mille Lacs Lake closure is fast approaching. Extra-line violations and no license in possession were found on Mille Lacs, while Starr and CO Verkuilen were patrolling for night ban activity. Starr also attempted to stop a careless motorist only to have the wanted felon flee on foot. Charges are pending as the known suspect remains at large with multiple felony warrants.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing, ATV, and various other activities this past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, juvenile ATV passenger without a helmet on, litter, no angling license in personal possession, failure to display ATV registration, and failure to have a personal flotation device for all people onboard watercraft. Follow up was completed with wetlands and public waters-related complaints.


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Click here to Download a copy of MN Fishing Regulations

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District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week attending emergency vehicle operations training. Assistance was also provided at the Academy with scenario training. Calls were returned regarding various outdoor-related issues.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling AIS and boating activity this past week. He completed annual training.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports monitoring summer recreational activity in the area. He received several calls from the public regarding nuisance wildlife. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. He also wants to remind the public to celebrate and recreate safely during the upcoming holiday weekend.


CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) handled a wolf-depredation complaint and several nuisance-bear issues. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no PFDs, and no weed roller permit.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, and patrolled state lands. Enforcement action was taken on a large public waters project. Calls of trespass, nuisance animals, and litter were also responded to.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) worked a BWCA detail checking canoe safety laws and campsite and fishing regulations. On the drive back home, Benkofske and CO Seamans came upon a man shooting at vehicle traffic from his lawn with a shotgun. The individual then shot at the COs and was taken to jail without anyone getting hurt.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Two litter complaints were investigated. Numerous animal-related calls were handled.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. Krauel also spent time assisting at the CO Academy. Krauel also spent time patrolling state forest areas that have had numerous litter complaints.

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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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Aviation Section

CO Standby Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) continues training flights and boat counts in regions one and two, plus some study time.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended annual helicopter fire bucket training. Multiple prefight training tasks such as weight and balance, fuel management, Bambi bucket inspection and Bambi bucket hookup and operational checks were performed. Flight operations were then conducted with all three Pilots doing water pickups and drops. Heineman also worked on administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports attending EVOC training at Camp Ripley and also flew a rotary training flight where an ongoing aquatic plant shoreline violation was noticed. Information was relayed to the local officer and enforcement action was taken.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed two days of cattail photos, checking on success of spray treatments in the past three years to rid the state of hybrid cattails. He also completed fire bucket training with the helicopter, and attended a flight instructor webinar.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent time instructing at the Academy. Time was spent catching up on open cases and following up with LGUs and hydrologists. New cases were reviewed.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked at Camp Ripley instructing EVOC for current officers. Haberman also conducted WREO duties in his assigned area.

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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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