MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Report - Jan 8, 2018
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) contacted ice anglers and snowmobilers over the holiday. Extremely cold temperatures kept most people inside their ice shelters. Violations observed included angling without a license, littering, and failure to display shelter license. CO Sullivan also observed registration violations on ATV’s and snowmobiles. Enforcement action was also taken on a subject who was operating a motor vehicle on a snowmobile trail.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for snowmobile and angling activity. Snowmobilers are finding tough trail conditions and anglers are finding varying ice conditions. CO McGowan continues to follow-up on cases from this fall’s deer season.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled for angling activity and worked an area ice festival event. Officer Guida assisted with a snowmobile safety class which will certify 13 new operators. Snowmobile trails are very rough and travel has been very light. Lake angling pressure increased with warmer temperatures. Officer Guida also addressed all-terrain vehicle violations.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity of checking fishing, snowmobile, and cross country ski activity. Patrol was done through the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area investigating issues of illegal ATV use in the recreation area. An incident where snowmobiles illegally accessed and damaged grant in aid ski trails was investigated. CO Hadrits also took a call of a cougar sighting.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Cuyuna SRA) reports checking fishermen out on area lakes. A few were catching some pan fish but the colder temps seemed to have kept the bite down. A TIP complaint was handled regarding a possible over-limit of fish and a question regarding car kill deer permits was answered. Patrol was done in the SRA for motor vehicle violations and also for snowmobile activity. ATV activity was also monitored on area lakes and time was spent patrolling for dumping violations. A snowmobile trespassing complaint was handled and many outdoor law related questions were fielded.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, trapping, ATV, and snowmobile activity. Marijuana and a dog in a trap issues were addressed. One individual was contacted regarding the deer feeding restriction.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) spent the week working on snowmobile, trapping, and fishing enforcement. Fishing report was not fast and furious and ice conditions remain unpredictable, although many are driving out on local pan fish lakes.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) handled snowmobile trespass calls and registered fur for local trappers. Thank You to all the sportsmen that I had contact with in my wonderful nearly 32 year career, it was my privilege to serve you.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring trapping and trapping activity. Anglers continue to report limited success. Cold weather did not improve ice conditions as anglers expected. Some lakes still report only 10-12 inches of ice. Snowmobile activity is limited due to the lack of snow. Anglers are reminded to check new ice shelter license requirements.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers. Ice is still variable with 10-21 inches reported. Some snowmobiles were out on minimal snow pack. Work continued on a background investigation. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license, angle with extra lines, unlicensed fish house, angle without license in possession, and unregistered snowmobile.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked ice fishing activity along with checking the ATVs and snowmobiles that get the anglers there. Snowmobiles are mostly sticking to lakes due to minimal snow cover on local trails. ATV registration is looking good for early in the year but safety training and helmets are still coming up short.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) endured the cold on Mille Lacs Lake and checked anglers. Fishing slowed with the bitter cold but ice conditions and road systems gained some headway. Local snowmobile trails aren’t in the best shape as of yet, but additional snow should improve them quickly. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and spearing without a license.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked snowmobiling, angling, and trapping activity. She also continued work on a background investigation.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports that extreme cold hampered outdoor activities but the warmer weather brought numerous folks out. Fishermen were checked with extra line, unattended line, no license in possession, and no shelter tag violations found. Some snowmobiles were out, but hampered by lack of snow. A TIP of blocking a public stream with a fence was investigated, which the complainant was not accurate and no violation had occurred.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time answering questions at the Minnesota Trapper’s Association annual meeting and helped with registering bobcat furs. Many trappers reported finding signs that showed good populations of bobcat and had good trapping success. Most area lakes had over a foot of good ice which allowed for car and pickup travel and a huge increase in angling pressure. Violations found out on the lakes included fishing without licenses, operating unregistered snowmobiles, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers and state forest areas. He spent time checking WMA’s and answered questions about ice conditions and local fishing activity. A majority of anglers are driving vehicles on the ice in the Pine City area. Anglers are reporting 12-16 inches of ice in most places and pan fish have been seen in most angler’s buckets.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake and area lakes. Pan fish on some smaller lakes started to pick up. Walleyes on Mille Lacs remain steady with perch starting to pick up. A complaint from a resort on Mille Lacs ended with a party being charged with litter. Various items were thrown down fishing holes in a rental along with human feces outside the house. On the brighter side, while checking a fisherman that was doing construction inside his house, he caught a 27 ½ inch walleye and was insisting that I stay because I was good luck. Enforcement action taken on fishing and littering violations.
Click here to Download a copy of MN Fishing Regulations
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Enforcement