District 2 - Bemidji area
CO (Conservation Officer) Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Anglers are venturing onto area lakes with snowmobiles and catching a few perch and northern pike. Ice conditions still vary greatly with areas of deep slush. Snowmobile trails were monitored and were very busy over the nice weekend. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) focused primarily on angling and snowmobiling activity over the course of the past week. A snowmobile detail was worked with other conservation officers from around the state, as well as a Border Patrol officer. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp, angling with extra lines on a designated trout lake, failure to transfer ownership of a snowmobile, operating an unregistered snowmobile, exceeding the speed limit on a snowmobile, and no nonresident trail pass.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking complaints of snowmobile trespass and information about potential illegal angling activity. Vinton assisted conservation officers from outside Minnesota with information related to possible violations in other states and completed inspection of aeration systems being operated to protect shorelines from ice damage. Area snowmobiles were patrolled for compliance.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working snowmobile patrol and sport fishing. Area trails remain in excellent condition and many riders were checked. While more people are getting their houses out on area lakes, the fishing seems to have cooled off in a lot of areas. Some anglers were still having decent success. Enforcement action for the week included illegal-length fish, extra lines, fishing without a license and operating a snowmobile without registration.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked on ongoing cases and snowmobile enforcement, and issued car-killed animal permits.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked snowmobile activity during the week. There were a fair number of sleds on the trails. Anderson also assisted local agencies with an investigation related to a dog being shot and a fatal snowmobile crash.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking anglers and snowmobile riders this past week. The trails in the Remer and Outing areas had very high activity over the weekend with the warmer weather and great trail conditions. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid registration and failure to renew registration.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports activity on area lakes is very low due to continued slush problems. It’s as deep as 2 feet in spots. Snowmobile trails are in great shape and were very busy. Time was spent investigating a poaching incident from the deer season. Mathy also assisted in searching for a burglary suspect in an area requiring snowmobile response and responded to an assault call. Some time was spent on Bear Committee items.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers and snowmobilers, gave a presentation at a snowmobile safety class, and, along with other officers, monitored the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. Follow up on a snowmobile through the ice was completed and assistance was given for a couple of vehicles that slid off the icy roads.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of checking trout-fishing activity on the mine pit lakes in and around the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, and working a snowmobile trail patrol detail in the Ely and Tower areas. Numerous contacts were made for snowmobile operation, equipment, and registration violations.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports conditions on area lakes have improved and angler numbers have increased. Sullivan focused on angling enforcement this past week and observed violations that included extra lines, unattended lines, possession of illegal-length fish and several shelter license violations. Snowmobile activity was high again this past week.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sport fishing and snowmobile and trail enforcement. A drunk snowmobiler was arrested off the Paul Bunyan Trail after driving on the shoulder of a county road, carelessly passing a group of snowmobilers, including Guida, and failing to stop for two separate stop signs while traveling approximately 70 to 80 miles per hour. The operator, who tested at nearly twice the legal .08 limit, was charged with a 4th Degree DUI. The operator’s driver’s license was immediately invalidated and subject to a revocation period by the Commissioner of Public Safety for a period of 90 days based on conviction. Numerous other snowmobiler groups were contacted during the week and stated they appreciated the DNR’s efforts to keep the area trails safe.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) followed up on trapping cases and worked snowmobile activity and angling activity on area lakes. Ladd also stopped out at a residence upon seeing heavy amounts of black smoke in the air. She observed the landowner burning a tire. He advised it was just one tire but that he knew it was illegal.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Deer-feeding issues were addressed and a border detail was worked.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition and hundreds of snowmobiles were observed over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling, snowmobiling, and drug violations.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity where wheelhouses are finally showing up and moving around regularly. Snowmobile traffic was also monitored as trails are in prime condition. Verkuilen also answered turkey hunting questions and investigated wildlife-feeding complaints.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for litter, illegal-length walleyes taken on Mille Lacs Lake, extra lines, unattended lines, failure to have an ice shelter license, failure to properly identify an ice shelter, and failure to display snowmobile registration. She also spent time following up on snowmobile trail complaints.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area snowmobile trails during the unseasonably warm weather. The trails were in great condition. Speldrich took enforcement action for failing to display current snowmobile registration. She also checked anglers on area lakes.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on incidental fishers that were caught by bobcat trappers. He also checked coyote hunters. Fishing pressure increased this past week, as did snowmobile traffic. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration and loud exhaust. A cross-country skier was coached on purchasing the proper trail permit for groomed trails.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with a Sauk Centre kids fishing event on Fairy Lake. Sixth-graders from Sauk Centre schools enjoyed an afternoon on the ice with local volunteers who provided insight into the world of ice fishing. Some of the youth anglers found some success and a good time was had by all. Time was also spent patrolling area snowmobile trails and checking area lakes for angling activity. A law and safety presentation was also provided to the St. Rosa youth snowmobile safety class.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and snowmobile activity this past week. He also worked on vehicle repairs. Snowmobile owners who buy sleds used are reminded to transfer titles. Those with illegal mufflers were the most common violations.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports completing equipment maintenance. He continues working ongoing investigations and on case work related to recent incidents. Enforcement action was taken for fish house/shelter violations, registration violations and angling related violations.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports anglers and snowmobilers were out in full force with the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no registration, and drugs. He also handled calls about dogs chasing deer and trespass.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) worked on big-game hunting investigations. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer without a license, unlawful party hunting, overlimit of bucks, and littering of carcasses. Snowmobile trails were also enforced with citations being issued for registration-related offenses. Benkofske also helped out students at Elk River High School by being an interviewer for mock job interviews
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking ice anglers. Several anglers were finding success on area lakes and were enjoying the milder winter weather. Krauel also spent time patrolling for snowmobile activity. He also assisted other officers with a vehicle that went off the road where the driver was having a medical emergency. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, angling with an extra line, no angling license, expired ATV registration and snowmobile trespassing. Krauel also made a warrant arrest.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Violations were found for extra lines, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no registration. A big-game investigation was completed.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew one of two helicopters back to Brainerd after finishing the moose survey. Heineman worked on administrative duties since weather kept the airplane on the ground.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew an aerial shelter assessment flight for enforcement efforts on Mille Lacs Lake. During the same flight, Jensen took photos for local officers of a fish shelter that burned on the lake.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance and administrative tasks. He also prepared for an upcoming deer survey in a state park.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on cases, answering invasive species questions, talking to anglers and checking snowmobile activity. Administrative and office duties were conducted as well.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on wetland cases in his assigned area. A technical evaluation panel meeting was attended in Aitkin and calls were answered. Haberman also worked trapping and snowmobile enforcement.
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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement