Spring road and trail use restricted, burning restrictions for some counties - MnDNR CO Reports

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - April 1, 2020

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Area anglers continue to catch panfish and are enjoying the recent warm weather. Time was spent checking anglers on Leech Lake and training in the Division airboat. He returned phone calls regarding injured deer and issued car-killed deer permits.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) checked anglers on area lakes, as well as the Rainy River. Time was also spent on ATV and OHM enforcement as well as training with K9 Storm. Mishler and Storm assisted the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office with attempting to locate a firearm thought to be discarded from a vehicle.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports seeing angling pressure waning as ice conditions on the shore deteriorate. An increase in people walking the trails in area state parks seemed to pick up with the nicer weather and the shelter-at-home order that went into effect. A permit was issued for a car-killed bobcat. A call from a new resident to the area was taken looking for advice on area public lands to hunt during the upcoming spring turkey season. A dead eagle was collected and delivered to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working sport fishing and assisting the county with different calls. Some anglers had success finding panfish, but most struggled. Ice conditions continue to deteriorate and Swedberg does not anticipate that the ice will last too much longer.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to fishing and wildlife-related complaints, worked on other ongoing cases and assisted local law enforcement.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) checked anglers, who reported a slow bite and deteriorating ice conditions. She monitored wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas. Patrol for ATV and off-road vehicle activity was conducted. Warren assisted White Earth Police with a call of a possible domestic dispute.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked ATV and fishing enforcement in the Wadena and Park Rapids stations. The fishing activity has been slow in the area. He reminds people that fires need to be attended, and conditions can change quickly as the snow disappears. ATV operators also need to make sure trails are open before traveling on them as forest trails may close for breakup.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers. Lakes are beginning to open around the area, and anglers should use caution when traveling out onto the ice.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked ice fishing and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken on angling without an angling license and failure to renew ATV registration.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports angling activity in the area was higher than normal. Many individuals and families were out catching perch, crappies, and sunfish. Ice conditions had held up but are now showing signs of weakening. Access points, especially, are weakened with the warm weather and truck travel has turned to ATV travel in most areas. A big-game complaint was investigated and work continued on items related to the Bear Committee.

District 9 - Brainerd area


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) checked angling activity on area lakes. Ice conditions are rapidly worsening. Equipment was inspected and prepared for open-water boating and angling enforcement.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked angling activity throughout the past week. He spent time checking perch and tullibee anglers on Leech Lake. Enforcement action was taken for leaving an ice shelter on the ice past the deadline.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this past week for expired snowmobile and ATV registrations, as well as no licenses and helmets. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast with a few vehicles already going through this past week. Remember, too, that Gov. Walz urges everyone to quarantine at home, not your cabin.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled the Foot Hills State Forest area, which is closed to all motor vehicle traffic. Sullivan checked spring ice angling activity and worked ATV traffic in the area.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) found lots of people out fishing during the “Stay at Home” order. Some, but not all, are observing safe distances from each other. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast, with a pickup and a four-wheeler going through the ice this past week.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and ATV activity. Time was also spent on dogs-chasing-deer and lakeshore-alteration complaints.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers despite shorelines rapidly deteriorating. ATV traffic was up likely due in part to snow-free ditches. Verkuilen also addressed complaints regarding litter and work in public waters.


CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time maintaining equipment, working on office work, issuing possession permits, and following up on various questions.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office with a structure fire. The home was a total loss. Speldrich patrolled state parks and state forests. She also answered questions regarding injured deer that were still able to get around.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) reports spending more time patrolling on land than on the ice this past week. Sport fishing activity has been low and anglers are currently seeing ice conditions rapidly deteriorate with the warmer weather. Enforcement action was taken for an angler with an ice shelter on the ice past the deadline, no shelter ID, and no shelter license. Additionally, enforcement action was also taken for burning prohibited materials and illegal ATV operation.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the past week checking anglers on area lakes. An OHM complaint was investigated with enforcement action being taken. Multiple illegal fires were also addressed throughout the week.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked the fish bite in the area and assisted neighboring officers with what may be the last of the ice fishing in the area for the year. He followed up on cases from this winter and conducted equipment maintenance.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports fielding numerous complaints related to the spring crappie and sunfish bite on several area lakes. Enforcement action was taking for an over-limit of sunfish, no angling license in possession, helmets required on youth, ATV passenger violation and a traffic stop that lead to a DWI arrest. Several animal-related complaints were handled as well.

District 12 - Princeton area


CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports taking calls regarding public land and water access. TIP reports of carcass dumping were also investigated. Illegal-carcass dumping creates a bad image for hunters among non-hunters and hunters alike and will be strictly enforced.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked ATV riders, patrolled state parks and WMAs, and took complaints of dumped carcasses. A reminder that there are currently burning restrictions on and to view the website for updates on what they are.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for ATV activity. He also spent time on administrative tasks and equipment maintenance.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew photo training flights and photo missions requests for officers preparing for the spring hunting season. Geving also tended to maintenance and administrative tasks.

Standby CO pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) continued flight training and monitored local lakes for fishing activity.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a mission to search for a possible missing trapper in a local river system. The trapper was found upstream setting his traps. Jensen also responded to a TIP complaint of an overlimit of crappies and spent time in local state parks monitoring property and buildings.

NR (Natural Resources) Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry, worked on flight-related training and attended to aircraft maintenance.


NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) did administrative tasks, followed helicopter maintenance, and had three aircraft radios programmed for the year.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week checking fishing and ATV activity. Time was spent following up on wildlife-related calls. Locations for AIS check stations were scouted in Region 1.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on open cases in his assigned area. Haberman also spent time talking with area officers asking for guidance on new cases that they have found.

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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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