Summer outdoors season in full swing: Fishing - Boating - Camping - Four-wheeling

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Jun 17, 2020

Enforcement action was taken for camping in excess of 21 days at a dispersed campsite, littering, and boating violations.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. Vollbrecht worked federal boat and water safety shifts on Upper Red Lake. Fishing is good with several limits observed. Time was spent completing annual training and patrolling for ATV activity.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports receiving calls of people using extra lines and possibly having fish over the limit. Several people called to report “abandoned” baby animals. People are reminded most of those babies are just fine and should be left alone in all cases.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working recreational vehicle areas and patrolling area lakes. Lots of people were able to enjoy the nice weather and get out on their boats during the week. Lots of anglers are still having success and reports indicate most fish remain in shallow water. Other time was spent following up on ongoing cases from the previous two weeks.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with training at the CO Academy.


CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) monitored boating and angling activity. Individuals reported a fair bite with high winds making conditions challenging. Area trails were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Warren answered questions regarding baby animals, goose permits, and bear activity. People are reminded to leave young animals alone as in most cases they are not abandoned and the mother will return to them.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working various complaint calls and sport fishing enforcement.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the past week working boating, ATV, and fishing enforcement. The weather was good but a little breezy, which kept some people off the water. Enforcement action included no navigation lights after sunset, angling without a license, failure to display registration, and operating an ATV without lights.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports many anglers enjoyed good fishing success the past week. Complaints of littering, nuisance bears, and camping violations were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for camping in excess of 21 days at a dispersed campsite, littering, and boating violations.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The nice weather brought out a fair number of anglers. No fishing license in possession and expired registration were the most common violations observed. 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 a bowfishers dumping rough fish at public accesses. Complaints of bears knocking over bird feeders and getting into garbage also received attention.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, investigated TIP complaints and worked boat and water enforcement. Angler success was good this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating activity in the area with good panfish and walleye bites going on. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and operating an ATV without current registration.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts on patrolling for boating and angling activity. Most people reported having at least some success with a variety of fish species. Several nuisance-animal calls were fielded and assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies on calls for service.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sport fishing and boating enforcement this past week. A confused boater was respectfully reminded they can use their electronics chart to find their way back to their port harbor. Numerous anglers were checked with violations including no angling license, PFD violations, no sound-producing device, no fire extinguisher, and riding a PWC after hours.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, personal watercraft, ATV and invasive species activity. A complaint regarding a dog chasing a doe and fawn was also addressed.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports warm weather brought a large number of recreational boaters to the area. Area anglers reported less success as water temperatures rise. ATV trails in the Foothills State Forest are in good condition but dusty. Sullivan also worked invasive species enforcement.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time patrolling for angling activity and following up on TIP calls. He also spent time prepping for upcoming Academy trainings with the new CO candidates. Enforcement action for the week included numerous boating violations, fishing without a license, angling with extra lines, and illegal-length walleye.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on Wetland Conservation Act violations. She took calls regarding an abandoned fawn and a nuisance bear. Speldrich also assisted DNR Parks and Trails with possible tampering of campground property.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily worked sport fishing, boating safety, and ATV activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for various sport fishing, watercraft/AIS, and ATV-related violations. Calls about wildlife were also fielded.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. He assisted other agencies with traffic stops and a car accident in which a passenger fled on foot. He also handled a TIP call for a neighboring officer.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports following up on numerous calls from the public. He also monitored angling, AIS, and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for taking a beardless hen during the spring turkey hunt.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, no registration, and insufficient boating safety equipment. Two new public waters violations were investigated.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent time checking anglers and working boat and water safety. Several violations were detected including no life jacket, expired registration, illegal-length northern pike, angling with extra lines, and angling without a license.


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint. Several animal-related calls were handled. Anglers and ATV riders were checked.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports enforcing ATV and angling laws and regulations. Numerous nuisance-bear calls were looked into. An injured dog was rescued that had jumped off a trailer onto Highway 169 near Princeton. Owner info was barely made out on the collar and Benkofske placed the dog in his squad and returned it to the thankful owners. The owners had someone come pick up the trailer prior and that individual did not know the dog had climbed onto the trailer. The dog will survive and be well after some treatment at the vet clinic.

Aviation Section

Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) flew training and boat count flights. He also attended a pilot meeting.

NR (Natural Resources) Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended a pilot meeting and worked on administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports attending a pilot meeting and reviewing a training manual.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance and began test flights. He also attended aviation webinars and finalized planning for a cattail photo flight. He also attended a pilot meeting, covering safety and maintenance items and new flight vest operations.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week instructing use of force and defensive tactics at Camp Ripley for the Academy.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on WREO duties in his assigned area. AIS enforcement was conducted and anglers were checked. ATV activity was monitored on area trails.

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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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