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Be safe. Check the ice when venturing out - MnDNR CO Reports

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - Dec. 3, 2018

District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers and trappers. Several deer carcass dumping/littering complaints were received and investigated. Open case files were reviewed with the county attorney from deer season. Ice angling activity was more widespread. It should be noted the lakes made very little ice the past week with warmer weather and a snow layer that is now insulating the ice. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) checked muzzleloader deer hunters. Violations included insufficient blaze orange and no license in possession. He also worked on complaints of deer-carcass dumping and vandalism to “no trespassing” signs on private property. Ice angers were out and he found violations of trash on the ice and unmarked shelters.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) checked ice anglers this past week. They reported limited success. Best also handled calls for trappers reporting incidentals as well as general wildlife complaints.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports ice on area lakes continues to slowly increase in thickness. Sullivan contacted anglers who reported success with catching crappies. Sullivan also attended a snowmobile safety education class in Pequot Lakes.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training with a conservation officer candidate (COC). The officers worked big-game, ice angling, ATV enforcement and followed up on many complaints. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register deer, possessing deer without possession permits, illegal-length northern pike, ice shelter license violations, and trespassing. The officers also assisted local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked muzzleloader deer hunters, anglers and trappers. Time was spent monitoring the special muzzleloader hunt at Crow Wing State Park and a complaint of a dog chasing deer was handled.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked muzzleloader-hunting activity in the area. Early ice anglers were checked with varying success. One angler was cited for not having an angling license and risked forfeiture of the equipment he was using. A trespassing violation was also investigated.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports finishing training with COC (Conservation Officer Candidate) Jacqueline Hughes. They took an injured animal call but were unable to locate animal. They also investigated a nuisance turkey complaint. Officers observed a traffic violation. The driver was stopped and enforcement action was taken. Officers assisted Wildlife with fur registration. Also, multiple lakes were checked for fishing activity. As a reminder to anglers, check ice conditions before venturing out on the lakes.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked trapping, angling, archery and muzzleloader activity. Follow-up work on firearms deer season cases continued. A deer was put down after falling on slippery ice on a lake.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked archery deer and small-game hunters. She attended furbearer registration day and issued wildlife possession permits.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked spearfishing and other fishing activities. A bobcat permit was issued to a caller who found a large tom bobcat hit on the highway. A big-game case was worked, along with ATV checks.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishing and hunting activity during week and weekend. Several calls involving big- and small-game violations were investigated. Weather conditions are still making the ice unpredictable so use caution when venturing out. Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs has been good and some perch are also being caught.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted a hunter who had accidentally used his bonus tag on a buck he got during the muzzleloader season and finished up a litter case of garbage dumped on a wildlife management area. The suspect was located and a citation was issued. A call of deer carcasses dumped in the road ditch was followed up on and a call of a landowner dumping their yard waste on the ice is being investigated. Kuske checked ice anglers, with ice thicknesses varying in locations from 3 to 8 inches. Caution is advised when going out on any lakes.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity this past week and found that ATVs and snowmobiles are venturing out on the ice. A few lakes still have open water. The small bays appear to have 5 inches. The officer also worked a road-hunting complaint area and handled calls regarding landowner deer licenses.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ice anglers, following up on a trespass complaint, and checking muzzleloader deer hunters. Enforcement action was taken for an illegally taken pine marten. Regulation talks were also done at youth snowmobile safety classes in Stockton and Sartell.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports walking up to a fish house one night, knocking on the door, and stating he was a CO. A voice from inside the house said “OK, you got me.” The angler quickly opened the door, invited Bertram in, and showed his extra line without Bertram saying another word. The angler said he never thought a CO would walk across the lake on a cold, windy night to check one fish house. He thanked Bertram for the citation he received.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and following up on deer-hunting cases. Krauel also spent time working on trespass complaints. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana, no angling license in possession, using a motor vehicle in a closed area of the state forest, and expired registration.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and handled hunting complaints. Calls were received for trespassing and leaving property on a WMA. Follow up was completed on a public waters issue.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters and anglers, spoke at a snowmobile safety class, and took complaints of carcass dumping and dogs chasing deer and a dog in trap. Time was also spent following up on deer-hunting cases.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed a training flight in a helicopter and introduced a new moose survey crew member to sample training routes. He also attended the quarterly pilot’s meeting. Future project planning, safety and maintenance items were discussed.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports attending a pilot meeting and making plans for winter projects. Poor weather allowed time for maintenance tasks to be scheduled and completed.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working big-game and fishing activity. Time was spent checking ATV registration compliance and returning calls to the public. Open cases were worked on. Equipment was stored for the season.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked on several WCA cases and issued a restoration order extension for a case in the Grand Marias area. Ice anglers were checked on area lakes. Scott also checked some muzzleloader hunters.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on WCA cases in Aitkin County. Area lakes where checked for ice anglers and muzzleloader hunters were checked.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) opened a new public water case in Carver County. Rip-rap was installed on 400 feet of the shoreline of a lake without any permits. Weyandt is working with the area hydrologist and the local watershed district to get the violation into compliance. 

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement