District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked angling activity on area lakes. The snow storm over the weekend has caused slush on most area lakes. He worked a snowmobile detail with CO Zavodnik in the Cook area. Cross-country skiers were checked for ski passes.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) focused on angling, snowmobile, and trapping enforcement. She dealt with a wolf that was taken accidentally and with a car-killed bobcat. Ice conditions in the area remain fairly poor on many lakes, with a lot of slush and some thin ice and open water still present. Please remember to be cautious when venturing out on the ice, regardless of how well you may know the lake.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. The panfish bite has slowed and most anglers were struggling to catch any decent-sized fish. With the weekend snow storm, ice conditions are going to continue to be difficult for anglers to get houses out on to lakes. On the bright side, the storm is bringing fresh snow for the snowmobile trails and should pack nicely to improve trail conditions. Caution should be used when crossing lakes, as many lakes have water and slush on top of the ice. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession while fishing, operating a snowmobile without registration displayed, operating a snowmobile with a modified muffler/loud exhaust, and no snowmobile safety certificate.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time settling into her new station and learning the area. Ice fishing and snowmobile enforcement was worked. There was a large amount of snowmobile activity over the weekend. Violations included failure to renew snowmobile registration and failure to display valid registration.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and snowmobile riders. Work also continues on deer season cases. Heavy snow in the area has been great for snowmobile trails but has made area lakes difficult to access. There isn’t much ice-making going on and slush is appearing frequently. As such, there is reduced angling activity and wheeled fish houses have remained largely off the lakes. Five to 12 inches of ice on lakes has been seen recently. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked anglers, snowmobile riders, and trapping activity. She responded to a truck that fell through the ice and a snowmobile accident. Enforcement action was taken for tampering with traps.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked fishing, trapping and snowmobile activity during the week. Several anglers were checked prior to the snow storm with many reporting difficult travel on area lakes. Several snowmobilers were checked during and after the snow, with trail conditions reported to be good. Due to poor ice conditions, many anglers are utilizing portable houses on the lakes. Reminder that if a portable house is left unattended on the ice, a shelter license and the owner’s information must be displayed.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor area trapping activity with the fisher and pine marten seasons closing. Navigating most lakes is extremely difficult for ice anglers because the latest snowfall has significantly increased the slush on the ice. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a state highway along with other ATV violations.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted with a snowmobile safety class in Tamarack where more than 40 students were certified thanks to an incredible group of volunteer instructors. Ladd also checked anglers and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for hunting deer over bait, violating the feeding ban, fishing without a license and burning prohibited materials.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd West) spent time monitoring snowmobile riders. Outdoor activity has focused on the trails as fishing has slowed as more slush builds up on the lakes. Assistance was given for a vehicle that had broken through the top layer of ice into the slush, and with a wheeler stuck trying to pull a fish house off a lake after the last heavy snow. Enforcement has been heavy for expired snowmobile registrations as many old sleds are being put into use.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports working a pine marten trapping enforcement detail in the northeastern part of the state, and responding to issues of road-killed turkey and owl, a stolen fish house, and an incident where somebody took an ATV with tracks and ripped up the groomed mountain bike trails in the Sagamore Unit of the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked snowmobile, angling, spearing and trapping activity. A shift along the northern border was worked with CO Hadrits focusing on trapping and snowmobile enforcement.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) completed work as a field training officer with Hutchinson #2 CO Ryan Hanna. The two patrolled Hanna’s new work station and met with local sheriff’s office dispatch and deputies. While en route, the COs observed a snowmobile operating carelessly down a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail jumping road approaches. A routine stop was attempted, but the operator made eye contact with Guida and then the snowmobile changed course and drove away. Hanna completed a safe U-turn and was able to get the operator to stop. Numerous violations were addressed, including fleeing on a motor vehicle, expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ownership within 15 days and careless operation. The operator has a long history and was known to local law enforcement.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling, snowmobile, and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, ATV registration, no fishing license in possession, a fish house without a license, and failure to properly ID a fish house.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) continued work on a background investigation. She also worked area trails for snowmobiling activity.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and snowmobile activities. Numerous slot fish were harvested, along with some jumbo perch. A possible public waters violation was looked into, with action pending. A lost hunter in the Mille Lacs WMA was found by conservation officers and deputies from Mille Lacs and Kanabec counties. The hunter was not able to walk with darkness, rain, and cold setting in. Luckily, he was found and rushed to the hospital in time.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) completed her first week working the Wealthwood station. Her primarily focuses were fishing enforcement and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, no fishing license in possession, failure to display ATV registration, and operating an ATV without headlights.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) checked angling activity in the station. He dropped off the station snowmobile for maintenance. Significant rainfall has created quite the mess on area lakes. Anglers should use caution when venturing out to ice fish or ride ATVs and snowmobiles.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports the lakes are a mess due to rain and snow from the storm. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no snowmobile registration, and license violations. Trespass calls were also handled.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and hunting activity. He finished follow up on a deer-hunting case and received calls concerning dumping of a deer carcass and possible fish overlimits. He also investigated a nuisance-animal complaint.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobile activity. Krauel also assisted county deputies, search and rescue personnel, and other DNR Officers in the search for a missing hunter. The hunter had gone missing during a snowstorm and had lost phone contact with a family member. The hunter was located suffering from hypothermia approximately 3.5 miles from where he had started his hunt. He was transported out of the woods by snowmobile. This is the fourth missing/stranded hunter Krauel has searched for this year.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking ice anglers on area lakes. Conditions have been poor so far this winter due to snow and rainfall. Benkofske helped rescue a lost hunter along with other area COs and local deputies. A call of dumped deer carcasses led not only to a litter ticket, but also citations for lending and borrowing licenses and failing to register big-game animals.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and attended to maintenance on the aircraft.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on final helicopter maintenance preparations for the moose survey. He also completed end-of-month administrative tasks, and delivered moose survey maps to the State Patrol dispatch for use during the upcoming survey.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on open cases and checking anglers and snowmobile activity.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement