District 4 - Walker area

CO (Conservation Officer) Jordan Anderson (Wadena) primarily spent time on fishing and trapping activity. Lakes continue to be busy with a mixed bag of success. With all the activity, a lot of garbage has been seen left on area lakes. Clean up after yourselves!

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish, crappies and bass have been the most productive for anglers on area lakes. He worked on snowmobiling enforcement issues this past week as well. Violations observed were no fishing license and expired registration on snowmobiles. Complaints of deer-carcass dumping on state land and litter on area lakes were received. He spent time inspecting aerators on area lakes.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice angling and trapping. Fair success was seen throughout the area among anglers targeting a wide variety of fish species. Cross also checked multiple traps and trappers out in the field.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for an extra line, failure to display registration, and no license in possession.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) checked multiple anglers and snowmobiles over the past week. Various violations were encountered and enforcement action was taken. Kunst also responded to a semitruck rollover in her station.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice angling activity. The activity level was very high, which was aided by nice weather and good ice. Some lakes do have some spots of ice that will not support a truck. Caution is always advised. Fishing success was pretty slow. Mathy also spent time working on a bear-hunting investigation from the prior season. Enforcement action was taken for several angling violations and recreational vehicle violations.



District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports contacting many people out fishing this past week. Time was also spent checking ATV and snowmobile operators. Various angling and recreational vehicle-related violations were encountered.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and took care of calls about incidentally taken furbearers.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) started field training with COC (Conservation Officer Cadidate) Chelsey Bechel. They spent time on area lakes checking anglers and a limited number of snowmobile riders. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Numerous angling violations were encountered. Anglers are reminded to place reflective material on their shelters if they are being left out overnight. Houses can be difficult to see during low-light hours. Time was spent following up on overlimit complaints and a wolf-depredation investigation.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports warm weather has not made conditions favorable for making ice, and slush is becoming an issue on many lakes. Snowmobiling has been limited to some ditches as little new snow has fallen. Several calls of deer getting struck in early morning dense fog where reported. Discussions were had with anglers about upcoming panfish rules and pike regulations.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked angler and shelter enforcement as well as snowmobile enforcement. Various shelter and snowmobile license violations were discovered. Follow up on other wildlife violations was also worked.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working fishing, small-game and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent conducting aeration inspections.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time working snowmobile activity. Most trails are in fair shape with some areas having spotty poor conditions. Ice angling activity was worked. Anglers reported a slow to fair bite. She monitored wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers in the Pelican Rapids station. Spear fishers saw an uptick in success this past week. Anglers are enjoying being able to fish outside in this nice weather, but more cold weather is needed to improve ice conditions. Snowmobile riders are anxiously waiting more snow as the trails are currently in poor shape.



District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, snowmobile and ATV activity. Deer feeding ban complaints were also worked.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) spent time checking angers on area lakes and monitoring snowmobile activity. Equipment maintenance also was performed.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) was accompanied by COC Nicholas Baum and worked ice angling and snowmobile activity. Sullivan and Baum observed several violations including failure to register ATV/snowmobile, failure to display registration, no license in possession, and a small amount of marijuana. Sullivan and Baum observed variable ice conditions with snow-covered ice.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training with a conservation officer candidate. McGowan worked snowmobile and angling enforcement throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous snowmobile and angling violations.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked trapping, fishing and snowmobile/ATV activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license and registration issues. A few different trapping cases remain under investigation. Trails have been ridden down to dirt and more snow is needed to improve conditions.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes for angling activity. A helpful reminder to all recreational vehicle operators to verify current registration prior to using in a public area including roadway, road ditch, and frozen public water. Extra-line violations continue to be addressed and a littering on public property case was started where an individual located garbage along a public snowmobile trail with some very specific identifying information.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent the past week checking ice anglers, snowmobile riders, and trappers. He assisted local agencies with calls.



District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity where ice conditions are still marginal and ATVs are the preferred travel method. Lack of ATV registration and safety training were the most common violations this past week. Local deer herds are having an easy winter except for when they step into traffic.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored trapping, ATV and snowmobile activity in the Isle area. Most of the week was spent on Mille Lacs Lake checking ice anglers. Anglers reported fishing has been slow. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, fishing without a fishing license, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to display a license tag on an ice shelter. Griffith would like to remind anglers that all non-portable ice shelters must be licensed and the ice shelter license must be readily visible from the exterior of the shelter.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken on Mille Lacs Lake for extra lines, unattended lines, fishing without an angling license, ice shelter on the ice without a shelter license, drug paraphernalia, small amount marijuana, no fishing license in possession, unmarked ice shelter, failure to display an ice shelter tag, failure to display ATV registration, and litter. She also responded to two fires in which prohibited materials were being burned.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes checking ice anglers. She registered bobcats and followed up on deer-season cases.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time on snowmobile patrolling area trails and lakes. Slush on the ice continued to be a problem for ice anglers and most lake ice was still too thin to support cars and pickup trucks. While snowmobiling toward what looked like three anglers on one warmer afternoon, what looked like anglers turned out to be snowmen dressed up in hats and jackets and holding fishing poles. Not too far away, fishing out of a portable shelter, a group of youngsters was found having an awfully good time after having watched the game warden attempt to check their fishing snowmen.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing and recreation vehicle activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for violations including no license in possession, illegal-length walleyes, possessing fish fillets on Mille Lacs Lake, unmeasurable fish, unattended line, non-portable shelter without a shelter license, non-portable shelter without identification, failure to display valid ATV registration, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.



District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked ice anglers on area lakes. He also monitored ATV and snowmobile activity. A friendly reminder that the ice is never safe and there have been reports from the community of ATVs and vehicles going through the ice. Some ice on area lakes is 8 to 11 inches thick, while some areas still have open water. Please exercise caution. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in personal possession, failure to renew ATV registration, failure to display registration numbers and decal on an ATV, failure to transfer snowmobile title, youth on an ATV without a helmet, and illegal possession of northern pike within the protected slot.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week checking anglers. Silgjord also addressed ATV and snowmobile violations while on patrol. A dumping complaint was followed up on as well.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on deer and trapping cases. He also worked with neighboring agencies assisting with complaints of erratic driving on the ice and an ATV that went through the ice. Fishing activity in the area continues to be busy, but ice conditions are extremely inconsistent making it dangerous for vehicle travel.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports seeing an increase in the number of anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action consisted of a sunfish overlimit, unattended lines, no angling license in possession, small amount of marijuana/possession of drug paraphernalia and numerous non-portable shelter license violations. Several failure to renew ATV registration citations were issued, with the oldest displayed being 2012. Shelter information and requirements can be found on Page 69 of the Minnesota fishing regulations. Please take the time to review the requirements before putting your house on public waters.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) assisted with a work crew on Mille Lacs Lake. Numerous citations for extra lines were issued. Bertram continues to follow up on deer cases.



District 12 - Princeton area

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked snowmobile riders and ice fishing activity this past week. Ice conditions have improved, but several lakes have their traditional bad areas. ATV and snowmobile travel on the lakes has been good. Several calls about injured animals were taken care of. Dumping trash in WMAs and WPAs still has been a problem.

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the past week working snowmobile riders and ice anglers.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Area lakes were extremely busy over the past weekend. Many panfish were seen, but most were small in size. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV with expired registration, angling with extra lines, and fishing without a license.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, trappers, and hunters. Londgren also patrolled snowmobile trails and state wildlife management areas.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Violations were found for no angling license and no ATV registration. A hunting complaint was investigated.

CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports working local lakes throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without licenses, extra lines, unattended lines, expired shelter tags, and other various fishing violations. Questions from the public were also answered, with many people trying to get their children into a snowmobile safety class.



Aviation Section

Standby Pilot CO Tim Gray (Bemidji) took care of administrative tasks, had the skis installed on the plane and spent time on training tasks.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two wolfpack-telemetry counts and attended to training and administrative tasks.

Standby Pilot Jessica Holmes (Grand Rapids) reports working on administrative tasks and attending to hangar maintenance. She also reports working on her Certified Flight Instructor renewal course as scheduled flights were postponed due to dense for the majority of the week.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a shelter count over Mille Lacs Lake. Jensen also checked ice anglers and snowmobile traffic.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued class preparation and other administrative tasks. He also attended an aviation webinar.

CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) continued towards completion of his training tasks. He assisted with fish house counts on Mille Lacs Lake and checked anglers and ATV operators on area lakes.



Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week working on fishing and snowmobile activity. Time was focused on new and ongoing cases, with lots of calls and discussion with local government units and hydrologists regarding status and progress.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on cases in his assigned area. Charges were filed for a public water case for an individual not complying with a restoration order. Snowmobile and ice fishing activity was monitored.

--- --- ---

Prepared by Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement