District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO (Conservation Officer) Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Mille Lacs Lake and local lakes during the frigid holiday weekend. One angler was very surprised when they came out of the fish house as Speldrich was walking up. The angler’s eyes looked like saucers as they spun around and ran back in to the house. After a delay, Speldrich was invited inside the house. The angler was trying to hide an extra line.

Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, shelter licenses not displayed and shelter identification not displayed. A call of murky looking and rapidly rising creek water was investigated and turned over to the city. Speldrich would like to remind anglers to pick up their trash, including cigarette butts, on the ice. One local lake that has had issues in the past looked very clean this holiday weekend. After mentioning this to a couple anglers, they confessed that they had been cleaning up after other lake users. The world needs more people like this.

CO (Conservation Officer) Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Mille Lacs Lake and local lakes during the frigid holiday weekend. One angler was very surprised when they came out of the fish house as Speldrich was walking up. The angler’s eyes looked like saucers as they spun around and ran back in to the house. After a delay, Speldrich was invited inside the house. The angler was trying to hide an extra line. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, shelter licenses not displayed and shelter identification not displayed. A call of murky looking and rapidly rising creek water was investigated and turned over to the city. Speldrich would like to remind anglers to pick up their trash, including cigarette butts, on the ice. One local lake that has had issues in the past looked very clean this holiday weekend. After mentioning this to a couple anglers, they confessed that they had been cleaning up after other lake users. The world needs more people like this.

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) monitored lake debris, including materials left behind as houses migrate. He also fielded a complaint of trees placed on the ice. Snowmobile traffic was minimal due to extreme cold and lack of snow. Verkuilen also assisted with training preparations and answered questions regarding spring beaver trapping.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling activity on Mille Lacs Lake. Anglers reported success. Despite the cold weather, many anglers made it out to enjoy the weekend with friends and family. The lake remained busy throughout the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, fishing with extra lines, illegal-length walleyes and shelters on ice without a shelter tag.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling Mille Lacs Lake and other area lakes for fishing activity. She also spent time patrolling snowmobile trails and maintaining equipment. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, an ice shelter on the ice without a license, unmarked ice shelter, and failure to display an ice shelter tag.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked a bitterly cold past week and found some brave souls out fishing. Propane was not flowing as it should and fish were not biting that well. An increase in violations for unmeasurable fish was found this past week. A vehicle that was parked on a snowmobile trail was also investigated.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found a limited amount of outdoor activity with temperatures down to 30-below-zero throughout the past week. A call was taken about a deer that went through the ice and was unable to climb back out. Prior to officers arriving, the reporting party was able to rescue the deer by utilizing a canoe, roof rake and rope. Credit goes out to the husband and wife who used the canoe to get close to the edge of the ice and then used a roof rake to dangle a rope around the deer. The deer was pulled to shore and ran off.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily worked fishing enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, illegal-length walleye, no shelter license, no shelter identification, and no angling license in personal possession.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. The bite and angling activity have decreased with the recent cold weather. Area snowmobile trails were patrolled.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) checked anglers and snowmobile riders in the area. Outdoor activity was sparse due to the cold weather. Training was also completed with K9 partner Storm.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports brutally cold weather limited outdoor activities this past week. Many anglers have taken advantage of improved ice conditions and little snow to begin moving fish houses from area lakes. That removal date is just a few weeks away in the Perham area and falls on March 1 this year. Calls were taken from people inquiring about adult firearms safety classes and information about possible overlimit angling.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling for ice fishing activity and working on some cases from the deer season. With cold conditions, not many anglers were seen and most anglers were struggling to find fish and get them to bite. Some anglers were having luck with panfish, but most said they simply were not biting. Swedberg also assisted the county with a search for a stolen vehicle.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases and attended several online training courses.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity on area lakes. Snowmobile trails and lake activity were worked, but very cold weather resulted in few people out and about. Follow up on complaints of dogs chasing deer and information for an out-of-state game warden were conducted.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing activity was slow during the arctic weather over the past week. Anglers and shelters were still checked, with modest catches observed. Time was also spent on follow up from the deer seasons.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a slower week on lakes and trails due to frigid weather and strong, cold winds. A few anglers were out braving the cold, and a few were even cited for using extra lines and possessing drugs and paraphernalia. Injured-animal calls were handled, as were trespassing issues. Snowmobile trails are in very poor condition without any measurable snowfalls in the past few weeks.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored angling and recreational vehicle activity during the previous week. Time was also spent handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints and checking fish house compliance. Holt worked on Upper Red Lake over the weekend with a neighboring officer. Enforcement activity involved fish house violations, angling licenses, extra lines, illegal-length fish and possession of unmeasurable fish on the ice of Upper Red Lake.

CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were focused on checking angles and ATV and snowmobile operators. Baumbarger participated in a work crew on Upper Red Lake over the weekend with CO Holt. Additional time was spent inspecting permitted aeration sites and speaking with students in the MinnAqua Program at the Minnewaska Area High School.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to check many anglers. Fishing was pretty slow this past week. Many anglers resorted to playing cards, watching TV, or even in one case playing a full size arcade game inside their fish house. A bear-hunting case was completed and sent to the county attorney’s office for review. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. She reminds people to be prepared for the weather conditions while out on the lakes and trails.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling, and followed up on Illegal deer-feeding activity. Enforcement action was taken for illegal deer feeding in Hubbard County, illegal-length fish, no angling license in possession, fishing without a license, and no shelter license.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) primarily worked angling enforcement this past week. Kunst took enforcement action on various violations, including taking illegal-length walleyes, unattended lines, failure to have shelter identification/license and angling without an angling license in personal possession. Kunst also took phone calls in regards to an injured eagle in her station.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time in state forests and on the lakes over the past week. A bear-season violation was discovered and investigated. Fishing activity has slowed with few people and even fewer fish seen on the ice. Ice conditions have improved, but the shelter removal date is fast approaching. Enforcement action for the week included abandoning property in a state forest, no bait drum permit, failure to remove a bait drum after the season, and shelter identification/license violations.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Training was also completed.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports spending time working snowmobile and angling enforcement. Time was also spent working Mille Lacs Lake with other area officers. Several violations were enforced, including unmeasurable fish, unlicensed shelters, extra lines, and angling license issues.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked sport fishing activity on area lakes and continued big-game investigations. Sullivan observed violations that included possession of unmeasurable fish, illegal-length fish and extra lines. Snowmobile activity in the area was minimal due to cold weather and lack of snow.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continues Phase 2 of field training with a new conservation officer. The officers primarily worked sport fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no shelter identification/license, no reflective material on a shelter, no license in possession while angling, angling without a license, unattended lines, unmeasurable fish, possessing fillets on the ice, small amount marijuana and paraphernalia, failure to display registration, unexpired registration, and failure to transfer ownership.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) spent a cold week on the snowmobile and area lakes. Angler numbers were low and the success rate was low.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) monitored angling activity on area station lakes. Guida took part in a virtual safe driving coalition meeting. Guida performed computer and equipment maintenance.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports patrolling the state recreation area for vehicle permits and illegal vehicle activity. He checked anglers throughout the past week and weekend and found a few trying their luck for trout even with the frigid weather. Time was spent checking area trails for snowmobile riders, but not many were seen out due to the weather and rough trail conditions. Many outdoor law-related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend, and some time was spent on Division training.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) worked ice anglers and snowmobile riders. There was little activity, which most likely was due to the extreme cold. Enforcement action was taken for no ice shelter identification and failure to display ATV registration.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) completed vehicle maintenance and administrative tasks. He also completed training. Fishing enforcement work was a primary focus of the past week.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers, shelters and small-game hunters. Enforcement action consisted of no license in possession, extra lines, unattended lines, no shelter license and failure to display the required shelter identification. He also reports issuing a citation for transporting loaded firearms and citations in regards to an ongoing bear-hunting investigation, to the same individuals.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) continues to focus on fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken this past week for no license, no shelter license, and extra lines. Training was also attended.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted with youth snowmobile safety classes, checked anglers and snowmobilers, and took calls about injured animals. Please remember to pick up your trash when you are leaving the lake. There have been several complaints of large amounts of trash being left behind.

CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers area lakes and patrolling snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, angling without a license, and possessing an overlimit of crappies. Safety class awards were also distributed to local volunteer instructors.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for snowmobile activity. Krauel also started documenting shelters for the upcoming shelter removal deadline and worked on equipment maintenance.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Follow up was done on a litter case. A trespass complaint was investigated.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two wolf pack telemetry counts and updated data cards for the aircraft. Heineman also did an aviation training webinar.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of flying fish shelter creel flights and attending an aviation unit online safety meeting.

NR Pilot Brad Maas(Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance, and taught a class to high school students. He also attended aviation webinars.

CO Pilot Charles Scott (Grand Rapids) Continued towards completion of training task. Duluth Creel survey flights were completed. Aircraft and vehicle maintenance was attended to.

--- --- ---

Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement