MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Report - Feb. 6, 2018

District 9 - Brainerd area CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and snowmobile activity. Numerous snowmobilers were observed out enjoying the new snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and snowmobile violations.


District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and snowmobile activity. Numerous snowmobilers were observed out enjoying the new snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. A large amount of garbage, including numerous piles of animal fecal matter, were located around a rental fish shelter. The owner was contacted and enforcement action was taken. A wolf depredation case was also investigated. A nice bobcat was turned in this week as an accidental catch during closed season and will be donated to the Minnesota Trapper’s Association. The DNR Info Center forwarded a call to CO Guida of four dead gray squirrels that were found on a property. According to the reporting party, it seemed very unusual since they were intact, not bloody, and almost look like they fell from the trees and froze.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity checking fishing, snowmobile, and cross country ski activity. Officer Hadrits investigated a case of vandalism and damage to a GIA ski trail. He also worked with a local high school’s wildlife forensic science program by presenting them the TIP Wall of Shame. Enforcement contacts were made for licenses and stamps not in possession, no trout stamps, possession of live minnows on designated trout lake, and possess alcohol in a state recreation area.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking fishermen. A few nice trout were seen and even nice northern pike and pan fish were seen. Area snowmobile trails were monitored and the SRA was patrolled for park violations. Car kill deer permits were issued and many outdoor law and SRA rules questions were answered. A collector snowmobile permit was issued. Enforcement action included various spearing and fishing violations.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobile activity. One group of eight boys were checked celebrating a birthday ice fishing. Mom, Dad, and younger brother were relegated to a separate shelter.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports working area lakes for angling and snowmobile activity. She has located several shelters on the ice with DNR numbers displayed but no license. Some were also lacking required reflective material. CO Ladd also followed up on a trapping case and a big game case as well as a TIP over-limit of walleye.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area lakes and checked angling activity. Anglers report that fishing has been slow with limited success. CO Sullivan contacted a few anglers that were using extra angling lines and enforcement action was taken. Shelter license violations were also addressed throughout the week.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd West) reports that he worked on a litter complaint from ice anglers. The report was of litter left behind after a portable fish house was removed. Litter included human waste, cigarette butts and cans. He checked anglers who report a slow bite. The pan fish anglers have had the best luck. Pillsbury Forest received some enforcement time. A complaint of dumping was investigated. He worked on complaints of trespassing by snowmobilers on agriculture fields and trappers not checking there traps within the required time.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angler activity where success was slow but typical for mid-winter. A few fresh inches of snow brought an up-tick of snowmobile activity but trails are still generally rough.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes checking anglers. Pan fish and smelt were seen. Additional complaints from anglers about litter left on the ice by other anglers were taken. Thank you to those of you who clean up after others. CO Speldrich assisted the Sheriff’s Department with a possible sighting of a woman who was reported missing by Grand Rapids PD. She also signed collector snowmobile permits.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and small game activities. Some pike are providing some action on the big lake, as tip ups have been active. Fresh snow raised organizer spirits for an upcoming snowmobiling event/ride. Coyote hunters were contacted and a coaching session was given on transporting loaded firearms.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) noticed a definite slow down on the fish bite on Mille Lacs. Snowmobile trails still remain in tough shape and in need of snow with most traffic seen on Mille Lacs Lake.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Chelsey Best (Remer) continues to work on ice fishing and recreational vehicle activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, extra lines, expired registrations, and drugs.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobile activity. Cold weather and lack of snow limited recreational activity. Anglers continue to report limited success. Snowmobile trails are in poor shape due to the lack of snow. CO Broughten received multiple complaints of vehicles driving on snowmobile trails.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. It was a tough bite with few fish seen. Enforcement action was taken for possessing marijuana and angling violations.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports she checked two guys in a large fish house, but when they opened the fish house door CO Kuske saw this didn’t have any lines down…just consuming beverages. They asked that she please not tell their spouses as they told them they were “going fishing”. CO Kuske spent time picking up a large amount of garbage at a local public access that included a number of cans and glass bottles and checked two anglers in a portable house that also had two tip ups outside. CO Kuske asked the anglers how many lines they had and they said four; then she pointed at the anglers boot and asked about the fifth line that the angler was stepping on to try and hide.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring angling activity in the station. A slow bite was seen on most lakes that were checked. A ride-along opportunity was also provided to an area college student. A background investigation was completed and turned in.


CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking fishermen. One subject was checked spearing on a lake where pike 24 to 36 inches are protected. The subject speared four pike in the protected slot and tried to hide them from CO Bertram. The subject was issued a citation and the pike and equipment were seized. Several extra lines citations were also written this week.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance projects and administrative tasks. He also helped reposition an airplane to Bemidji.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) helped relocate 905NR up to Bemidji. Pilot Heineman also attended to administrative duties

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of flying wolf telemetry flights and performing an instrument proficiency check ride. Pilot Jensen also provided information on angler activity for field officers on a detail.

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Caralee Bjerkness, MnDNR Division of Enforcement / Aviation & Wetland

Click here to download a copy of MN Fishing Regulations


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