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CO Reports: Don't forget to buy a 2023 fishing license

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - March 3, 2023

MN DNR / BrainerdDispatch.com

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Andrew Ladzinski (Pine River) patrolled area lakes for snowmobiling and angling activity, with small perch being the typical catch. He dispatched an injured deer on West Wood Lake. Questions were fielded regarding whitefish spearing and local lake stocking reports. A reminder to anglers: Your 2022 fishing licenses expired Feb. 28.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) reports area lakes saw high activity among ice anglers this weekend and recent snowfall allowed snowmobilers to enjoy a great weekend on the trails.Sullivan also checked area lakes for litter and permanent shelters that have not been visited lately. The permanent shelter removal deadline is 11:59 p.m. on March 6 in the Brainerd area. Enforcement action was taken for extra and unattended angling lines.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd #2) worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Guida assisted a local trail club with a vintage sled ride. The ride was well attended and with the recent snowfall the trails were in good shape. Guida addressed a complaint of illegal deer feeding where the violation was detected and the suspect was cited for a third time in three years.

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking ice anglers and conducting investigations throughout the week.Recent snow had the snowmobile trails in good condition, and many riders were out enjoying to good weekend weather.

CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) spent time checking snowmobile riders throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for speeding and various registration violations.

CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) saw many people get fish houses off the lakes before the snow. He attended training in Duluth and worked a snowmobile detail in Lake County. Snowmobile trails were good in the station, and they saw a lot of use over the weekend.


District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) attended NASBLA boat incident investigation training in Hudson, Wis.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area snowmobile trials and checking anglers. Area trails benefited from the recently snowfall and plenty of snowmobilers were seen throughout the week. Swedberg also spent time around the Detroit Lakes area as the town finished its Polar Fest activities with some snowmobile races, a polar plunge, and fireworks. All events went well and many contacts were made. Enforcement action for the week including speeding on a snowmobile, operating an unregistered snowmobile, failing to transfer a snowmobile, and operating a snowmobile with modified exhaust.

CO Brett Fox (Bemidji #2) spent the week patrolling for snowmobile and ice angling activity. Fox worked snowmobile enforcement with a neighboring officer. An investigation into a trapping violation was completed. Fox also assisted a farmer in returning an escaped cow to its pen. Violations this week include fishing with extra lines and an overlimit of crappies.


District 4 - Walker area

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement and monitored local cross-country ski trails. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations, angling violations, and cross-country ski violations.

CO Corey Sura (Remer) patrolled area snowmobile trails and worked on ongoing investigations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken on multiple snowmobiles with expired registration.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) attended training throughout the week.McGowan also worked snowmobile trails, with numerous violations detected.


CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time checking area lakes and trails. Snow conditions improved during the week. TIPs were received regarding litter around fish houses and enforcement action was taken.

Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports attending training in Saint Paul.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continues to primarily check angling activity.The perch bite was good again this past week.Mathy also responded to a report that a vehicle may have gone through the ice. It turned out the report was not true. No vehicles wentthrough the ice. Mathy also followed up on a deer-feeding ban complaint. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of perch and a deer-feeding ban violation.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) continued work on snowmobile trail enforcement.With the latest few inches of snow, the trails are now in very good condition again. Sutherland also notes now that now that the walleye-northern pike season is over, some of the best panfish fishing action begins in the Grand Rapids area.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked anglers and recreational vehicles during the previous week. Time was also spent patrolling area snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile-registration violations as well as ice shelter and angling license violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports that as the weather fluctuated, so did the outdoor activity in the area. Snowmobile trails remain in good shape overall but are starting to show wear in certain areas. Anglers are reminded that fishing licenses will expire soon, and a new license will be needed after March 1.


District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers as the final week of the game fish season wound down. Fish houses were coming off the lakes but were generating litter complaints.The latest round of snow brought out more snowmobile activity.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) patrolled Mille Lacs Lake and trails for activity. Enforcement action was taken for multiple angling violations. A reminder the deadline to remove ice shelters is just around the corner. Anglers are asked to clean up around their shelter and remove all garbage prior to removal.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked anglers and recreational vehicles. State parks were patrolled, and trout anglers were checked. Calls of nuisance animals were taken care of.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) addressed some equipment maintenance items and monitored snowmobile trail complaints.A report of a person riding a horse on a groomed snowmobile trail was taken. Horses are not allowed on snowmobile trails and could create an extreme safety hazard.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling activity. She also spent time patrolling Mille Lacs Lake. Many non-portable shelters have been removed from lakes. She would like to remind anglers to have shelters off by the deadline (11:59 p.m. on March 6) and to remember to pick up any litter.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Trent Anderson (St. Cloud) focused on snowmobile and angling enforcement for the week. Time was spent following up on big-game violations from the previous year. Area snowmobile trails have been busy with the recent snow. Enforcement action taken for the week included taking deer with an invalid license, lend/borrow deer license, and various snowmobile/ATV violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week working snowmobile complaint areas. Enforcement action was taken for no registration, allowing illegal juvenile operation, and trespassing. A complaint of taking deer out of season was investigated.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled area trails for snowmobile activity and attended the Lions Club fishing event on Green Lake. All was well with the fishing event and memories were being made. On the trails, Hanna had to educate riders that 80 miles per hour was not the speed limit.

CO Adam Stennett (Sauk Rapids) checked area lakes for ice shelters that may be frozen in and difficult to remove. A reminder the deadline to remove shelters from the ice is 11:59 p.m. on March 6. It was a busy snowmobile weekend with all of the fresh snow. Trails and lakes were checked by snowmobile. Big-game license violations were investigated as well. Enforcement action for the week included a big-game overlimit, operating a snowmobile without a safety certification and snowmobile-registration violations.

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