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CO Reports: Snowmobiler stopped for 30 mph over trail speed limit

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - February 7, 2023

Photo illustration / Shutterstock, Inc.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked snowmobile and sport fishing enforcement this past week. Guida worked with other COs on an enforcement detail focusing on speeding snowmobiles and sport fishing violations. A snowmobile was stopped for traveling over 30 miles per hour above the trail speed limit of 50 mph. The detail focused on promoting safety in snowmobile operation and numerous contacts were made. State snowmobile trail passes were inspected and compliance was good. Guida also completed a trapping investigation where a trapper did not register a fisher as required.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked angling activity and most anglers reported a slow bite. If your next fishing adventure brings you to a lake with special length regulations for specific species, please make sure fish of that species do not freeze. Species with special length regulations are required to be in a measurable state. Area snowmobile trails continue to be active.


CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) participated in a work detail this week in Beltrami and Lake of the Woods counties. Enforcement action was taken for numerous fishing and snowmobile violations.

CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) checked anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. A detail was worked on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake over the weekend. Enforcement action included extra lines, walleye overlimits, and shelter license violations.

CO Andrew Ladzinski (Pine River) conducted snowmobile patrols on the Whitefish Chain and local lakes in the Backus area. Anglers are reporting a very slow bite, with only one or two fish being kept. A complaint was handled regarding a deer that was shot out of season.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Time was spent patrolling snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. Complaints of individuals feeding deer in the CWD zone were taken.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent this week catching up on old cases and checking snowmobilers during the Midnite Riders Old Timers ride. Swedberg was assisted by many area conservation officers during the ride. Overall, most riders were able to follow the laws. Swedberg also assisted at the State Patrol Academy, instructing their cadets in water survival tactics.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked snowmobile enforcement and checked anglers and shelter law compliance. Fishing action was mostly slow, and trail conditions were good.

CO Brett Fox (Bemidji #2) spent the week doing snowmobile and ice fishing enforcement. Lake Itasca was a popular spot for anglers, though not many fish were caught. Fox assisted other officers with the Old Timers Run snowmobile event. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile-related violations, including registration and title transfer issues


District 4 - Walker area

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) spent time checking anglers and patrolling by snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile-related offenses.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on area lakes and trails. Equipment maintenance was completed and a snowmobile safety class was taught in cooperation with the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office.


CO Corey Sura (Remer) spent time checking angling activity on area lakes and patrolling on local snowmobile trails. Trail activity was extremely busy over the weekend, and compliance amongst riders was quite impressive. Sura also worked on completing a case from the past deer season. Violations encountered during the week included expired registration on ATVs and snowmobiles, no shelter licenses, fishing with extra lines, and a sunfish overlimit on a special regulations lake.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken on no shelter license and failure to display shelter license.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice angling and snowmobile patrol. He also followed up on deer-hunting cases from the fall. Fishing remained slow overall throughout the week, which featured cold weather. Cross also attended emergency medical technician refresher training. Enforcement action was taken for angling, snowmobile, and deer-hunting violations.

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for snowmobile riding and fishing activity. McGowan also worked the Crosslake area for Crosslake Days and there was a high amount of snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, angling license violations, drug paraphernalia, snowmobile registration, and snowmobile speed.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and snowmobile trails. Some time was spent working on Bear Committee-related items. Enforcement action was taken for driving motor vehicles on a snowmobile trail, angling violations, and snowmobile violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling activity in the area over the past week with the midwinter slump in full effect. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and not having a shelter tag on a permanent fish house left on the ice overnight unattended. Road-killed deer possession tags were also issued. Deer are definitely on the move.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) worked ice fishing and recreational vehicle activity on area lakes during the previous week. Time was also spent patrolling snowmobile trails, which seem to be in good shape. Holt completed a background investigation of an applicant for the next CO Academy. Enforcement activity involved snowmobiling violations.


CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) noticed a big increase in angling and snowmobiling activity as the cold snap ended and temperatures began to rise. Several people mentioned encountering wildlife on the snowmobile trails. If you encounter wildlife on the snowmobile trail, please slow down and give them a chance to get off safely to reduce unnecessary stress on the animals.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity where colder weather froze slush and allowed broader fish house access. Snowmobile riders were out but lake surfaces were rough and caused limited speed. Many pelts are prime this time of year, resulting in predator hunters getting checked and contending with deep snow depths. Many local deer were yarded up and showing signs of stress.

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders on area lakes and trails. Fishing success was low. Area snowmobile trails were in good condition.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked anglers and snowmobilers in the area. Enforcement was taken for no trout stamp and expired snowmobile registration. State parks were patrolled. Benkofske also worked ongoing deer cases from this past fall season.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored ice fishing and snowmobile activities. A snowmobile case was followed up on, along with spring safety training class plans. Snowmobilers are reminded to stay on the trails to avoid trespass violations and loss of groomed trails.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Aitkin) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, unmeasurable fish, shelter on the ice without a license, failure to display a shelter license, failure to display shelter ID, no fishing license in possession, failure to display snowmobile registration decal, and litter. She also spent time following up on a wolf depredation.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored angling and snowmobiling. Activity is starting to pick back up after the extreme cold weather earlier this week. Contacts made revealed participants in outdoor activities in good compliance.

CO Trent Anderson (St. Cloud) focused on angling and snowmobile enforcement for the week. Area activity has increased with the recent warmer weather. Time was spent investigating hunting violations from the previous year. Enforcement action taken for the week included angling without a license, no shelter license, and various snowmobile and ATV registration violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Enforcement action was taken for no registration, failure to transfer ownership, no shelter license, and extra lines. Snowmobile-trespass complaints were also worked.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity and snowmobile activity this week. Some coyote hunters were observed out and about this week. Common violations and complaints regarding snowmobiles remain consistent: not staying on the trails and loud mufflers.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Adam Stennett (Sauk Rapids) worked the station for snowmobile and fishing activity. Snowmobile-trespass complaints continued to be fielded. Stennett assisted neighboring officers with trespassing issues. An illegal-burning complaint was investigated and equipment maintenance was performed. Enforcement action for the week included trespassing and burning violations.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working snowmobile activity. Several anglers were out enjoying the recent warm weather, but were reporting limited success on area lakes. Snowmobilers were out and enjoying the best trail conditions in years along with the beautiful warm weather.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled area lakes for snowmobiling and angling. Hanna attended two snowmobile safety classes. Hanna educated snowmobile riders on registration requirements.

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Snowmobile Use Reminder: Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.

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