District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) patrolled area snowmobile and cross country ski trails. Angling activity is limited due to deep snow and slush on area lakes. He worked a day on Upper Red Lake and found most resorts pulling off fish houses ahead of the forecasted storm. Time was spent working the vacant Walker and Lake George stations. Area snowmobile trails are in excellent condition.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) spent time patrolling snowmobile trails and checking area lakes for angling activity. Assistance was given with the search and rescue of a lost/missing snowmobiler on Upper Red Lake. The individual was located and brought back to shore safely. If weather conditions are poor and you find yourself lost and unable to locate the shoreline on a lake or if you are unable to safely navigate the lake, please remember that the best thing you can do is to remain in one place, stay calm, and wait for help to arrive.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Jordan Anderson with a snowmobile laws class for POST credit for local law enforcement officers. Area lakes’ ice conditions have been improving with some of the slush firming up, but a late-week blizzard created horrible conditions on area lakes with all of few plowed roads getting drifted over. The storm did bring some additional snow for the trails and once groomed they should be in excellent condition. Enforcement action was taken for a converted OHM to a tracked bike with a ski operating in the ditch.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked on a background investigation, attended training, and followed up on ongoing cases.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers and snowmobile riders. Access to lakes remains difficult with another 10 inches of snow received in the area this past week. The ice depth is holding steady with little increases. Slush on lakes will increase with upcoming warmer forecasted weather. Snowmobile trails are in great shape. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time speaking to youth snowmobile classes as well as providing POST training on snowmobile enforcement to a local sheriff’s office. Snowmobile and fishing activity was worked. He also spent time monitoring the USXC snowmobile race in Park Rapids over the weekend.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking anglers and spear houses on many lakes in her station and continued to familiarize herself with her area of responsibility. An incidental fisher call was handled this past week as well. Kunst also took advantage of the snow storm by riding the snowmobile trails in the Remer area and working snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid registration, failure to renew registration and failure to transfer title of snowmobile.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office as well.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled snowmobile trails and area lakes for activity. Numerous sleds were monitored throughout the week. Guida worked with a St. Cloud conservation officer on a warrant blood draw of a snowmobile operator who sustained substantial injuries crashing the snowmobile into the trees where alcohol may have been an influencing factor. The results are pending and if over the .08 legal limit blood alcohol test result is determined, the snowmobile operator will face a driving under the influence charge.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) continued working snowmobile enforcement this past week. Snowmobile trail use remained high due to exceptional trial conditions. Ice fishing activity also increased this past week due to improved ice conditions. Sullivan responded to a few snowmobile crashes that occurred due to icy trails and unseen hazards.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked snowmobile and angling activities throughout the past week. McGowan also spent time patrolling the Lake Vermilion area. Enforcement action was taken for numerous snowmobile violations.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focusing on the winter trout opener on the mine pit lakes in and around the Cuyuna State Recreational Area. The number of anglers out on the opener was down from past years, likely due to the opening day snowstorm and tough access conditions with heavy snow and slush. Trout anglers checked who made it out seemed to be mostly the diehard variety, and were found to be in excellent compliance. Nearly all checked reported seeing many trout, and the catch rate varied from no fish to limits taken.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking snowmobilers throughout the week and weekend. He patrolled area trails and found lots of riders out enjoying the snow. Trout anglers were checked over the opening weekend and many took several fish home. Time was spent returning phone calls regarding park regulations and many other outdoor law-related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. The SRA was also patrolled for park and vehicle violations. Enforcement action for the week included various SRA and fishing related violations.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for litter, illegal-length walleyes taken on Mille Lacs Lake, unmeasurable fish, failure to properly ID a fish house, and failure to display ATV registration. She also spent time teaching a snowmobile safety class at the Mille Lacs Trails Snowmobile Club. Whiteoak also assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office with a two-vehicle crash that involved an intoxicated driver.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and snowmobile activities with a large storm system hampering lake travel. Trespass concerns were fielded in regards to hound hunters and bobcats. Violations for snowmobile activity included lack of registration, crossing a divided highway in the median, and operating against traffic at night.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sport fishing and recreational vehicle activity this past week. A snowmobile safety course was attended with a big turnout of youth excited to snowmobile. Assistance was also given to the county for a crash with injuries and also for a warrant arrest of an individual.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with use-of-force training at Camp Ripley during the past week. Time was also spent working on an assigned background investigation. Silgjord also assisted with an Honor Guard detail for Pine County Deputy Ben Neel’s funeral.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity. Anglers are having some success but the ice is still not in the best shape. He fielded calls for service related to snowmobile- and trapping-related concerns.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports an increase in snowmobile activity after the recent snowfall. Enforcement activity related to snowmobiling includes responding to a crash, expired registration, allowing illegal operation by a juvenile, improper crossing and operating in the wrong direction at night. He also assisted another agency with a snowmobile crash involving alcohol. More shelters are being left overnight on area lakes and it is important that they meet the minimum requirements of reflective material, displaying a shelter license and having proper identification affixed to the exterior of the house.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no shelter license, no shelter ID, and registration violations. One angler went for home, leaving a line down in his fish house overnight to see what he might catch. The only thing he got was a citation.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking ice anglers and patrolling for snowmobile activity. Krauel also assisted local agencies and the State Patrol at several car-crash scenes. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of deer, lend/borrow license, fishing with an extra line, no snowmobile registration, and no license in possession.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) followed up on a deer investigation and checked anglers and snowmobiles. He also handled animal-related complaints.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports following up on deer cases. Enforcement action was taken for illegal use of licenses and overlimits of bucks. Benkofske and Sherburne County first responders worked to apply aid to a victim of a snowmobile crash near Orrock out on the trail. The person succumbed to his injuries on-scene despite efforts to revive him.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished the helicopter moose survey this past Friday. Two helicopters with a crew of three are used to survey 52 plots across northeast Minnesota.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) tended to administrative and maintenance duties.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued working on the northeast moose survey. Some bulls were observed with large antler sets. Wolves were seen, as were wolf-killed moose. The last plots were completed just before the snow moved into the area. The survey is complete for the year.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on case files and updates. Snowmobile and ice fishing activity was monitored on area trails and lakes. Assistance was given to the State Patrol with crashes during a heavy snowstorm.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement