District 2 - Bemidji area

CO (Conservation Officer) Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted with a big-game complaint and monitored fish house removal.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Anglers are having success with perch and burbot. He checked perch anglers on Leech Lake with CO McGowan.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji #2) primarily focused on late-season angling activity. Most anglers in the area removed their shelters from the ice over a week ago, but a few remain. Remember the removal deadline for houses north of Highway 200 is March 16. Mishler also spent time training with K9 Storm.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week checking ice anglers. The panfish bite slowed down with the cold weather but some anglers were still having licking finding the fish. Other time this past week was spent assisting Becker County with several calls for service and checking area lakes for ice shelters. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, taking largemouth bass out of season, underage consumption/possession of alcohol, and possessing wild game without a permit.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Troy Richards with a search warrant after Richards developed information of the illegal taking of a deer. Several items of evidence were collected. A gray wolf that was accidentally snared by a coyote trapper was turned over to employees of the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and shelters, completed training, and worked on equipment maintenance.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on area lakes monitoring angling activity and fish house removal. People are reminded to remove litter and not store fish houses at public accesses. Snowmobile activity was worked with a few riders getting in their last rides of the season. Trails continue to deteriorate and are ice-covered.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked big-game-related complaints and fishing activity. A few reports of dogs chasing deer were received and handled.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) checked multiple anglers throughout the past week. She also received a report of a nuisance bear and wrote a deer permit.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch and crappie anglers. Ice conditions are holding up in the area and some fish are being caught. Dogs-chasing-deer and deer-feeding-ban violation complaints were investigated. He attended a meeting of the Bear Committee. Enforcement action was taken for allowing dogs to chase deer.

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working ice fishing and ATV enforcement. Due to the snow melting, many people are starting to ride their ATVs. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration, operating an ATV without a valid driver’s license and operating an ATV without ATV safety certification.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled angling activity and checked anglers. Area snowmobile trails are deteriorating rapidly and snowmobile activity is minimal.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling activity throughout the week. Time was spent on Leech Lake and the Whitefish Chain patrolling for angling activity. McGowan also spent time following up on ice shelters being left on the ice after the legal deadline.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked ATV, snowmobile and fishing activity in the area over the St Patrick’s holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juveniles, registration issues on ATVs, and for feeding deer in a CWD zone. The feeding violation carries a nearly $300 fine and is really becoming an issue in the area because it creates environments for deer to congregate and potentially spread disease. Individuals are encouraged to remind each other to take precautions against the spread of CWD.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled station lakes for angling activity. New 2020 angling licenses were checked. A call of a suspected poached deer was fielded and investigated in a neighboring station. It turned out to be just a wolf kill. Dog owners in the area were cautioned.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling activity and a complaint of dogs chasing deer.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity and saw limits of crappies and tullibees. Beaver trappers are getting out and making use of the increasing open water. Verkuilen also staffed the booth at the Outdoor News Deer & Turkey Classic.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ice angling and ATV enforcement. She checked anglers out on area lakes. Whiteoak also spent time maintaining equipment for the spring season.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to a call of a portable ice shelter abandoned on a local lake. She also received a complaint of a nuisance bobcat and issued car-killed deer possession tags.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored the extended pike-fishing season on Mille Lacs Lake. There was also a good tullibee bite. Panfish are providing some action on smaller lakes in the area. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, no license in possession, and recreational vehicle registration. Starr will be charging an individual for felony drug possession after a routine fishing check turned up drugs. ATV riders are reminded that snowmobile trails are still closed to ATV riding.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily worked sport fishing enforcement this past week. An Aitkin County CWD feeding and attractants ban violation was addressed.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week checking anglers. Equipment maintenance was also conducted and ATV violations were addressed.

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports receiving wildlife-related calls involving skunks, bats, coyotes, swans, bobcats and bears. He also investigated a complaint of a deer possibly being illegally taken/dumped on a property. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration/numbers, no fishing license in possession, traffic-related offenses and failure to extinguish/supervise a campfire. He also reports assisting an intoxicated person, assisting another agency with a traffic stop and issuing a deer-possession tag.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a public waters complaint. A litter issue was handled and animal-related complaints were received. Anglers were checked and ATV complaint areas worked.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking ATV riders and enforcing burning regulations now that most of the snow is gone. Benkofske brought a 1-month-old bear cub from Isanti County to the wild animal hospital in Garrison. The cub appeared to be abandoned by its mother after being alone for a few hours in below-freezing temperatures. Benkofske spotted the mother bear later in the day with a 1-year-old cub from its last litter. The newborn cub could not be taken care of in that case and will be raised at the hospital until old enough to be released into the wild.

Aviation Section

Part-time CO Pilot Tim Gray continued training and was safety pilot for another DNR pilot.

NR (Natural Resources) Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a wolf telemetry pack count and an instrument training flight. Heineman also attended a helicopter fire bucket classroom refresher for the upcoming fire season.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying what will probably be the last wolf-pack count flights of the year unless more snow arrives. Jensen also flew two station flights for field officers.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance and administrative tasks. He also began planning for aerial fish stocking in Voyageurs National Park this spring.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week working on open cases and checking fishing activity.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on open cases and filed a deed restriction for a Wetland Conservation Act violation in Isanti County. A district meeting was attended and work planning continued for the 2020 AIS season.

--- --- --- --- ---

Prepared by Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement