District 2 - Bemidji area
CO (Conservation Officer) Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time checking boaters and anglers on area lakes. An incidentally caught otter was seized from a beaver trapper and a grass fire near Mentor was checked.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. Time was spent patrolling for ATV activity and checking boats for AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) compliance at public accesses.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and patrolling for ATVs and OHMs (Off-Highway Motorcycles) after a couple of calls of OHVs (Off-Highway Vehicles) operating in ditches south of U.S. Highway 10. AIS inspections were conducted at area public accesses. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration, failure to display lake service provider decal, no angling license in possession.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working sport fishing. Shallower bays and lakes have been getting a lot of attention from crappie anglers. A lot of area lakes still seem to have a slow walleye bite, but some anglers are having success. Other time was spent following up on wetland violations, fire violations, and assisting the county and state patrol with calls for service.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity on area lakes. Leeching activity was monitored. Areas were patrolled for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Follow up was conducted on illegal burning and big-game cases.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked fishing and OHV activity during the week. Numerous questions have been received about recreational opportunities available. Please refer to the DNR website for trail, campground and facility status. Nuisance-beaver and -bear complaints were received and a deer caught in a cemetery gate was released.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The nice weather brought out a fair amount of anglers. Success is slow. According to anglers, the water is cold and the fish are less active. No fishing license in possession and expired registration were the most common violations observed. He assisted a boater who was having mechanical trouble on Fishtrap Lake. The boat owner left his radio on and that drained his battery and then he could not start the boat. Posner received a complaint of a bowfishers dumping rough fish in the Pillsbury Forest near Rock Lake. He checked turkey hunters, who report poor success and not seeing as many turkeys.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working fishing enforcement. With the warmer weather this weekend, many people were out enjoying the sun. Multiple anglers were found fishing without a license. Kunst wants to remind people to be sure to by one prior to spending a day on the lake fishing. Enforcement action was also taken on failure to have ATV safety and failure to display valid registration on boats and ATVs.
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Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports many people were out enjoying the lakes and state forest areas. The walleye bite remained slow but it’s getting better as the water warms. Mathy followed up on reports of an angler fishing muskies out of season, a crappie-overlimit complaint, a nuisance-bear complaint and assistance was provided in response to a horseback riding accident in the Paul Bunyan State Forest. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and OHM violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check angling and boating activity. She received multiple calls of fish being dumped along roads and accesses. Enforcement action was taken for keeping largemouth bass out of season.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV activity. A TIP call led to charges for an illegal-length northern pike.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled lakes for angling activity. A car-killed bear permit was issued. A TIP call was also received on anglers taking too many panfish.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) work area lakes, invasive species regulation compliance and ATV activity. Angling success was good this past week. Violations included angling without a license and angling in a closed area. Sullivan also took call of a bear that was damaging a residential garage.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) spent a lot of time on the water working anglers this week. She also encountered high ATV and OHM activity with some violations. She handled a call of a loon that was found dead on the lakeshore wrapped up in fishing line. It’s a tough reminder to anglers to ensure your line does not get left in the water. Littering in the lakes can have serious consequences to the wildlife that make it their home.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) dealt with ATV and wetland issues this week. Anglers were checked. They had mild success. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets, allowing illegal youth operation, no safety training, operating on closed trails and registration issues. A Wetland Conservation Act investigation began where an individual decided to create a road through the swamp on his new property. Several loads of fill and hours of skid loader work will be rendered pointless when the landowner will most likely have to return the wetland to its original state – after paying fines and permit costs.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity including boats lacking PFDs, registrations, and fire extinguishers. Boaters are reminded to strap down and pull plugs before pulling onto public roads. Fire activity was monitored due to very dry conditions and slow vegetation growth this spring.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time maintaining equipment, delivering equipment, working on office work, and following up on calls. The calls she followed up on included questions on boating regulations, nuisance-beaver permits, complaints on a possible wetland violation, and a complaint of dogs chasing deer.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to public waters and Wetland Conservation Act violations. She checked anglers and boaters on area lakes. Speldrich assisted LEMA with the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremonies and attended a ceremony in Duluth.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fishing activities on area lakes and found a good walleye bite to be occurring. The Mille Lacs night ban on fishing was worked, along with bowfishing complaints. A neighbor dispute over beaver activity was also mediated. Starr also assisted county deputies with a case involving an individual who shot a gun to scare off a bear in his yard, only to send a bullet through the wall of a neighboring house. Luckily, the two neighbors are on good terms.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Invasive Species inspections were also conducted at area access sites. Assistance was provided to the Melrose Police Department with a suicidal individual.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, boating, and ATV activity in the area this week. He observed a few turkey hunters. VanderWeyst assisted Wildlife with planting the new addition to the late CO Norm Dahlman WMA (Wildlife Management Area).
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports an increase in angling activity in the area with mixed bags of fish being caught. Enforcement action consisted of not having an angling license in possession, keeping bass in a closed season, illegal-length northern pike, throwable PFD not readily accessible and numerous ATV-related incidents. He also reports an ongoing investigation related to migratory waterfowl.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports fishing activity has picked up since opener. The most common violations this week were anglers without licenses and anglers keeping bass. Bertram also handled a car-killed bear call.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) followed up on a TIP of possible suspects in an earlier grouse poaching/shooting from motor vehicle case that was caught on camera. The suspect stated, “I know why you’re here,” confessed and gave up his accomplice. Both men were charged.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and enforcing ATV laws. Citations were issued for speeding, fishing without licenses, no life jackets, too many rods out, and litter. A case was resolved with the help of CO Londgren after investigations determined the identities of two individuals who poached a grouse from their truck in Isanti County.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked anglers and investigated a game-violation complaint. A trespass call was investigated. Several animal-related complaints were received.
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Turn in Poachers (TIP) in Minnesota - Report a violation in progress:
To report a violation: Call 800-652-9093 24 hours a day, or key in #TIP on your cell phone.
To report a violation that isn't time sensitive: Use the form at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/tipreportingform.html
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CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent a busy week checking anglers. Krauel also spent time investigating illegal burning. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited materials, possession of marijuana, possession of an illegal-length northern pike, angling with an extra line, angling without a license, and a warrant arrest was made.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent following up on miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. A bear and her three cubs were caught on a doorbell camera sprinting across a front lawn in Elk River. The bears decided to wreak havoc on the bird feeders in the back yard later that night. Seamans responded to a call of a duck caught in some fishing line struggling in a pond. Seamans entered the shallow pond via kayak and approached the duck, which was no longer alive. No fishing line was found, but a large snapping turtle was seen munching on the duck and was likely the cause of death.
Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) continued flight training with landings, commercial maneuvers and grass strips work.
NR (Natural Resources) Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two days of fire detection for Little Fork and Tower. Heineman also attended to training and administrative tasks.
Standby NR Pilot Jessica Holmes (Grand Rapids) reports completing a training and currency flight.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a night currency flight and working a boat and water detail on Mille Lacs lake.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on gathering aircraft information, and attended an aviation webinar. He also began planning a cattail photo flight, and other administrative tasks.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on lesson plans for the Academy. Anglers and boaters were monitored for AIS compliance. New and old cases were worked on. Field COs were assisted with cases and questions.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on case files in his assigned area. AIS enforcement was worked on around area lakes. Guidance was given to field staff for PW (Public Waters) and WCA (Wetland Conservation Act) violations. ATV enforcement was also conducted.
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Prepared by Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement