Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending June 17. The complete report is available at

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) found many anglers hitting their favorite panfish spots as the sunfish/bluegill bite has been heating up. Numerous wildlife-related calls were handled, including an incident of snapping turtles being shot along gravel roads in Otter Tail County. Anyone with information about the shooters is asked to call the TIP line. Enforcement action was taken for illegal fires and license and registration violations.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, handled wildlife-related complaints, monitored OHV activity and provided K9 demos. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted other agencies in locating stolen firearms and firearms thrown in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and arrests were made for outstanding warrants.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area with the local lakes starting to pick up as the water temperatures rise. Enforcement action was taken for having a plug in a watercraft while on the roadway, angling without a license in possession and angling with a game fish.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers and boaters, responded to a complaint of illegally removing a beaver dam, provided a ride-along to a college student from another state, and worked the Spider Lake ATV area, where several enforcement issues were dealt with.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted local law enforcement with a disturbance call. A subject was arrested for possession of narcotics. Speldrich handled multiple nuisance- and orphaned-animal calls. She also checked angling licenses and ATV operators.  

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports assisting with evidence collection for a fishing violation that occurred outside the area. A case involving illegal possession of orphaned wildlife was also investigated and resolved.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking ATV riders and anglers throughout the week. Numerous litter calls were handled. A call of a bald eagle trapped inside a fenced enclosure was also handled. Benkofske lassoed the eagle, grabbed it and brought it out into the open so it could fly away.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent working public accesses for invasive species enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, possessing an illegal-length northern pike, and failing to remove a drain plug from a watercraft. A kayak was located floating on Pulaski Lake without anyone around. Please call 1-888-MINNDNR if you have information on the possible owner.


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