Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending May 10, 2021. The complete report is available at

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked ATV and OHM activity in the Foothills State Forest. He also worked sport fishing TIP calls, nuisance-bear complaints and public water violations. Assistance was also provided for an ATV crash with injuries. Violations observed included possession of a controlled substance, failure to display registration as required and illegal operation of a hydro jet.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking area lakes for anglers trying their luck for panfish. He also checked designated trout lakes for illegal fishing on those closed lakes. Patrol was done for illegal ATV and vehicle activity in the park and time was spent with park staff working on problem areas in the park. Many outdoor law-related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing, ATV and spring burning activities this past week. Pay attention to trail status, as spring closures are still in effect in some areas. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets, ATV registration issues, operating on closed trails, burning during a ban, and no fishing license.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time helping landowners with nuisance-animal calls. Complaints included a fox killing chickens, wolves harassing livestock, and black bears destroying garbage cans, bird feeders and screen doors. Visits were also made to a few properties where homeowners had their spring burning activities get away from them. Fire danger was high throughout the week.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) completed a trapping investigation resulting in enforcement action for illegal placement of a body-gripping trap. He also patrolled the Pine and Beltrami Island state forests and spent time monitoring activity surrounding the sturgeon spawn at the Rapid River. Sura would like to remind spectators and anglers to please not touch, disturb or handle the sturgeon during this fascinating display. People handling or taking sturgeon by unlawful methods, including taking by hand or snagging, may be charged.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) worked mainly boat and water and fishing enforcement this past week. He saw a lot of people out on the water enjoying the good weather this past week. Angling activity has picked up around the Thief River Falls area with good fishing reports from local anglers. ATV activity was also worked, with some violations addressed such as allowing illegal youth operation and failure to display current registration on an ATV.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports monitoring spring beaver trapping, ATV activity and checking anglers on special regulation lakes this past week. Anglers reported a slow bite for crappies and bluegills. Time was spent handling calls of incidental catches of otters and muskrats, investigating TIP calls of spearing after dark, reports of nuisance bears, and conducting follow-up investigations on suspected arson cases. Regas and CO Vollbrecht responded to a TIP call of anglers targeting and catching walleyes. Regas located the anglers and watched them catch several walleyes and place them in the livewell of their boat. Upon contacting the anglers, officers found them in possession of five walleyes. They also addressed a number of boating and license violations. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports spring panfishing has been picking up on area rivers and creeks while lake water temperatures stay pretty low. TIP calls were taken and investigated regarding dumping, fishing for species during a closed season, and OHM operations in county highway rights-of-way. Vinton had contact with anglers suspected to be using drugs and driving a vehicle with fictitious plates. The violations were turned over to county deputies. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a valid license, taking bass out of season and riding an ATV in the ditch south of Highway 10 before Aug. 1.

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this past week enforcing recreational vehicle and fishing regulations. Baum observed violations for no license in possession, operating an ATV without headlights and prohibited operations of a hydro jet. He also collected deer stands that were left on state land.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time working on reports from the previous week. He also fielded multiple nuisance-bear complaints. Zavodnik wants to remind residents that bears are on the move to find food this time of year and that garbage cans and bird feeders are easy targets. Time was also spent preparing for what’s shaping up to be a busy fishing opener. Now is the time to make sure boating safety needs are in order before the boating season begins.


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