FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report

From the DNR2

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Division of Enforcement

15011 Highway 115 (Camp Ripley)

Little Falls, MN 56345-4173


Contact: Rich Sprouse

             Public Information Officer

             800-366-8917, Ext 2511





District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River.

Enforcement action was taken on anglers that illegally fillet walleyes on the Lake of the Woods with the intentions of transporting them home. Enforcement action also included possessing illegal length walleyes, angling without a license, and angling with too many lines. One angler was found angling with 12 lines.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the Thief River Falls Snowmobile Safety class where just under 70 students were certified. Area fishing and snowmobiling activity was monitored, equipment maintenance was performed, and follow up investigations on wolf season complaints were investigated. CO Woinarowicz worked with area officers on Lake of the Woods over the New Year’s Holiday seeing moderate fishing success. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra line, possess dressed fillets on special regulation lake, walleye over limit, possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and snowmobile trail permit and  registration violations.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and Thief River. Anglers reported fair fishing with most anglers having some fish in the bucket.  Snowmobile activity was worked on trails and waters.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Upper Red Lake continues to have very good fishing for many anglers, but success has slowed with the recent cold weather. A TIP report was investigated and time was spent monitoring snowmobile trial activity and the trail conditions are very good. Several car kill deer possession permits were issued and a report of an accidental catch Fisher was handled. Enforcement action of the week included unattended lines and license violations.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Anglers on Lake of the Woods continue to report fair fishing and have moved out 7+ miles out onto the lake. Numerous calls were handled ranging from timber theft to fishing complaints. Enforcement action taken during the week included fishing and snowmobiling violations.

Baudette -vacant.


Blackduck #1 – vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on a deer hunting case that resulted in a violation for an unregistered deer. Time was also spent checking ice anglers, ATV operators, and snowmobile operators. Local grant-in-aid snowmobile trails were also checked.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked trappers, anglers and snowmobilers. He handled a car kill deer, was interviewed by a high school student, attended a sportsman club meeting and assisted other agencies with weather and license residency issues. Cold temperatures kept activities down but slush conditions have seemed to improve. Violations include spearing without a license, untagged shelter left on ice and open burning of garbage.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted a couple of misplaced snowmobilers with the rest of their party. CO Gray also tagged fur for a few trappers in the area.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) spent time checking anglers on area lakes. Ice conditions continue to improve with the extreme cold weather, but fishing has been spotty. Time was spent patrolling snowmobile trails and work continues on a background investigation for a Conservation Officer applicant.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored area angling, snowmobiling and ATV activity. More ice houses are starting to show up on area lakes. Officer Holt spent time patrolling snowmobile trails in the area. A good number of snowmobiles were seen even though it has been very cold outdoors. Enforcement activity for the week included snowmobile registration violations.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) continued work on a background for a Conservation Officer applicant.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to a report of several deer with partially missing legs with the cause still unknown. CO Peterson also worked on a background investigation for a new applicant and attended training.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen, following up on trapping complaint, tagging fur and checking snowmobilers. Snowmobile trails are not in the best conditions with more snow required. Fishing action has been spotty with cold



WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working with LGU’s on open WCA cases. Time was also spent on a background investigation.


Moorhead – vacant.


Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with Snowmobile Safety Class in Battle Lake over the weekend. Due to less than desirable weather, very few snow machines have been observed operating on the trails. Fishermen continue to report modest success and the numbers reflect the same. Enforcement efforts were focused on angling and shelter violations.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement activity on fishing and fish shelters that didn’t have proper identification and shelter tag displayed. This continues to be a common problem in the area. Plautz monitored snowmobile trails through the week with minimal activity. Trappers are continuing to have success.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Nelson handled complaints of litter and fish over-limits. Due to the lack of snow there are more ATV’s on the ice than snowmobiles. Fish house ID continues to be problematic.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated complaints of double tripping on crappies on an area lake. Osborne checked fishermen and snowmobiles and issued citations for various fishing violations. Severely cold temperatures have limited the number of people out recreating.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports steady ice fishing pressure on all station lakes, with most of the slush gone now. Anglers are having moderate success for both panfish and walleye in the afternoons and evenings. Enforcement action was taken for angling with unattended lines and angle with extra lines. A work detail was completed on Lake Minnewaska, and some members of the Junior Vikings Sportsman’s Club were checked on Lake Mary trying their fishing luck.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing and spearing enforcement on area lakes. Despite the cold, the fish have been biting, and several overlimit complaints remain under investigation. Additional time was spent working ATV and snowmobile enforcement, as well as checking a few varmint hunters. Work also continues on a background investigation. Three deer were found shot and left in a field northeast of Miltona in Douglas County. Anyone with info is urged to call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused law enforcement efforts on snowmobilers, fishermen and varmint hunters. Ice fishing activity slowed somewhat. Area snowmobile trails are not groomed and more snow is needed even for ditch riding. Calls were fielded regarding predator hunting, snowmobiling and ice fishing questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, snowmobile operators, and coyote hunters. Fishing success around the area has slowed, and snow conditions in the area are still not quite good enough for area trails to be groomed. Calls were fielded on injured animals and questions regarding coyote hunting. Enforcement action was taken for fish shelter licenses and identification issues.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and dark house spear fishermen during the week. Snowmobile trails are in fair condition needing some fresh snow to improve grooming. Parthun began work on a background investigation of a Conservation Officer candidate. Enforcement activities included ice shelter ID and license violations and over limit of fish.


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked snowmobilers, fishermen, and trappers. Officer Hunter received a call of a fisherman who put his fish house 7 feet from someone else’s fish house. Remember that you must be at least 10 feet from someone else’s fish house and while you are inside, crack a door or window from time to time to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Be safe in this cold weather!


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) found few anglers out on the ice. The ice conditions still remain highly variable and slushy. He attended a meeting regarding the fisher/bobcat/pine marten season. A few trappers and houndsmen reported getting their bobcats and requested tagging, and other trappers were interested in the official tagging session.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused primary enforcement efforts this past week on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He also received a call regarding an injured wolf or coyote, which was gone upon arrival.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) participated in a fishing enforcement detail on Lake of the Woods. Fishing was relatively slow with small walleye and sauger the primary catch.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with an invalid husband/wife license, unattended line, angling with an extra line, unregistered snowmobile, and angling without a license in possession.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on trapping, snowmobiling, and ice angling activity. Recent cold weather has improved ice conditions; however, ice thickness continues to vary by location. Snowmobile trails are in poor condition and in need of new snow. Angling success continued to be limited as weather conditions hindered angling activity. CO Broughten also worked a detail on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession, over length walleye, expired snowmobile registration, failure to display snowmobile registration, and possess dressed fillets on a special management lake without measurable carcass.


CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) despite the arctic like weather snowmobile enthusiasts were still out trying to enjoy the trails. Ice fishing activity is lower than usual with all the slush on most lakes. Reminder to check status of registration and trail stickers for residents as well as non-residents before venturing onto the State and GIA trails.


CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) met with SWCD personnel to discuss ongoing WCA case files. He spent time monitoring snowmobiling activity on local trails. Officer Siltala also checked ice anglers, who ventured out during the extreme conditions, and provided AIS education.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Dan Starr (Tower) found some fishermen and snowmobilers out in the extreme cold. Modes of transportation are definitely hampered by the cold.  Lack of trail stickers and registration items were addressed.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports working snowmobile, trapping and angling activity, amongst severe cold weather that kept most people indoors. Follow up on trapping and hunting violations continued with citations issued on a number of cases. Numerous citations were issued for no state park permit, which were supplied to the officer from park staff for the previous summer’s delinquent permit purchase list. Other enforcement action was taken on snowmobile, trapping and big game violations.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking anglers and darkhouse fishermen on Virginia area lakes. With the extreme cold weather in northeastern Minnesota few anglers were seen out. Area snowmobile trails are in good condition but not seeing much use due to the cold temps. Reports were prepared for and turned into court for citations issued.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fresh snow fell after recent freezing rain and extreme cold, making trail conditions excellent for those who want to brave -30. Angling activity was also scarce and reports of success were rare. Violations included failure to display registration and speeding.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) reminds snowmobilers to make sure their registrations decals are properly displayed. If you put it behind the windshield where it cannot be seen, enforcement action will be taken. At a minimum, you will be stopped every time an officer cannot see the decal. The lakes and trails are in much better condition than they were a couple weeks ago, but there is still a lot of slush in some areas and now there is a fair amount of drifted snow, so use caution when traveling on the lakes.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other officers for the BWCA trout opener. Trout anglers are the hardiest of people as brutal temps and winds didn’t keep many from wetting or icing up a line. Several people were encountered winter camping. The CO’s found the going pretty good in the BWCA as most lakes didn’t require snowshoes. The slush is freezing up and has disappeared on several lakes. The CO is always amazed that people remember everything needed to survive, fish, and camp in the very challenging conditions, but forget their fishing licenses and BWCA self-issue permits. One person said he didn’t even think that he needed to bring his license into the BWCA because he believed he’d never be checked on a remote lake when it was -30. He thanked the CO’s for doing their job proving him wrong.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a very cold and quiet BWCA trout fishing opener. The officer also checked snowmobile trails and sledders; slush is still a concern even on marked trails across area lakes. Cross country skiers showed much improved compliance with trail pass possession.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked mainly ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. Trail conditions are good after the recent snow. One evening while checking anglers the officer observed an archery deer license with a site tag attached. The license contained a harvest registration number even though the site tag was not validated or removed from the license. Enforcement action was taken for tagging violations. Other enforcement action included expired snowmobile registration, snowmobile speed, careless operation, no state trail sticker, and fail to transfer ownership. Very little angling activity is taking place in the station.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time in the BWCAW with area officers checking trout anglers during the opener. The extremely cold temperatures kept the majority of the anglers at home. Snowmobile trails were monitored and equipment maintenance was completed.


Silver Bay – vacant.


Two Harbors – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked area lakes and snowmobile trails, investigated a call on a deer that had been shot, and picked up furbearers that had been incidentally caught.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked on winter use equipment. He patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails. No violations were encountered. CO Hansen also worked small game enforcement.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, patrolled the area snowmobile trails and assisted the State Patrol with vehicles off the road. The bitter cold and slippery roads made traveling tough. Angler success was low. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration and operate snowmobile on roadway.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers and snowmobile activity over the past week. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for spearing without a license, no license in possession, no license on a permanent angling house, no registration on a snowmobile and speeding on a snowmobile.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobile trails and trappers. He also checked ski trails and handled wildlife complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working trapping and snowmobile activity. Wichmann assisted with an investigation that resulted with enforcement action taken for shooting from a motor vehicle. Wichmann also assisted with the Hill City snowmobile safety class.

CO John Velsvaag (Region II ATV officer) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. CO Velsvaag also followed up on a trapping violation and took a couple calls on road killed animals.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, dark house spearers and bait on infested and on other area waters. Many northern pike were taken over 30 inches with some 38 inch pike observed in the creels. Snowmobile trails were also worked. Wetland Conservation Act and protected public waters caseloads were tracked. Early bobcat (shining) complaints and illegal trapping were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for spearing without a license and for operating unregistered snowmobiles and ATVs.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports most snowmobile trials in the area are in great shape! Lots of time was spent patrolling from a snowmobile either checking anglers or snowmobilers. No current registration, improper display of registration, altered or loud exhaust and no snowmobile safety certificate were violations that have been the most frequent.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working on a background investigation for a possible new hire as a Conservation Officer. Officer Duncan spent several days working trout fishing enforcement in the BWCA. Some snowmobile enforcement was also worked during the week. Officer Duncan assisted local law enforcement with DNR questions and calls for service. Several messages were also returned after being away from the office for several days.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working ice angling and snowmobile activity throughout the week. Subzero temperatures during the past week made outdoor activity difficult at times. Snowmobile activity picked up over the weekend. Trail conditions were very good. Ice on area lakes continues to improve with 8-15 inches reported. Most anglers are going out on foot, ATV or snowmobile. Some slush still exists though. Crappies, sunfish, and northern pike were observed. Violations for angling, snowmobile and ATV operation/registration were encountered. CO Humphrey assisted the Cromwell Sno-Gophers with a snowmobile safety class.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on catching up on calls after being off the previous two weeks. Despite the cold, snowmobile activity is fairly high in the area. Two complaints of trespassing have been received and are being worked. One is on an agriculture field, the other is a person’s front yard near a road ditch that has newly planted trees. A meeting with the Minnesota Trapper’s Association was attended and several furs were assembled and donated to their tanned fur project where the furs will be used for educational purposes. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) assisted District 6 Officers with trout opener in the BWCA. The dangerously bitter cold proved harsh for both Officers and trout anglers alike. Snowmobilers in the Duluth area checked. Weather related equipment maintenance items tended to.


CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles and ice anglers during a very cold and wintery week. Anglers on the St. Louis Harbor are having some success with walleyes and sturgeon, but some need to remember to purchase a fishing license before they fish and to measure their fish where a special size regulation is in place. A snowmobile detail was worked with many sleds checked in the Duluth area. Enforcement action taken for angling, snowmobile, drug, and traffic violations.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers and monitored snowmobile activity. The officer responded to an accident where a snowmobiler traveling on the Paul Bunyan Trail failed to stop at a road crossing and ran into a car. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Enforcement activity for the week included angling without a valid license, angling with extra lines, possession of marijuana, and several instances of snowmobile speeding.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken on snowmobiles speeding, travelling against traffic after hours of darkness, and also registration violations. Officer Guida checked some anglers who had not had their licenses signed. Officer Guida offered his pen to one individual who proceeded to accidentally drop it down the hole. An attempt was made to recover it but resulted in the angler getting wet. One of the anglers said that they hadn’t been checked in 15 years of fishing and blamed the other angler for the bad luck.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen, trappers and worked snowmobile trails. Slush continues to cause problems for fishermen. A law presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Aitkin.


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a so-so bite for pan fish. Officer Lee patrolled the Pelican Lake Area during the Ice Fest Activities, even with the poor weather conditions fun was had by all that attended. Officer Lee continued work on background investigations of possible Conservation Officers for the upcoming Academy.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice anglers are out and report the bite has slowed. He worked on complaints of litter on the ice and fish houses abandoned at public accesses. He checked trappers in the Pillsbury Forest. The last weekend of archery hunting saw few hunters try their luck with not much success. The reports of deer carcass dumping continue to come in. Snowmobiling in the Brainerd area continues to pick up and the riders are enjoying good trail conditions. Violations of expired registration and speeding were observed.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity included checking fishing, snowmobile, and cross country ski activity, and responding to injured deer calls. Enforcement contacts were made for snowmobile operation and registration violations, improperly marked fish houses, and skiing on GIA ski trails w/o ski passes.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes. Fishing activity was slow as well as snowmobilers due to cold temps. A complaint of a possible car through the ice was handled. The vehicle was partially through the ice when found but eventually completely submerged. This is a good example of using extreme caution while traveling on the ice.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers around the Pine City area. He spent time monitoring snowmobile activity, answered questions about trapping and shelter licensing. Ice continues to get better with the cold weather. Very little slush has been seen, and ice in the 15-20 inch range is being found on lakes around Pine City. Lakes further north have varied ice conditions. Reports of slush and lots of snow on the ice are being reported around the Hinckley area. As always, use caution when venturing on unfamiliar waters.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking snowmobilers and fishermen throughout the week. A lot of sleds were seen out at the beginning of the week but slowed as the temperatures dropped to dangerous levels over the weekend. The fishing on all area lakes was slow with most fishermen still reporting running into areas of slush and thin ice. In one case Officers responded to a lake where a vehicle had broken partially through the ice and two others got stuck in the slush attempting to pull the first one out. Eventually the first vehicle did go all the way through the ice. It is a good reminder to be careful on are lakes even though we have had cold weather there are still areas on the lakes with little ice. The Officer also issued a car kill deer permit and answered lots of fishing, snowmobiling and small game related law questions. A call of someone putting barbed wire across a GIA snowmobile trail was investigated and the barbed wire was removed. The Officer checked on a possible theft of firewood from the state forest and checked several parties who had permits for cutting firewood. Trapping activity was also monitored in the remote areas of the Solana State Forest.


WREO Rob Haberman continued work on wetland conservation act cases in his area. WREO Haberman also worked on public water cases in his work area. WREO Haberman also patrolled area snowmobile trails over the weekend.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent most of the week working on background investigation interviews for the next Conservation Officer Academy. Time was also spent answering questions and assisting with fur registration at the annual Minnesota Trappers Convention. Anglers in the area have been challenged with cold temperatures and continued to struggle getting through the snow and slush on many area lakes. Snowmobiling was the outdoor recreation of choice due to better than average trail conditions.


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers who are gradually getting houses set out in traditional areas. Several rental houses got set up on the west side of Mille Lacs. Smaller lakes are producing some crappies. Snowmobile activity was also monitored which revealed registration and safety training issues.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for Browerville Snowmobile Safety. Weather conditions kept recreational activity minimal. Even snowmobile activity was moderate to low. CO Friese worked on background investigations.


Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked snowmobilers and anglers during the past week. Time was also spent on a pre-employment background investigation and unmarked fish houses as well.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reported while checking anglers encountered a number of fishermen who did not have their fishing licenses with them and CO Kuske had one couple who swore they had valid fishing licenses at home were found to have run to the store to buy their fishing licenses as soon as CO Kuske left the lake. Some fish house break-in’s occurred on Green Prairie Fish Lake and spear fishermen were glad to have been checked right away on an area lake where only one northern 40 inches or longer can be taken which they were unaware of.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, snowmobile operation and assisted the county. Fishing pressure has slowed with the colder weather. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile and fishing violations.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked on a dogs chasing deer complaint. CO Mies also checked sleds and ATVs in the area.


WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking anglers and conducting follow-up on wetland violations. WREO Bertram also handled calls of injured animals and snowmobile trespass.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked snowmobilers, anglers, and ATV activity. Outdoor activity was up and down as the weather temps rose and fell. Enforcement activity for the week included angle with extra line, possession of marijuana, no spearing license and no license in possession.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received trespass complaints related to coyote hunters which included shooting from the public road onto posted property, take a wild animal on agriculture land without permission, allowing their hounds to pursue game onto private property without permission and shooting from motor vehicles. CO Kuske heard from several people that were upset with the lack of respect these hunters showed toward private property, damaging the relationship between hunters and property owners. A snowmobile trespass complaint area was inspected; snowmobile club officials posted more signs to keep people on the trail and not cut across an agriculture field. The extra measures seem to be working and the property owner is pleased with the results. Snowmobile trails being in great condition still saw little traffic. A few expired registrations were found and one sled was stopped for excessive noise. The operator had replaced the factory muffler with an after-market model because he wanted his sled to be louder. While patrolling area lakes CO Kuske noticed a high amount of trash left on the ice by fishermen, most of which was cans and bottles thrown out along the paths and roads plowed across the lake. One individual was cited for using four lines while fishing, while another individual was also cited for using an extra line and leaving the lines unattended as well. An ELS vendor expressed concern over the number of duplicate shelter licenses that are being purchased by people who have more than one house on the ice and don’t want to spend the extra money to buy a license for each house. CO Kuske assisted a resort owner that is experiencing problems with the public trying to access the lake through their property. A reported wetland violation was investigated. A property owner plowed the snow and grass off a wetland area to provide a feeding / loafing area for cattle. CO Kuske filed a RPN with SWCD including a planned follow-up inspection in the spring.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and snowmobilers on area lakes and trails. CO Sladek followed up on a big game cases and a trespassing complaint. He also assisted with a vintage snowmobile permit and issued a number of car/deer permits.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a TIP call on a big game case. Anglers and snowmobilers were checked. Violations were found for possession of drug paraphernalia, no snowmobile registration, and failure to register deer.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a snowmobile safety presentation at Hasty-Silver Creek sportsman club. The weather kept the fishing pressure low and snowmobiling is still slow in the area due to lack of snow. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra line, no snowmobile safety certification, and snowmobile registration violations.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked coyote hunters, anglers, snowmobilers, and took trespass complaints. Officer Londgren continues to follow up and complete investigations of criminal offenses from deer and pheasant hunting cases.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) answered a few calls regarding coyote hunting with dogs and trespassing. The majority of the week was spent on a background investigation. Some time was spent working area snowmobile trails, which remain in good shape.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports the cold temperatures kept a lot of anglers and snowmobilers indoors this past week. The few anglers that did brave the wind and cold saw very little success. The lack of snow has made the trails a bit rough. Normal snowmobiling traffic has not been seen on many area trails. Violations included no shelter ID, no license in possession and no safety certificate.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on experimental lakes and rivers in Carver County. Anglers were having good success and ice conditions are the best they have been in several years. Snowmobile trails were patrolled but the cold weather kept it very quiet. Enforcement action was taken for unmarked fish shelters and no reflectors on fish shelters left on the lake overnight, litter on ice around fish shelters, no angling license in possession, taking trout in designated trout lake during closed season and fail to display snowmobile registration.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled for angling activity in Hennepin County. Officer Salzer also assisted CO Grewe with a big game investigation. CO Salzer also finished reports from other cases and coordinated with a county attorney.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobilers.  CO Grewe also wrapped up an investigation that resulted in violations for lend and borrow of archery tags and illegal party hunting. Other violations included license violations and over limit.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked snowmobiles, ATV, and ice fishermen in the metro area lakes and trails. He patrolled state parks, state trails, and did some equipment maintenance. He answered questions on firearms safety classes and ice fishing regulations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked ice anglers in the Bloomington station. He worked with CO Walter for snowmobile activity in Carver County but found very few snowmobilers braving the elements to be out in the cold and windy conditions.


Bloomington – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area

CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports handling a couple of injured animal calls and patrolling area snowmobile trails. Fishing activity was up and enforcement action was taken for several license violations and two separate cases of illegal length walleye on the St. Croix River.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers and working snowmobile and ATV enforcement. CO Arntzen investigated a trapping complaint, which resulted in enforcement action being taken for failing to check traps daily. He also responded to TIP calls, answered questions about trapping, and arrested an individual that had a gross misdemeanor warrant.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. ATV activity was also monitored on the area lakes. Violations found included fishing without a fishing license, fishing with extra lines, no fishing license in possession, and failure to display ATV and snowmobile registrations.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked ice anglers and snowmobilers.

Enforcement action was taken on a number of snowmobile violations including metro area trespass, failure to display registration, and unregistered snowmobile. CO Johnson patrolled in Carlos Avery WMA and issued a citation for speeding.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for snowmobile activity. Trails throughout the county remain in rough condition and are in need of additional snowfall. CO McGowan also continued to work on a background investigation for an applicant with DNR enforcement.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked on a background investigation for a CO applicant. She worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement on area trails and lakes. CO Kruse finished working on a big game case, handled calls with questions regarding snowmobile registration and submitted a deer hunting report to a county attorney.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) continued working on a pre-employment background investigation for a CO Academy applicant. Time was also spent on wetland related case files in Anoka County. Calls were received regarding trapping, angling and snowmobiling complaints.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) advises that wind, snow, ice, and subzero temperatures slowed outdoor activities during the week. A few smaller ice shelters were blown over as a result of the blizzard conditions. Time was spent working ice fishing, snowmobile and predator hunting enforcement. Inspections were also done on aeration systems. A radio interview was conducted dealing with the severe weather conditions. Training materials are starting to be worked on for the upcoming CO Academy.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and sleds. Angling success seems to have slowed. A nice fish or two can be picked up but many hours of angling are required. Blowing snow, rain, and sub-zero temps are wreaking havoc on trails.


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked pheasant hunters during the final week of the season.  Ice fishing, predator hunting, and snowmobiling activity were also monitored. Assistance was given to a South Dakota Game Fish and Parks warden reference an investigation.


CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent much of the week conducting background investigations on CO applicants. The officer also checked numerous ice fishing anglers.  Snowmobile trails in the area remain in poor condition due to lack of snow.


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that people are catching crappie and perch on area lakes.  The few pheasant hunters who made it out on the last day found birds. Predator hunters are starting to have success calling in coyote and fox.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued two WCA extensions and a certificate of completion was issued in Renville County. Officer Hanson completed a site visit on a complaint in Murray County for a possible Public Waters violation. WCA statements were obtained in Redwood County. Ice fishermen were checked on area lakes and rivers.


Benson – vacant.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) primarily checked ice fishing activity in addition to snowmobile and ATV activity. He followed up on a snowmobile trespass complaint and a litter complaint.  Denz also assisted the local Sheriff’s Department with a vehicle roll over.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week.  Cold weather shut down much of the fishing activity around the area. License issues are still the main violation encountered with anglers. A snowmobile complaint of driving in a WPA and possibly hunting from the sled in a neighboring station was investigated. Assistance to local departments was given with poor road conditions.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports most anglers are struggling to find and catch fish.  Oberg also spent time working snowmobile enforcement in the area. A surprising amount of sleds were out riding in the not so ideal conditions. Oberg would like to remind snowmobilers to stop at all road crossings when out riding.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated reports of possible deer hunting violations, injured wildlife and trapping complaints. He also gave a laws/ethics presentation at a snowmobile safety training class. Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, trapping and predator hunting enforcement.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week following up on investigations, snowmobile activity, and sport fishing. He also worked the close of archery deer and pheasant seasons. Station aeration system inspections were completed.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled Jackson County continuing to work the small game season. Ice fishermen continue to move around looking for a consistent bite. Gruhlke also patrolled area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails and taught at the recent snowmobile safety class held in Jackson.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) continued work on a background investigation. Schettler also appeared on two radio shows and was interviewed regarding snowmobile rules and regulations. Commercial activities were inspected.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers and snowmobile operators. Trails are mostly in poor condition due to high winds and a lack of snow. Vehicles have put wheels through the ice on an area lake. Lots of vehicles had traveled through the area before this happened, further evidence of the phrase “ice is never safe.”


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, ATV and snowmobile activity. Officer Ihnen responded to TIP calls and other questions and complaints given to him from the public.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, fish houses, and snowmobilers. Various calls from the public were handled. Enforcement action was taken on angling and fish house violations.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) followed up on deer hunting cases. An illegal burn was addressed. Ice anglers were checked on district lakes and rivers. Very few snowmobilers were seen.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, small game, and angling activity during the week. The snowmobile regulations portion of a snowmobile safety class was taught in Hope, Minn. Investigations continue from previous complaints during the hunting seasons.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and ice fishing activity. A law and ethics presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Lyle.  Requests from the public for information were returned, and car killed deer possession permits issued.


WREO Julie Siems (SE) issued a restoration order. Background investigations for employment also started


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success was good for some with limits seen taken. Heyn also handled other calls and monthly paperwork.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports fishing has slowed down with the cold weather but a few trappers are still having some success. Several trespass complaint/calls also came in. Finally, an investigation was completed regarding an unlawfully taken 10-point buck.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports continuing follow up on deer hunting season cases. There was an incident where an occupied car went off the road onto the Mississippi River and through the ice. The car and two victims had been recovered.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) spent time checking coyote hunters. Success was limited. A

few snowmobilers were out as well. Trail conditions are poor. Fishing was fair but activity has slowed due to the cold weather.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking ice fishing activity. Ice conditions continue to improve in the area but angling success has been poor. Some minor fishing violations were detected.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports bluegill, crappie and perch were biting. All fishing slowed down with the cold weather. Snowmobile trails need more snow. Squirrels were not active due to the cold weather. He continues to follow up on deer hunting complaints.


Rochester #2 – vacant.


Training Section


Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.


Aviation Section


CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a wolf pack count flight near Voyageurs National Park. Jensen worked on setting up flights for the month and finished monthly paperwork.  Cold weather has hampered some aviation operations.

CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) provided air support for D-6 officers on the BWCA trout opener. Despite arctic temperatures some diehard fishermen were encountered braving the elements. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines. Several low level survey flights were cancelled due to the freezing temperatures and high winds.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent Monday at the Duluth/Customs facility touring/training with CO Olson. Tuesday operations issues and training were accomplished along with aviation ground school. Field Training on the Gunflint Trail for trout opener was worked on with area COs.

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew support flights for ice fishing activity and a possible public waters violation.

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas worked on the moose survey in northeast Minnesota. Poor weather and extreme cold have delayed the flights from getting underway. No concerns about snow cover this year, more than adequate depth all across the moose survey range.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew timber wolf telemetry and pack counts. Attempts to start moose survey in Ely were shut down by weather late in the week.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


Please check the DNR WEB SITE at for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at


Please check the DNR WEB SITE  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.


Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR


Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!


Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.


Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.



If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports working on instructor background checks and taking registration for upcoming instructor meetings. Planning was also done for firearms safety/hunter education Instructor certification training.


SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez received several more phone calls regarding the upcoming instructor forums. The RTO worked on backgrounds from a FAS instructor clinic. RTO Gutierrez also worked on some equipment maintenance due the frigid weather.


NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on PowerPoint and handouts for Instructor Forum. Patten worked on Defensive Tactics training for Forestry NRO’s. Patten also worked on items for sport shows scheduled in February and March.


East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence worked on winter training projects for instructor training and scheduling training for 2014 youth safety programs. RTO Lawrence was at camp Ripley to work on equipment maintenance for display items for the January St. Paul sport show. RTO Lawrence answered calls and emails from safety instructors for upcoming training opportunities and meetings. RTO Lawrence reviewed use of force training materials for officer safety training.


Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week spent much of his work time on a background investigation.  He also responded to a variety of numerous emails and phone calls.


NW RTO Jon Paurus worked on training materials for upcoming clinics. Most of the week was spent conducting a background investigation on a potential Conservation Officer candidate.



Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens       763-753-1887

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184

Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032

NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773


Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant


Education Specialist:  Vacant


Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

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