FROM THE DNR: Weekly CO Report

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 the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods.  Walleye fishing has slowed on the big lake, but more perch and tullibee are supplementing angler’s buckets. A group of anglers on Lake of the Woods was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked snowmobile activity on area trails and waters.  Ice anglers were checked on the Red Lake and Thief Rivers.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Time was spent following up on a TIP investigation, information from this past deer season, and monitoring snowmobile trial activity. The areas trail conditions are still very good. CO Regas gave the laws and regulations presentation and assisted instructors at the Youth Snowmobile Safety class in Blackduck. Enforcement actions for the week included angling license violations, no state trail sticker, and registration violations.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity. Anglers are continuing to report fair fishing on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Numerous complaints were handled ranging from the taking of too many walleye to state snowmobile trail violations. Enforcement action taken included fishing and snowmobile violations.


Baudette -vacant.


Blackduck #1 – vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working the winter lake trout opener on area lakes off the Gunflint Trail in Cook County. Time was also spent checking ice anglers on local lakes and rivers. Area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails were also checked. Predator hunting activity was monitored. A talk was given at the annual Red Lake Falls sports banquet.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received information about violations from the past deer firearm season then monitored snowmobile, angling, spearing, trapping and predator hunting activity. He also had the opportunity to participate in a radio talk show and 4-H wildlife club meeting.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, snowmobilers and finished up a wolf depredation complaint.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) spent the week patrolling local trails for snowmobile activity. Trail conditions continue to improve with the new snow. Time was also spent checking anglers on Upper Red Lake, Winnie, and area lakes. CO Vollbrecht continued work on a background investigation for a Conservation Officer applicant.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers on Upper Red Lake, Winnie, and lakes throughout the Bemidji area. Officer Holt also spent time patrolling area snowmobile trails. A complaint of deer being poached was received and investigated. Enforcement activity for the week included no angling license in possession, over limit of walleyes, angling with extra lines and spearing without a license.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports checking anglers and snowmobilers on area lakes. He conducted a telephone interview for a local TV station about securing fish houses and their contents after a fish house was stolen from an area lake. CO Vinton continued working on a background investigation. Enforcement action was taken for unmarked shelters, no license in possession and failure to display snowmobile registration.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked a trapping case, assisted Becker County with a call on a robbery suspect and followed up on a fishing complaint.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and working snowmobilers. Time was also spent doing aeration inspections, working trout opener and following up on a vehicle that went through the ice. Assistance was also given to a work party consisting of D-2 & D-3 Officers on fishing enforcement in the Pelican Rapids station. Numerous violations were found for fishing, fish house id/license, snowmobile registration, and marijuana violations.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on a background investigation and checked fishing activity around the area. Several Cease and Desist Orders were rescinded from old WCA cases.


Moorhead – vacant.


Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports additional snowfall has improved trail conditions in the area. Questions were answered throughout the week relating to various topics. Angling and shelter violations continue to be found. Fish house owners are encouraged to open their regulation books and review requirements for leaving shelters overnight on the ice.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent most of the week working on a background investigation for a possible CO Academy candidate. Plautz monitored fishing and snowmobiling enforcement as well.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and shelters throughout the week.  Snowmobilers were also checked on area trails. Time was spent checking aeration permits and issues with persons leaving fish houses on public access sites. Issues related to the Ottawa Wildlife Refuge were also handled.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and snowmobilers in Douglas, Todd, Pope and Otter Tail counties. Phone calls about ride-along opportunities and dogs chasing rabbits and squirrels were answered. Osborne worked on setting up a snowmobile safety class in Evansville with an instructor group.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time focusing enforcement on both snowmobiling and ice fishing activity. Recent snowfall has dramatically improved riding conditions on station trails. Unattended lines and extra line violations were enforced on the Alex Chain of Lakes, as well as ATV registration issues. Lawler took part in a work crew in District 2 on North Lida Lake. Several citations were issued for various violations. One icehouse had three men fishing with only one valid license and one possessed an illegal substance. Additional time spent investigating a motor vehicle violation at Lake Carlos State Park.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) hosted a fishing work crew on Lake Osakis where officers took enforcement action on a number of violations including crappie over-limits. Johanson took part in a television interview for a local station that focused on safety for people and vehicles while out on the ice. Additional time was spent working snowmobile and ATV enforcement and patrolling for predator hunting activity. CO’s Johanson and Lawler presented a snowmobile enforcement training class to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and continued work on a division background investigation.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on snowmobiling, ice fishing and predator hunting activity. Anderson and Baumbarger worked the Donnelly Rod and Gun Club’s fishing tournament on Cottonwood Lake this past weekend. Aeration inspections were completed. A coyote hunting trespass issue was received as well as a complaint on snowmobilers. Calls were fielded regarding predator hunting, snowmobiling and ice fishing questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing success in the area is spotty at best.  Enforcement efforts focused on checking fishermen, ATV and snowmobile operators.  Baumbarger participated in a work crew on Lake Osakis, and worked the annual Donnelly Rod and Gun Club fishing tournament with CO Anderson on Cottonwood Lake.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) spent the majority of the week working on a background investigation of a Conservation Officer candidate. Parthun also completed some follow up on an active big game violation, took an injured animal call, and checked some snowmobilers. A few inches of new snow in the area have made trail conditions much better.


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) monitored snowmobile, trapping, and fishing activity in the area. She responded to a snowmobile accident involving two snowmobiles that met on the top of a hill. One operator was on the wrong side of the trail when he reached the top and applied the brake when he saw that he was about to hit the on-coming rider. Braking caused the snowmobile to slide and he was not able to steer the machine. When the snowmobiles hit, the person at fault was completely across the trail, as the other rider had moved over even more. Both operators were thrown from their machines. Reminder: stay to the right when riding.


CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked on snowmobile patrols. He noted that ice angler numbers are increasing with the improving ice conditions. Officer Oldakowski also dealt with a wolf depredation issue.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He noted that compliance with rules and regulations was very good.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) worked snowmobile activity and ice fishing activity. He also assisted snowmobile safety instructors with organizing an upcoming certification class and resolved equipment issues. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, unregistered snowmobile, failing to display snowmobile registration, failing to stop for stop sign on snowmobile, and snowmobile speed.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on snowmobiling and ice angling activity. Ice conditions vary with some areas still having problems with slush. Snowmobiling activity increased; however, snowmobile trails continue to be in poor condition. Angling success was limited. CO Broughten also continued to follow up on open cases and investigated a complaint of wanton waste.


CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) checked area ice fishermen and discussed AIS laws with them. The snowpack had settled and made it easier to get around, but another round of 6 to 8 inches of snow received this past weekend will hamper movement again. He also spent time reviewing WCA case files and following up on an ongoing wetland drainage activity in Ottertail County.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports more people out enjoying ice fishing and snowmobiling as weather has warmed up a bit. Numerous animal complaints were handled throughout week, along with assisting Voyageurs National Park biologist in locating radio collared wolf. Snowmobilers are reminded to slow the speeds down and ice fishermen are reminded that they are responsible for cleaning up the area around their fish houses.


CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports there were quite a few snowmobiles in the area enjoying the good trail conditions and nice weather over the weekend. Fishing remains quite slow. A few nuisance animal complaints were dealt with. A local trapper was referred to a federal agency in regards to an employment opportunity.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked snowmobiles, regular angling and winter trout opener.  Most anglers had luck with rainbow trout with a lesser percentage scoring on lake trout. The officer also closed out a deer firearms season case with a citation after meeting with the county attorney. Enforcement action was taken on angling and snowmobile violations.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area snowmobile trails and found that most area trails are in excellent condition but not seeing much usage due to colder temps. Some Virginia area lakes are slowly putting out crappies but again colder temps and high winds are keeping anglers off the lakes. The trout opener found strong numbers of anglers braving the conditions and being rewarded for their efforts. One specific trout angler decided to bring some friends with him on several unregistered snowmobiles then proceeded to become excessively intoxicated. The operators of the snowmobiles received citations for operating unregistered snowmobiles and were cautioned not to drive the sleds away.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing activity on area lakes and found few fish being caught. Time was spent working snowmobile activity on the Skibo trails out to Seven Beavers Lake area with assistance from U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the weather started off cold but turned comfortable for the winter trout fishing opener in the Ely area. Fishing was good and most anglers checked had something to show for their efforts on the trout lakes. Violations included fishing on a designated trout lake with no trout stamp, operating an unregistered snowmobile, and fishing with no license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked trout opener and found fishermen happy and doing pretty well. There were a lot of people out on snowmobiles and fishing. There was very little litter on the ice too, so it was a good weekend. Time was spent meeting with the Canadian Wardens and doing case work. Remember to make sure your snowmobile has its registration decal and numbers displayed in the proper fashion.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked the trout opener with several other officers. The weather was as good as it gets for a normally very frigid weekend. Many people were checked and the vast majority of people were doing things right. A few fishing violations were encountered along with some snowmobile violations. With all those new angling holes drilled, the slush conditions could change for the worse so be aware of that possibility.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled GIA and state snowmobile trails. Riders are reminded to stay to the right side of the trail, especially on the narrow and winding trails common in Cook County. The officer also worked the busy trout opener in the vacant Silver Bay station with CO Wahlstrom; enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, no trout stamp and angle with an extra line. The officer also responded to a report of a bobcat that attacked a family dog.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the trout opener in the Babbitt and Silver Bay stations. Fishing was fair and most anglers were following the rules. Snowmobile traffic continues to be high. Meetings were attended on various cases. Paperwork was finished up on a snowmobile fleeing case. Enforcement action was taken for fail to site validate otter tag, no trout stamp, snowmobile registration violations, snowmobile speed, and no fishing license in possession.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the trout opener with area officers in the Tofte/Finland area. The slush set up on most lakes but some areas it was deep enough where anglers were losing snowshoes and equipment. Overall, anglers were happy with the trout bite and the warm weather over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and extra lines.


Silver Bay – vacant.


Two Harbors – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome)  patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked anglers, attended a district meeting, delivered snowmobile safety materials, assisted with a one vehicle accident, and helped with retrieving a sick moose for necropsy.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) took care of a couple animal calls including assisting with the recovery of a sick moose and looking for a sick wolf. The moose was included in the moose mortality study. He also attended a district meeting and patrolled for snowmobile activity.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobile activity, attended k-9 training, attended a district meeting and retrieved accidentally taken otter. Ice conditions have improved with very few slush pockets to be found on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no snow mobile safety certificate, fail to display registration on snow mobile and fail to stay on snow mobile trail (trespass).

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent this last week working on a division background. She also checked anglers.  She did an interview with a local radio station. Ice conditions on area lakes are pretty good right now. Recreationists still need to be cautious on lakes that have springs and froze late. Area snowmobile trails are rough in certain areas, especially around town due to the amount of use over the past week and weekend, so be cautious on those as well.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area with the success rate being good for panfish and walleyes. One group of individuals got a little ahead of themselves when they were fishing for crappies. The two individuals forgot to count their fish as the good fishing ensued and ended up overlimit on a special regulation lake. The extra fish were seized and citations were written for overlimits.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ski and snowmobile trails. He also attended a district meeting during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked snowmobile and fishing activity. Wichmann assisted with the Polymet meeting in Duluth and issued car kill deer permits.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV Officer) followed up on a trapping complaint and several complaints of ATV’s and snowmobiles operating on the roadway. CO Velsvaag also attended a meeting regarding ATV use in wetlands and a district meeting.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, dark house spearers and bait on infested and on other area waters. Angling and spearing success slowed some. CO Arhart also patrolled local snowmobile trails, attended a District 7 meeting in Grand Rapids and attended a wetland/OHV enforcement meeting in Duluth. Wetland Conservation Act and public waters restoration cases were tracked. More trucks were observed driving on frozen slush fields on area lakes without incident.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported a lot of people both young and old were seen out taking advantage of the free fishing weekend, when accompanied by a youth, but unfortunately not a lot of cooperation by the fish. Snowmobile trails remain in excellent condition throughout the area. Only a few issues of people driving too fast for conditions were encountered. The officer also assisted with security during a large public informational meeting held by the DNR and Polymet in regards to a new mining proposal.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work on a background investigation for a possible new hire. One day was spent attending an informational meeting reference a possible new mine on the Iron Range. Several days were spent working the opening of trout fishing north of Grand Marais. Officer Duncan also attended a district meeting and returned several calls to the public.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working ice angling and snowmobile activity throughout the week. Snowmobile activity was heavy at times. Trail conditions were good to excellent. Anglers were reporting fair to good catches on crappies, sunfish, and northern pike. CO Humphrey attended a district meeting in Cloquet and worked a special detail in the Tower/Ely area. CO Humphrey prepared for a Jury trial on an ATV fleeing case from 2012 which resulted in a guilty plea. Angling and snowmobile violations were encountered during the week.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a district meeting, worked on K9 training in the metro and also worked a special detail in the Tower Ely area. Calls for permits to possess car kill deer have been coming in. People are reminded that they are to obtain permission or a possession permit before taking possession of any protected animal. Snowmobile activity remains fairly high in the area. Enforcement action was taken for registration and snowmobile safety certificate violations.


CO Mike Scott (WREO) attended meetings at the St. Paul Office in regards to the selection of a new records management system for DNR Enforcement. Work continued on a background investigation for an applicant for Conservation Officer. Officer Scott attended the Polymet mining public open house meeting in Duluth. More than a 1,000 people attended the event for their input in support or against the proposed mining. Security was provided for the event by COs as well as local and federal law enforcement.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked inland trout anglers on a warmer-than-normal opener. Plenty of snow led to plenty of slush on some lakes, but most anglers were prepared or took the necessary precautions to not become stuck. Some nice fish were seen on the ice, and compliance with regulations was good. Wolves and moose were spotted coping with the weather conditions. Assistance was given to a local agency with a theft in progress. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and worked snowmobiles during the week. Areas of off trail trespass concerns were worked.


CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ice angling, patrolled snowmobile trails in the Brainerd area. He also took care of wildlife and informational calls.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobile enforcement this past week. Officer Guida spent time talking to youth at a snowmobile safety class regarding trespassing on snowmobiles and cooperative landowner relationships to protect their interest of snowmobiling. Officer Guida continued a background investigation on a potential Conservation Officer Candidate.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including checking fishing, cross country ski, and snowmobile activity, and inspection of fish houses for registration and marking requirements. Numerous contacts were made for fish shelter violations.


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) saw some nice walleyes while checking anglers. New snowfall and warmer temps brought out lots of snowmobilers. Violations included spearing without a license, snowmobile speeding, unsafe operation of snowmobiles, and expired registrations. One group of snowmobilers was clocked at 82 mph going across a lake in the dark. They continued at a high rate of speed on a trail through the woods until they were able to be stopped at the next lake. Fortunately they did not encounter other snowmobilers on the trail which could have caused a major accident.


CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice anglers are out in full force and report the walleye bite is fair. Violations observed were no license, extra and unattended lines. The ice conditions are good; however,  slush continues to be a problem in some areas. Ice pressure ridges have been reported on area lakes. Reports of fish house damage and burglary’s out on Gull Lake was investigated. He worked with a Cass County Deputy on complaints of carless snowmobile operators. Violations observed were speeding and expired registration. He worked with neighboring CO Tischler checking anglers and skiers in the Pillsbury Forest. Complaints of unlicensed and no identification on fish houses were reported and investigated.


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a pretty good bite on pike and pan fish. Officer Lee received a complaint of trespassing on an area lake. After speaking to the complainant and finding the location the parties entered the lake, no violations had occurred due to public land being the entry point onto the lake. Officer Lee patrolled area snowmobile trails; with the nicer weather the snowmobile traffic was very heavy in the area. Enforcement action this past week was taken for snowmobile registration issues, speeding, and no angling license. Officer Lee also worked on background investigations of possible candidates for the upcoming Conservation Officer Academy.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen and snowmobilers during the week and weekend. Trails were in good condition with the latest snowfall. Fishing success was marginal on Mille Lacs Lake. Some perch and northern pike were seen but very few walleye. Crappie action seems to fluctuate due to up and down temperature changes. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department monitoring parties trying to retrieve a vehicle that had fallen through the ice a few weeks prior. Enforcement was action taken on fishing violations.


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked local angling activity where lake slush had frozen up better in the last week making for easier access. Fishing is still tough prompting some people to try extra lines. Snowmobile conditions were very good. Enforcement action was taken for lack of registration, helmets, and safety training.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) completed and submitted paperwork to the Kanabec County Attorney regarding stolen furs that were recovered from the previous week; two suspects were found with stolen fox and traps. Other furs were seized as they were illegally taken as well. Fishing activity was monitored on area lakes; fishing remains slow on Mille Lacs Lake.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and found the bite was fairly slow. A few perch were seen and a few fishermen reported catching some throwback walleyes. The Officer assisted with a snowmobile safety class at the Mille Lacs Trails Snowmobile Club. A big thanks to the club for hosting the training for the kids. Lots of snowmobiling activity was seen during the weekend with the new snow and warmer weather. Lots of questions regarding snowmobile, fishing and ATV laws were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included: angle with extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing license, and no fishing in possession.


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 and checked area lakes for fishermen.


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) continued to work on a background investigation on a potential new hire for the position of Conservation Officer. She checked area trails for snowmobiling activity. Violations encountered included failing to stop at a road crossing and under age operation. Speldrich also received information of an overturned snowmobile in the General Andrews State Forest with no one around it. The snowmobile was gone by the time officers arrived.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement through the week. Constant small snow showers have made travel difficult on local lakes. Any roads and trails made on lakes are being quickly covered by blowing and drifting snow. Even with 4×4 vehicles it’s highly advised you carry shovel in your vehicle. Fishing has been spotty with some sunfish and crappies being seen in most buckets. CO Wynn followed up with reports of abandoned and stolen snowmobiles, answered questions on shelter licensing, and spent time working with Wisconsin Wardens on border issues and license fraud information.


CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the stream trout opener and fair weather brought out a lot of trout anglers. Areas of deep snow and slush forced most anglers to drag their gear out by foot but those that got out early did have luck getting some rainbow trout. Despite increased enforcement efforts and patrol, it was sad to see that a few trout and smelt anglers still left trash behind when leaving their fishing spot. The utmost respect and thanks goes out to the handful of anglers and local residents that were also seen cleaning up garbage left by others. Snowmobile trails have been holding up well and were in good condition throughout the week.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and snowmobilers during the past week. Officer Martin worked on a pre-employment background and finished a wanton waste/ litter case from muzzleloader season too.


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) assisted with a fatal snowmobile accident investigation. CO Friese spoke to a Cub Scout group. Background investigations  continued.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, predator hunters and snowmobile activity. A work detail was assisted in Osakis. Enforcement action was taken for registration violation on ATV and snowmobiles, no fishing license, over limit, shelter license, possession of drug and paraphernalia and an arrest warrant was handled.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted a neighboring officer perform a minnow dealer inspection, picked up a dead bald eagle, and dealt with a couple calls of people wanting to know if they can drive on the snowmobile trails if they put tracks on their ATV (answer is no you can’t). While assisting a neighboring officer on an illegal deer case from firearms season where a wife tagged a husband’s deer though she wasn’t out hunting it was discovered that the couple had been buying husband/wife combination angling licenses since 2005 but they are not married.

WREO Keith Bertram spent time working on wetland cases and checking anglers. Citations were issued for over limit of crappies and extra lines. WREO Bertram also assisted CO Kuske with taxidermy inspections.


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, snowmobilers, and ATV activity. Assistance was given to area conservation officers on work crews where high activity was detected. One work detail found four over limits, three extra lines, no license, possession of marijuana and no shelter tag. Injured animal calls were handled involving an owl and deer. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra line, over limit, possession of marijuana and no license in possession.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) completed an inspection of a minnow dealer and aquaculture business. When reviewing records it was found that the licensee was not maintaining the required receipts for all transactions. A written warning was issued and a follow-up compliance check will be conducted. The Section of Wildlife issued two deer shooting permits for depredation of unharvested corn in the Pine Center area. CO Kuske conducted a site inspection and compliance check of the permit conditions. While patrolling snowmobile trails CO Kuske is seeing and hearing an increase in the number of sleds with modified exhaust. Snowmobile owners are removing the factory muffler and replacing it with after-market models that cause excessive noise when operated, which is illegal other than for organized race events. Weather has once again hampered fishermen, snow and high winds made travel on area lakes difficult, fishing success has been slow. CO Kuske was notified by Platte Lake Association that they will be placing an aeration system in the lake; oxygen tests have showed lower readings. Please use extra caution when traveling on this lake, watch for signs and any open areas created by the aerator.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies also checked coyote hunters in Wright County. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Watkins Snowmobile class.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. A complaint was investigated regarding a public access. Follow up was done on a commercial license issue.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked snowmobile enforcement, checked anglers and small game/coyote hunters, and spoke at a snowmobile safety class. Enforcement action was taken for, youth operation of snowmobile without safety certificate, no registration, fail to transfer, and no license in possession.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobilers this week. Fishing in the area has been good this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, litter and snowmobile violations.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and snowmobilers, and issued summonses and written warning for a number of violations. He followed up on a TIP of a big game violation. He assisted with a capture of a Bald Eagle in the Elk River area.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers and snowmobilers over the last week. Many anglers hit area lakes but found little success. A few anglers found some good fishing but not many. The area trails were packed with riders with the fresh snow in the area. Violations included studded track on prohibited trail, fail to display registration, trespassing, no license in possession and no shelter identification.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishermen and snowmobilers in the metro area lakes and trails. He attended a court hearing in Hennepin County and planned for firearms safety classes in the spring. He also answered questions on ice fishing and state park regulations to his community.


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the trout opener and checked anglers on special regulation lakes. Snowmobile trails were patrolled all week. Trails were in good condition but there were not very many snowmobilers on the trails. Snowmobile trespass complaints and anglers littering on area lakes were investigated.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. Salzer patrolled Anoka and Hennepin counties for snowmobile activity. Trail conditions were fair and lots of snowmobilers were seen taking advantage of the trails.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling snowmobile trails. CO Grewe followed up with calls received throughout the week. Violations included litter, wanton waste and license issues.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen in Hennepin and Dakota counties. He investigated animal complaints. CO Neitzke patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park. He also worked the trout opener.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Lake Minnetonka with CO Walter and CO Grewe for angling and snowmobiling activity. He worked the 2014 Winter Trout Opener in Carver County. He assisted staff at Ft. Snelling State Park on a report of a man carrying a rifle but no one was located. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line, take/possess trout in closed season, littering, and no state park vehicle permit.


Bloomington – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued checking ice anglers and snowmobiles in Scott County. CO Pril spent some time following up with a novice rehabber of wild animals in Lakeville. CO Pril also checked fish shelters for licenses and identification and checked ATVs on Scott County lakes.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring recreational vehicle use. CO Arntzen investigated a trapping complaint, answered questions about nuisance animals, and did aeration inspections. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing license in possession, registration violations, equipment violations, and speeding.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for snowmobile and angling activity. Numerous snowmobilers were out over the weekend enjoying good trail conditions. Enforcement action was taken for no snowmobile registration, snowmobile speed, trespass, and angle with extra lines.

CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports assisting with use of force training at Camp Ripley, spending time checking anglers on area lakes and rivers as well as patrolling snowmobile trails. CO Peterson received a call of a deer stuck in a fence, the fence was cut and the deer was able to get out. The warm weather brought several folks out to fish and snowmobile. Several anglers were spending time out on a bucket instead of in a shack this past weekend. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration, improper roadway crossings, fishing license violations as well as spearing without a license and failing to display shelter license.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked fishing enforcement on area lakes and snowmobile enforcement on area trails. She continued working on a background investigation for a CO applicant. CO Kruse did work on a deer removal program in Ramsey County, issued a car kill deer permit and met with Ramsey Water Patrol. She also handled nuisance animal calls.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week focusing on wetland related activity. A meeting was attended in Anoka County regarding a wetland impact as well an enforcement meeting in St. Paul. Time was also spent answering questions at the International Motorcycle Show held in Minneapolis over the weekend.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he worked the trout opener on Cenaiko Lake. Many anglers were out and fishing was good. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines and no trout stamp in possession. CO Johnson was interviewed for KSTP TV on the red tailed hawk rescued from the Mississippi River. He responded to a call of a dead trumpeter swan that died after striking a power line in Ramsey.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) spoke at the area Tri-County Sportsman’s Club. Fishing continues to be the main outdoor activity with the lack of snow for predator hunting and snowmobiling. He assisted South Dakota officers with two wildlife investigations.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that recent blizzard warnings, weather advisories and high wind conditions have greatly affected outdoor recreational activities. Snowmobile activity has slowed with the lack of new snow and poor trail conditions. Coyote hunting/trapping complaints were investigated. Ice fishermen continue to venture out with only a few nice walleye being caught. Assistance was given with snowmobile safety classes in Tracy, Lamberton, and Wabasso over the weekend.


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice anglers throughout the week. Big Stone Lake has been a popular fishing spot with many anglers making the trip from Minnesota and South Dakota. This officer also assisted with teaching a Snowmobile Safety class in Clinton.


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 Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that aeration permits are being checked with all in good order. Snowmobiling is slow with warm weather and light snow conditions. Angling in Murray County has been active.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) followed up on WCA and Public waters cases. Information on AIS was given out along with checks on local ice fishermen. Snowmobiles and ATV checks were also completed on area lakes.


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 trapping violations. Denz also followed up on litter complaints related to ice fishing activity.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers and snowmobile riders during the week. Angling license as well as drug related issues were found in area ice houses. A burn of prohibited materials was investigated. Mueller spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Litchfield, as well on the local radio station for snowmobile safety week.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports working on a couple big game complaints. Fishing enforcement was also worked with northern spearing going very well on an area lakes and a small rearing lake is still giving up a few nice walleye. Time was also spent working recreational vehicle enforcement in the area. Predator hunters were also checked. Oberg also assisted another officer with an ongoing case.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) checked a commercial fishing operation on the Minnesota River. He also spent time on angling/shelter violation enforcement and predator hunting enforcement. He also received information on deer hunting violations and illegal trapping activity.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the past week following up on investigations, as well as snowmobile and sport fishing enforcement. Beckmann also participated in a training committee meeting. Station aerations systems were inspected.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ice fishermen, as well as snowmobile and ATV activity.  Gruhlke continues to investigate and follow up on cases from the deer season.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted CO Academy candidate background investigations and several interviews. Questions were fielded regarding predator hunting. Schettler was also apprised of a vehicle going through the ice on an area lake.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked snowmobile and angling activity. Light snow brought out some snowmobile activity, including the western half of the Sakatah Trail. Grant-in-Aid trails are still in poor condition due to continued lack of snow. CO Howe spoke to a youth Snowmobile Safety class on laws and ethics.


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, ATV and snowmobile activity. Officer Ihnen also checked small game and predator hunters.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, fish houses, and snowmobilers. Trail conditions have improved with the recent snowfall, but riding activity continues to be slow.  A radar run on Cannon Lake was worked with neighboring officers coming to assist.  Enforcement action was taken on angling and fish house violations.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) found a few more snowmobiles out and about with the recent snowfall. Angling activity was monitored on area lakes. Questions from the public regarding trapping were addressed.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, small game, and angling activity during the week. Investigations continue from previous complaints regarding hunting activity. Anglers are reporting that fishing success is limited.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile, ice fishing, and coyote hunting activity. A snowmobile enforcement detail was worked with neighboring officers. A trespass complaint was received and is under investigation. Enforcement action was taken for various sport fishing violations.


WREO Julie Siems (SE) reports addressing violations for failing to comply with a restoration order. A ride along was provided for an interested CO applicant. CO Academy candidate background investigations also continue.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week enforcing angling and snowmobile laws. Time was also spent removing illegal structures from a wildlife management area. Fishing success remains low in the area. Some fishing and snowmobile violations were detected.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports coyote hunters are taking advantage of the full moon. The fish bite has slowed down. Lots of snowmobilers came out with the fresh snow. He assisted with a youth snowmobile class in Houston.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports assisting other officers throughout the state with ongoing investigations as well as checking fishing and snowmobile activity in the area. The new snow and nice weather brought folks out in force and panfish activity continues to be good in the backwaters. Sunfish, perch and crappie were all observed in the bag over the weekend.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked ice fishing and snowmobilers. The fishing has been slow while the snowmobilers report good trails. He also met with a landowner about possible trespass and illegal deer hunting.


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and snowmobiles during the week. Fishing success was mixed. He reported more sleds were out with the new snow. Heyn also worked a detail with other officers and checked on deer complaints.


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports good snowmobiling traffic over the weekend. Snowmobilers are reminded to stay on posted trails to keep the landowners happy. Coyote hunters were also out with limited success. Violations encountered were no radio permit. Winter trout fishermen had a good Sunday with some reported success.


CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers, ATV operators, and snowmobile operators. Assistance was given to District 6 over the weekend. A few snowmobile registration and angling violations were detected.


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 Don Murray (Grand Rapids) worked the trout season opener with D-6 officers over the weekend. Warmer temperatures brought lots of angling activity on area stream trout lakes but fishing seemed to be slow over all. Enforcement action was taken for license and snowmobile violations.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew a fish shelter count in Hubbard County and a wolf telemetry flight for Camp Ripley. Jensen also flew a wolf pack count flight in the Red Lake area. Flight training was given to another CO pilot.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew wolf and fisher telemetry flights.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the helicopter moose survey Saturday morning.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time on aviation and administrative training at Camp Ripley. Watercraft, ATV and Snowmobile Safety training was completed as well as Use of Force and Defensive Tactics. Training was also received on communications and dispatch systems as well as state and DNR electronic resources. Flight training was received from CO/pilot Jason Jensen in Brainerd and wolf tracking missions were flown.


NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas helped complete the moose survey in the northeast. More moose were observed, with cow/calf combinations. Stable weather enabled the completion of the rest of the plots.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


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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