Weekly Conservation Officer 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 Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for possessing dressed walleyes on the special regulations lake, for angling with extra lines, and for possession of marijuana. Snowmobilers were checked on State GIA Trails around Roseau and enforcement action was taken for failing to display registration and for not stopping before crossing a public road.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked area anglers and monitored local snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action for the week included angle with unattended lines, angle while privileges suspended, possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia, no state trail permit, excessive speed on snowmobile, and snowmobile registration violations.


CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling activity and snowmobile activity. An open trespass case was closed with a citation being issued. CO Warren gave a presentation of rules and regulations at a trapper education class in Crookston.


CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Anglers on Lake of the Woods continue to report fair fishing, but most are travelling 10+ miles out onto the lake to find good fishing. Numerous calls were handled ranging injured animals to snowmobile trail violations. CO Gorecki taught a snowmobile safety class, and assisted in locating a lost angler. Investigations and follow up were continued from past work details.


Baudette -vacant.


Blackduck #1 – vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


Warroad #1 – vacant.


Warroad #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time checking ice anglers and people spearing on local lakes and rivers. Time was also spent checking snowmobile operators. The grant-in-aid snowmobile trails have been groomed. Many operators were out taking advantage of the favorable riding conditions. Numerous snowmobile violations were encountered.


CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) continued to monitor snowmobilers, anglers, trappers and spoke to predator hunters. Plans continue for the upcoming MnUSA ride and a complaint of deer eating cattle feed was received.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and snowmobilers. He also assisted local emergency response personnel with a medical call.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked angling and snowmobile activity in the area. A background investigation for an applicant was completed. CO Vollbrecht worked a detail on Red Lake with CO Holt. Violations included angling and snowmobile violations.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week monitoring angling activity and patrolling area snowmobile trails. One day was spent working on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement activity for the week included angling with extra lines, no license in possession, snowmobile registration violations and possession of marijuana.


CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports completing a background investigation for the upcoming DNR Conservation Officer Academy. Hundreds of snowmobilers participated in a classic snowmobile ride and several enforcement contacts were made for snowmobiles that were unregistered or failed to display a valid registration, no state trail sticker and operation without the required youth safety certificate. Other area officers assisted with the event. Anglers are reporting that success has slowed.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) patrolled area snowmobile trails and anglers were checked. Angling action was moderate and the bite was somewhat slow. Trails were in good shape and numbers of riders were low. CO Peterson also continued to work on reports for on-going cases.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on the final phases of a background investigation. A few snowmobilers were talked to about not stopping before crossing roads and riding on the inside slope and shoulder of the ditch. Fishermen were checked and they reported that the bite was slow.


Moorhead – vacant.


Perham – vacant.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) along with CO Forsberg spoke at the Fergus Falls Fish & Game Club annual meeting. Richards also spoke at a MTA Junior Trappers Class in Fergus Falls. Anglers, shelters, and snowmobilers were checked with violations encountered.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked anglers and snowmobile activity throughout the week. Plautz finalized a background investigation and conducted aeration inspections on area lakes and ponds.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and fish shelters throughout the week.  Nelson attended a snowmobile safety class in Ashby and worked checking predator hunters and snowmobilers. Fishermen are reminded to put the required information on their fish shelters when left on the ice unattended.


CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and snowmobilers. Fishing pressure is decreasing with the cold weather but violation rates were high. Loud exhaust systems on snowmobiles are still encountered along the trail. One operator with loud exhaust was asked why he put the loud exhaust on his snowmobile he responded, “To make it sound cool.”  When he was asked if he thought the people that live next to the trail thought it was cool to hear the exaggerated noise he responded, “Probably not.” Proper paperwork was issued.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time investigating fishing violation complaints of extra lines and overlimits. Citations were issued for angling without a license and drug violations. Lawler participated in a work crew on Lake Osakis with several other officers. Upcoming FAS classes were arranged as well.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes, with another crappie overlimit violation handled on Lake Osakis. The area snowmobile trails are in the best shape of the season and time was spent patrolling them and working snowmobile enforcement. Varmint hunting activity was monitored, training was attended in the Metro, and a background investigation was completed.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice fishing, predator hunting and snowmobiling activity. A few of the area snowmobile trails are being groomed for the first time this year. Fishing activity has dropped off on area lakes. A complaint was received about having to obtain a permit to use radios for coyote hunting. Minnow transportation permits were issued and calls from the public were handled including questions about predator hunting, snowmobile safety, and ice fishing questions.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, snowmobilers, and ATV operators this past week. Fishing success in the area has slowed, and snow conditions are still not ideal for grooming snowmobile trails. Other enforcement activity for the week included working the Elbow Lake station with CO Nelson, and attending a water appropriation stakeholder meeting in Belgrade. Time was also spent checking fish houses for proper ID and meeting with volunteer firearms safety instructors to set the next class date. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, unmarked fish houses, and fail to display valid registration.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) spent the week working on a background investigation of a Conservation Officer candidate.


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked snowmobilers and fishermen during the week. She also worked at a fishing tournament held on Fish Hook Lake near Park Rapids. Cold weather has kept a lot of snowmobilers off the trails.


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He also received a complaint regarding snowmobile trespass.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers and snowmobile operators during the week. Angling success was limited to mostly small perch with few walleye seen. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended lines, spearing without a license, fish house license and marking violations, and snowmobile violations.


CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports that lake access has improved, and he is starting to see some trucks on area lakes; however, there are still small pockets of slush, so caution is advised. Officer Francis primarily monitored fishing and snowmobile activity and continued investigation into ongoing deer hunting violations during the week. Enforcement action was taken for over 200 feet from tip-ups, shelter marking violations, and no license in possession.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on snowmobiling and ice angling activity, which continued to be slow. Slush continues to limit travel on several lakes. Snowmobile trails are in fair condition but could use some fresh snow. CO Broughten also fielded calls concerning use of state lands and license questions.


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and snowmobilers in the area. He also fielded complaints of trespassing on open agricultural fields by snowmobile operators. Riders are advised to please stay on the trail. Enforcement contacts were made for expired registration.


CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) checked fishing activity and fish house identification on area lakes. She also spent time monitoring state and GIA trails for trail sticker compliance, noting that trail conditions were great.


CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) continued to update WCA and APM files. He met with county SWCD personnel to discuss current wetland issues. Officer Siltala also spent time checking angling activity on area lakes and discussing AIS laws.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobile activity in the area increasing and the ice fishing on Rainy Lake slowing with little success. A snowmobile safety class was attended in Littlefork. Enforcement action for the week involved excessive snowmobile speed.


CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the cold weather continues and not much outdoor activity going on. A few snowmobiles were observed, however the operators said that they were not putting many miles on due the cold. There is some local concern about the health of the deer herd due to the extreme cold and deep snow.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked snowmobiles, a complaint of fish house litter, continued follow up on several snowmobile violations committed by one snowmobiler, and on snowmobile and equipment maintenance.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) investigated reports of dogs chasing deer. Dog owners are reminded that it is a dog’s natural instinct to chase and dog owners are responsible for their dog’s actions if their pets are seen chasing or killing deer. Area snowmobile trails are in excellent condition. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile on the shoulder of the roadway. When CO Frericks stopped the snowmobiler he asked him why he was riding on the shoulder when a grant-in-aid trail was about 50 yards away. The snowmobiler replied that the trail was usually very rough. Having ridden the trail earlier in the day CO Frericks knew it was a great shape. A citation was issued.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time on area snowmobile trails checking for registration compliance and state trail speed enforcement. One individual stated he wasn’t watching his speed because he was busy reading the signs along the trail that said – speed kills. An individual was contacted whose sled was sitting on a trail broke down for the last two weeks. Fishing activity was checked with few people out and few fish being caught.


Ray – vacant.


I. Falls # 2 – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling and snowmobiling activity was down this past weekend in spite of the warmer weather and a decent trout bite on Burntside Lake. Officer Williams responded to a call from an Ely resident who reported that she had a wolf living in her garage. When he arrived no animal was found but there was evidence of a canine being in the garage but the species could not be identified. Violations included angle without license in possession, fail to display shelter ID, and operating an unregistered snowmobile.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen and snowmobiles throughout the week and found little activity with the cold temperatures. Snowmobile registrations continue to be an issue and people are reminded to follow the law concerning sticker and number placement on snowmobiles to avoid special attention from law enforcement. Slow down on the trails, there are families with young children out there trying to use the trails as well.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the designated trout lakes gave up some nice fish during the week. The CO saw some nice splake and rainbows. The nice weather brought out lots of anglers over the weekend and the snowmobile trails were also busy. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and fishing violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked cross country ski passes on state funded ski trails. The officer also patrolled lakes checking anglers and houses, as well as snowmobile trails, checking registrations and trail permits. Snowmobile riders are reminded that trail permits are required on all out-of-state sleds and any sled with registration expiring in 2014.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports teaching a snowmobile law class to officers from local law enforcement agencies. Thanks for the cooperation amongst agencies. A career class presentation was given to Vermillion Community College law enforcement students along with CO Williams. Administrative items and work planning were also attended to.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended tactical medicine/ response to active shooter training in Chaska. The officer checked anglers on area lakes and snowmobilers along the state trail. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.


Silver Bay – vacant.


Two Harbors – vacant.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Enforcement action taken for failure to display valid snowmobile registration and speeding.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled for snowmobile and angling activity. He also assisted with a big game investigation. Violations of snowmobiles operating on the roadway and fail to display registration were encountered.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers this past week and working snowmobile enforcement on local trails. She also did two radio interviews. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) continued ice angling work throughout the week with limited success had by anglers. CO Sutherland worked snowmobiling activity with the local trails looking great. CO Sutherland took action for snowmobiling it a closed area.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers, ski and snowmobile trails. He also taught about Minnesota wildlife in four preschool classes during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working snowmobile and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile in excess of posted speed and failing to display registration. Wichmann followed up with a big game investigation from the deer season that resulted in violations and seized firearms.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV Officer) finished up a trapping complaint this past week and took several phone calls relating to the case. CO Velsvaag also assisted with multiple stranded and stuck vehicles, and also received calls on coyotes with mange.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, dark house spearers and respective bait on infested and on other areas waters. Angling and spearing success slowed with the cold fronts moving through the area. Some crappie angling success was observed. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order. Rental fish shelter license issues were investigated.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent a lot of time on his snowmobile during the past week checking anglers and snowmobilers. Time was also spent working on a few reports and preparing for some upcoming court cases. A talk was given to nearly 60 youngsters who showed up for a class to receive their snowmobile safety certificate. A few calls were taken about the concern for local deer that appeared to be injured or suffering due to the extreme winter.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week completing a pre-employment background investigation for a possible new hire Conservation Officer. Field work consisted of checking winter fishing, snowmobile activity, and answering calls from the public.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working ice angling and snowmobile activity throughout the week. Unlawful speed and operation complaint areas continued to be worked.  Anglers were reporting a much slower bite during the week. One angler spent hours fishing for his eye glasses from the bottom of the lake with the aid of his underwater camera. A trapping complaint involving a domestic animal was investigated. CO Humphrey assisted Jay Cooke Park staff with persons skiing on designated trails without passes and pets on the trails. Angling, skiing, and snowmobile violations were encountered.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked snowmobile and fishing activity in the area. Fishing success remains slow in the area. Snowmobile trails are in good shape. Enforcement action was taken for speed, angle without license in possession and registration violations. A talk was given to a snowmobile safety class in Barnum. An investigation into illegally set snares in the area is ongoing where several snares were seized. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.


WREO Mike Scott completed a background investigation on a person who has applied for a position with DNR Enforcement. A visit with Beltrami County was conducted to learn more about their records management systems.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Fish Lake and island and worked DWI on snowmobilers over the weekend. Commercial records were reviewed.


CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on some of the frozen bays of Lake Superior. Salmon, whitefish, and a few pike are turning up in the bag. Cold temps have allowed much of the lake to freeze over, but wind continues to break up the ice on the main lake. Snowmobiles were worked on area trails, and calls of injured and car-killed deer were handled. Enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.


CO Troy TerMeer (Marine Unit) last week worked snowmobile, angling and off-highway motorcycle enforcement. He also worked on reports, evidence, and court preparation.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ice angling, cross country skiing, fat tire biking, patrolled snowmobile trails in the Brainerd area, and answered informational calls.


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) spoke to anglers on the Whitefish Chain that were reporting slow activity, but dark house spearing was doing well. Officer Lee received two calls this past week of deer coming into yards and dying. In the one incident it appeared that the deer had literally run itself to death from being chased by wolfs or dogs. The other incident was a deer that had been struck by a car at an earlier date and had now succumbed to its injuries. Officer Lee patrolled the Crosslake area during the Winter Fest Activities. The warmer weather brought the people out. Enforcement action was taken for speed, expired snowmobile registration, and operating a snowmobile in an unsafe manner. Officer Lee also completed a background investigation on a possible cadet for the upcoming Conservation Officer Academy.


CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen, spear fishermen and snowmobilers during the week. Time was also spent working on cases from the firearms deer season.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) completed his background assignment and worked snowmobile and trail enforcement. Officer Guida took enforcement action on snowmobiles displaying 2014 without state trail permits and worked to address speeding violations. Landowners continue to complain about sleds trespassing across private property. An individual was cited for obstruction of trail after intentionally placing a large amount of snow on the trail after groomers had completed trail grooming.


McGregor – vacant.


Pine River – vacant.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) traveled to Ely to assist CO Williams with snowmobile and fishing enforcement. Ely area lakes were checked; anglers had some luck with lake trout and rainbow trout. Snowmobile activity was monitored and violations were low. Enforcement action was taken for an ice house without proper identification and lack of safety reflectors on the house.


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) completed the background investigation on a potential new hire and submitted the report for approval. She also responded to a report of a car hit and critically injured wolf near Willow River. The individual reporting it stated he appeared to have head trauma and was walking into trees. Upon arrival, she was able to observe the same behavior, as well as severe injury to the animal. The animal was dispatched. Officer

Speldrich also picked up an incidental fisher seized from a local trapper who caught the animal in a snare. She responded to questions regarding ice conditions, snow depths and angling license issues. She patrolled snowmobile trails, checked the few anglers that were out and issued car kill deer possession permits.


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity which remained slow except for isolated buckets of crappies and tullibee. Snowmobile trails are in good shape bringing out riders without proper training and unregistered sleds. Verkuilen also worked checked some rabbit hunters.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) patrolled areas in Pine and Kanabec counties during the week.  He checked anglers, worked a snowmobile trespass complaint, and monitored snowmobile traffic on trails between Hinckley and Pine City. Snow is still an issue on area lakes in many locations. CO Wynn answered questions regarding spear houses, ice shelter identification, and injured animals. Enforcement contacts included registration issues, lack of snowmobile safety, and operating after dark without lights.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen throughout the week on Mille Lacs Lake. Most fishermen reported a sluggish bite and a few perch, northern pike and eelpout were seen. With some fairly new snow and great trail conditions lots of snowmobilers were seen out enjoying the trails. The Officer gave a law presentation to a Snowmobile Safety Class at the Isle Driftskippers Snowmobile Club. Calls regarding possible abandoned fish houses and lots of fishing, snowmobiling and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week. The Officer took care of an injured deer call and also issued a car kill permit for the deer and also investigated a call of an injured eagle. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license in possession, no fishing license, and angle with extra lines.


Onamia – vacant.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and snowmobilers. Thesing talked at the St. Martin Snowmobile Safety class and gave a talk at St. Johns University. A work crew was worked on Lake Osakis resulting in citations for over limit, extra line, unattended line and drug and alcohol violations.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted a minnow dealer inspection and reported to DNR Enforcement Management the issues and problems that surfaced during that inspection. CO Kuske reviewed some Academy curriculum for two new prospective instructors. CO Kuske assisted D11 officers patrol lakes for fishing activity and inspection of shelter houses.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies also gave a law talk at the Eden Valley snowmobile class. CO Mies checked ATVs and sleds in Stearns and Wright counties.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) received a complaint of a safety concern of someone feeding deer causing deer being hit on the roadway. While checking fishing licenses on an area lake one female was found to not have her fishing license with her. She had told her fishing partner that she forgot her license when they had come out but figured she would be fine as she had never been checked by an officer in her life. Later that day CO Kuske checked a snowmobiler that had no registration displayed. It was a brand new machine and the snowmobiler only had six miles on it when stopped by CO Kuske and asked what where the odds of being checked that soon? The next snowmobile checked on the trail stopped and the first thing they said to CO Kuske was, “I’ll take the ticket for the aftermarket exhaust I have.”


WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting aquaculture inspections, testifying at a deer season related court trial, participating at a groundwater sustainability meeting, and answering AIS law questions at the Minneapolis Boat Show. Time was also spent investigating over limit complaints and checking anglers. Enforcement was taken for extra lines and snowmobile operation violations.


CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked angling and snowmobiling activities. Far more people were out enjoying the less frigid weather over the weekend. An illegal dumping complaint was handled. Background investigations were wrapped up.


CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) worked on a background investigation and prepared for upcoming annual in-service training as well during the past week.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Violations were found for unmarked ice shelters, no state trail sticker, and operating snowmobiles in a WMA. Follow up was done on a big game case.


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He took enforcement action on a number of snowmobiling violations. He followed up on a big game TIP report investigation is ongoing. He assisted with a number of injured swans.


CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spoke at snowmobile safety classes, had a ride along, checked anglers/fishing contests, worked snowmobile enforcement, and followed up on a litter violation. Officer Londgren also took complaints of injured animals, requests for collector snowmobile permits, and followed up on trespass complaints.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several reports of injured Trumpeter Swans. These were handled with the help of volunteers getting them to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in St. Paul. CO Reller also checked anglers and snowmobilers in the Wright County area. Enforcement action was taken on two arrest warrants, angling with extra lines and numerous snowmobile violations.


Cambridge – vacant.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on the Minnesota River and Crow River who were having very good success on walleye. Snowmobile trails were patrolled all week checking for off trail trespassing. Fish houses were documented for litter, no identification or reflectors displayed.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled for angling activity in the northwestern part of Hennepin County. Fishing seems to have been slow in recent weeks. Lots of snowmobiles were seen Thursday with the fresh snowfall.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobilers. CO Grewe finished investigating a trespassing complaint and followed up with other calls received throughout the week. Violations included no snowmobile safety certificate and license issues.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) gave presentations to youth snowmobile safety and firearms safety classes. He did snowmobile enforcement in Dakota and Scott counties. CO Neitzke checked ice fishermen and patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park. He also did aerator inspections in Dakota County.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked mainly ice fishermen and snowmobilers throughout the week. He patrolled state parks and state trails in the metro area and answered questions on small game hunting season. He returned many phone calls on firearms safety classes and information on state parks.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the West Metro district for snowmobile and fishing activities. He returned calls for a ride along request, injured animals, and questions on regulations. He worked with the USDA personnel on deer population control in Edina and distributed the harvested deer to a local non-profit organization.


Bloomington – vacant.


Prior Lake – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking snowmobiles, ATVs, and anglers. CO Arntzen responded to an injured deer call and patrolled the WMAs in the area for recreational vehicle use. He also spoke to a firearms safety class in Forest Lake and answered calls about fishing and snowmobiling. Violations included angling with extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing license in possession, speeding and registration violations.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) finished a background investigation for a CO applicant. She assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County and did aeration system inspections on area lakes. CO Kruse worked fishing and snowmobile enforcement and is working on a trapping case.


CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for snowmobile and angling activity. Snowmobilers are enjoying excellent trail conditions in Dakota County. CO McGowan also continued to work on big game cases from this fall. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed, registration issues, trespass, angle with extra lines, and unattended lines.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked snowmobiling activity on trails and Scott County lakes throughout the week. He continued checking anglers on area lakes and checked ATVs. CO Pril also responded to injured animal among other calls.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) assisted with a public meeting held in St. Paul. WREO Block also spent time working the invasive species booth at the Boat Show which was held in Minneapolis. The most frequently asked question pertained to the movement of water related equipment.


CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. He towed a vehicle that was stuck and abandoned at Carlos Avery WMA. CO Johnson received calls on nuisance turkeys and coyotes.


CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports she investigated a trespass complaint, worked a security detail at the River Center and checked anglers on area lakes. The new snowfall brought out several snowmobilers. CO Peterson patrolled area trails and worked with a neighboring officer on a complaint of snowmobiles entering a WMA. She also received a call of an injured swan in Bayport. With the assistance of a local officer she was able to contain the swan and transport it to the wildlife rehabilitation center.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice fishing, snowmobiling, and predator hunting activity during the week. A trespassing complaint involving predator hunters was taken.  Predator hunters are reminded that using a motor vehicle to intentionally drive, chase, run over, kill, or take a wild animal is illegal. An investigation involving a deer that was shot and left in a field east of Ortonville was investigated. A snowmobile safety class was taught in Madison.


CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) checked coyote hunters and ice fishermen throughout the week. Snowmobile trails in the area remain in poor condition due to lack of snow. Background investigations on CO applicants were concluded.


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 snowmobile trails.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked an AIS booth at the Minneapolis Boat Show. Officer Hanson checked on Possible PW violations on area lakes. AIS information was issued and ice fishermen were checked. Work was also completed on a WCA complaint.


Benson – vacant.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) assisted a warden from another state on an investigation. He spoke at a local Pheasants Forever meeting and attended a meeting with area volunteer safety instructors. Denz also checked ice anglers, fish houses and snowmobilers.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked snowmobilers at Fort Ridgley State Park. Ice anglers and ATV riders were also checked during the week. She responded to a snowmobile on fire on a lake near Hutchinson. Mueller also attended training with other officers in Chaska.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued working snowmobile enforcement in the area.  Oberg also attended first responder law enforcement training. The training was put on by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center with an emphasis on tactical medicine.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked a local fishing tournament. He received training for a safety committee position. Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, predator hunting and snowmobile enforcement.


CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week working ice anglers. The fish bite in the area continues to be extremely slow. Snowmobile trails in the area are fair with a moderate amount of activity.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ice fishermen, snowmobiles, small game and ATVs. He also patrolled through Kilen Woods State Park. Gruhlke worked a snowmobile project on the Des Moines River between Jackson and Windom with another officer concentrating on speed and registration enforcement. Some fishermen were checked and activity is slow.


CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) monitored angling and shelter/fish house activity. Aerations systems were inspected. Snowmobile activity has increased. Schettler also checked predator hunting activity.


Litchfield – vacant.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) last week checked angling and snowmobile activity in the area. Work continued on a CO Academy applicant background investigation.  Howe also completed aeration system inspections and a ginseng inspection.


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


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Trail conditions have improved with the recent snowfall and more riders are out on the trails.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked area lakes and found plenty of activity this past week. Ice anglers are starting to find more fish. The recent snow allowed the officer to patrol the trail system on snowmobile.


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, small game, and angling activity during the week. Davis also responded to calls from the public and attended a firearms safety training class.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and ice fishing activity. A few nuisance wildlife complaints were resolved, as well as a TIP call.


WREO Julie Siems (SE) finished a CO applicant background investigation and checked angling and snowmobiling activity. Information on aquatic invasive species (AIS) was provided at a sporting show.


Albert Lea – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and snowmobiles during the week. Heyn also attended a meeting with the Great River Ridge Trail group to discuss the use by unauthorized motor vehicles.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent time this past week checking fishing and snowmobile activity. The ice fishing in the area continues to be slow and the trails are in good shape with the recent snow. Time was also spent working on plans for an upcoming appreciation banquet.


CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and snowmobile operators. The trails have been groomed and there was a lot of snowmobile traffic. Enforcement action for the week included not displaying current snowmobile registration and possessing trout without a trout stamp.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working on fish and snowmobile enforcement. Additionally he closed out some more investigations from this fall. Area trails are in pretty good shape after the mid-week snowfall and the fishermen are finding some fish on the big river. Crappie, sauger, walleye, perch and sunfish were all found in the buckets.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports walleye and sauger bite is picking up. All other fish are still a bit slow. The cold and windy weather has kept fishermen off the ice. All local snowmobile trails are in excellent condition. He attended a regional meeting with all volunteer youth safety instructors. Coyote numbers seem to be down. Hunters are not having the usual success.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports fishing continues to be slow while snowmobile trails are in good shape. He did check limits of walleye on main channel of river. He spent time trying to locate people on fishing shelter violations. He also attended a natural resources class at a local high school and a fishing day that was put on by the USFWS.


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) flew marten, bear, and fisheries surveys during the week. Murray also worked angling activity on remote lakes and snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for various license violations and failure to stop at road crossings.

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew wolf telemetry surveys.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time on aviation training at Brainerd and Camp Ripley. A meeting for the upcoming moose capture was attended in Grand Rapids and flight training was received from CO Pilot Jason Jensen in Brainerd. Wolf and marten tracking missions were flown.

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas began helicopter deer surveys in the southeast. He completed Permit Area 346, and got a start on PA 349. Snow conditions are good with minimal melting on the south slopes for visibility. Deer numbers in PA346 were steady in the 15+average per plot.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the Lancaster elk survey in northwest Minnesota Saturday. The Grygla elk survey was started and we hope to finish up early in the week. We also saw at least five moose that have survived in this part of the state.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying two wolf pack count flights and two fisher/marten telemetry flights. A moose capture project meeting was attended in Grand Rapids. Flight training continues for a new CO pilot. Flights for scouting moose locations were flown in northeast Minnesota and aircraft were positioned to start moose captures.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov 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 www.mndnr.gov.


Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  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 www.mndnr.gov.  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 scheduling Firearms and ATV Safety Instructor certification training. He also reviewed and assisted with updating Use of Force lesson plans. Saturday he facilitated an instructor meeting /forum in Spicer. There were 27 instructors in attendance at the Spicer meeting.


SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez received several inquiries on the upcoming instructor forums. RTO Gutierrez is beginning to schedule FAS Field Days for the online classes. The RTO is also planning for several upcoming instructor clinics.


East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted regional training officer Owen’s with a meeting forum for volunteer safety instructors at Century College in White Bear Lake. The forum was well attended and good feedback was given by instructors. RTO Lawrence worked on updating handouts for instructor training and completed end of the month required reports and expenses. RTO Lawrence worked on scheduling and logistics of upcoming instructor training calendars and future Expo/sport shows.


Southern RTO Dan McBroom last week conducted an instructor meeting in Winona and taught instructor classes for HEFAS, ATV, and Snowmobile in Blooming Prairie. Time was also spent working on equipment for upcoming HEFAS field days and upcoming instructor meetings.


Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted in leading a volunteer instructor forum at Century College in White Bear Lake. He worked on final components of a background investigation. Owens also spent time on work planning, and answered calls and emails.


NW RTO Jon Paurus completed a volunteer instructor certification class in Thief River Falls for new snowmobile safety instructors. An instructor forum was held in Detroit Lakes with 25 volunteer instructors from the area attending. The discussion was mainly centered on safety protocols and updates to the programs. Technology and its effects on instructors and students were also heavily discussed.


NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on Forum PowerPoint items. Patten worked on YouTube clips. Patten reviewed Snowmobile CD updates. Patten prepped for upcoming sports show venue in Duluth. Patten worked with new a snowmobile instructor group in Ely to launch their first class.



Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens       763-753-1887  leland.owens@state.mn.us

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184  bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032  daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us

NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000  jon.paurus@state.mn.us

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773   alex.gutierrez@state.mn.us


Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant


Education Specialist:  Vacant


Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant


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