FROM THE DNR: 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

 

CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT

02-17-2014

 

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) attended a meeting in Thief River Falls for an annual safety camp. Anglers were checked on the Red Lake River, Thief River, and Lake of the Woods. Anglers reported a slow to fair bite. CO Warren worked a fishing tournament on Lake of the Woods with CO Gorecki. Snowmobile trails were worked.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored snowmobile trail activity and checked anglers on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Information from this past deer season was investigated; a search warrant was executed and charges are pending. Time was spent investigating a complaint of timber trespass with enforcement action taken. Assistance was given to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office on a felon in possession of a firearm case.

 

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Anglers on Lake of the Woods are reporting slow fishing success in most areas.  Numerous calls were handled ranging from fishing complaints to wolf depredation calls.  Training was attended and a local fishing derby was worked. Enforcement action 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 speaking at a snowmobile safety class in Ada. Time was also spent working predator hunting complaint areas. Anglers and snowmobile operators were also checked.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and patrolled area snowmobile trails.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting a fair bite with panfish activity increasing. Snowmobile trails are in excellent condition and they were patrolled throughout the week. CO Vollbrecht attended a safety instructor forum held at Bemidji High School.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling and trapping activity throughout the week. CO Holt also assisted CO Regas with an investigation regarding deer hunting violations from the previous season. Time was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails. Enforcement activity included improperly marked ice houses and no ice shelter tags.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports conducting game farm inspections, answering calls of dogs chasing deer and dispatching car injured deer. CO Vinton patrolled area snowmobile trails and contacted anglers. His assistance was requested by the Otter Tail Co Sheriff’s Office when a snowmobile was found through the ice on the Leaf River. COs Vinton and Oldakowski were able to retrieve the registration and VIN numbers but were unsuccessful in towing the snowmobile out. The information was given to the sheriff’s deputy who is investigating the matter. Evidence suggested no one was injured or missing.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and snowmobilers.

Snowmobile activity increased over the weekend with better weather. Many fishermen are starting to pull their houses off lakes. Time was also spent checking predator hunters, investigating complaints of snowmobiles harassing wildlife and following up on a wanton waste case. Assistance was given to the Norman County Sheriff’s Department with an investigation into a complaint of two snowmobilers chasing, driving over and killing a deer. A search warrant was executed and the deer and snowmobiles were seized.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS trainings and upcoming meetings. Time was spent checking fishing activity and snowmobile activity in the Detroit Lakes area. Patrol was done for complaints of snowmobiles chasing wildlife. WREO Stattelman also spent time at the area DNR office networking with the other DNR divisions and staff.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) worked snowmobilers, fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Snowmobiling activity increased due to warmer weather. Fish shelters continue to leave the lakes as conditions for lake travel are difficult. Enforcement action was taken for no fish shelter ID and snowmobile registration issues. DNR equipment inventory was completed as well.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement activity on fishing and snowmobiling throughout the week. Fish houses are disappearing from area lakes rapidly as the end of walleye and northern season draws near. Snowmobilers operating on grant in aid trails are reminded they need state trail stickers.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Snowmobiling activity has been slow due to cold weather and several questions have been handled regarding the fishing license expiration date. Time was spent meeting with local members of a sportsmen’s club.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and snowmobilers. Trail conditions are decent in the Douglas County area. Station equipment inventory was completed. Complaints of predator hunters chasing down coyotes with snowmobiles was received and investigated.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy snowmobiling activity all throughout Douglas County. Trails are seeing the highest activity of the season. Complaints of snowmobile trespass and damage to property were handled as a result of a few reckless riders. Panfish continues to be good with several anglers out. Upcoming FAS classes were arranged in addition to attending a volunteer instructor forum at Alex Tech College.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice fishing, snowmobiling and predator hunting. Fishing activity has dropped with the cold weather and snow conditions. A few panfish fish are still being caught. Anderson worked predator hunting and fishing activity in the vacant Wheaton station. A complaint of snowmobilers riding in a WMA was received.  DVS training and a DNR annual inventory were completed as well. Calls were fielded regarding predator hunting, snowmobile safety questions and ice fishing questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, predator hunters, raccoon hunters, and snowmobile operators. Time was also spent investigating a complaint of illegally possessed car killed deer. COs Baumbarger and Anderson worked in the Morris station Friday evening, where a number of fishing violations were detected. Enforcement action was taken for possessing car kill deer without a permit, fishing with extra lines, fishing with unattended lines, fishing without a license in possession, and youth under age 18 riding a snowmobile without helmet.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) processed evidence, completed reports, and conferred with prosecuting attorneys on active cases. He also checked ice anglers and shelters, as well as some remote lakes and snowmobile trails. Enforcement activity included snowmobile and ATV registration violations and ice shelter violations.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) monitored snowmobile and angling activity in the area. She assisted in preparation for the upcoming snowmobile race scheduled for next weekend.  Reminder: fish houses need to be off the ice no later than midnight on March 3 for lakes south of Highway 34 and March 17 on lakes north of Highway 34.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He also assisted the Longville Conservation Officer with a person illegally possessing a deer.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers and snowmobile activity in the area.  He also assisted with the riding portion of a snowmobile safety class and took calls of accidentally caught bobcat and concerns of bear waking to early from winter sleep.  Enforcement action was taken for untagged trap, failure to tend traps, failure to report accidental bobcat catch, angling without a license, using game fish as bait, unattended line, angling with an extra line, and snowmobile speed.

 

CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports ice fishing continues, but action was very slow during the week. Blowing and drifting snow hampered travel. He noted that snowmobiling activity continued and the arrival of new snow improved trail conditions. Officer Francis also assisted with the classroom and ride day of the Northland School snowmobile safety class.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on snowmobiling and ice angling activity. Ice angling success continued to be slow. He observed several snowmobilers hitting the trails as weather conditions improved. CO Broughten also assisted with snowmobile safety at Northland Elementary and assisted a motorist after he slid into the ditch.  Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession, failure to stop snowmobile for road crossing, failure to display snowmobile registration, possession of small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and snowmobilers in the area and handled complaints of vehicles on state trails. He received complaints on turkeys dying, possibly due to lack of food. Officer Halverson also gave a talk to natural resource law enforcement students at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

 

CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) checked fishing activity and fish house identification on area lakes. Trail conditions are in good condition and she spent time checking snowmobile registration and trail sticker compliance on State and Grant-In-Aid trails. Enforcement action was taken for no shelter identification/registration, snowmobile trail stickers/registration, no license in possession, and angling with extra lines.

 

CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) assisted with a commercial minnow dealer training seminar to certify harvesters for work in infested waters. He closed out a wetland case involving illegal ditching due to satisfactory restoration. Officer Siltala also monitored local fishing activity and noted many snowmobilers were taking advantage of the milder climate to enjoy the local trails.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobile activity picking up with warmer weather, trail conditions are good, but deteriorating towards end of long weekend.  People are reminded to slow down and drive within your experience and abilities. CO responded to snowmobile accident which involved individual striking tree and breaking arm, it could have been much worse. Several animal complaints were handled over weekend also.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports patrolling area snowmobile trails and meeting with the Cook Timber Wolves Snowmobile Club president. The trails remain in very good shape. Not much ice fishing activity happening.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement, a fish house removal litter case, prepared evidence and a case report for the county attorney’s office on an upcoming big game trial, and assisted CO Frericks with a decorative tree cutting case and warrant arrest. Enforcement action was taken on a fish house violation and a number of snowmobile violations.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

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District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that trail conditions went from fair to good just in time for the busy President’s Day weekend with the arrival of more snow over several days. The annual Vermilion Community College fishing tournament had good weather and ice conditions and was well attended by people from all over the state. Violations included angling with no license in possession, operating an ATV on a state snowmobile trail, and driving after revocation.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobilers and fishermen. There is a lot of snow out there. Trout fishermen are doing well, but there isn’t that much activity on the lakes compared to other years. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion as to where the registration stickers are to be placed on a snowmobile. There is a picture in the snowmobile laws synopsis that shows how to place them.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that this winter is shaping up to be a very quiet one. After starting out slow, the lake trout are starting to cooperate with anglers and the designated trout lakes continue to produce. The CO completed administrative tasks during the week along with checking anglers in remote areas.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked area lakes and found anglers and fish to be scarce. Snowmobilers were checked on GIA trails and compliance was generally good. Trails in Cook County can be quite narrow and sledders are reminded to stay to the right side, especially on blind curves. The officer lent a shovel to one sled rider who took a corner a bit wide and dropped into the powder and narrowly missed a tree.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a busy week of angling and snowmobile enforcement. Lake of the Woods, trout lakes in the vacant Silver Bay station, Lake Vermilion, and station lakes were all worked. Enforcement action included angling without a license, unattended lines, no license in possession, snowmobile registration issues, snowmobile speed, and several instances of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  In addition, a felony drug possession arrest was made. Ely PD assisted by providing the transport to jail.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile activity in the Two Harbors station. Recent snowfalls have put most area trails in excellent shape for skiing and snowmobiling.

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked fuel wood permits, and worked on items for the upcoming bear committee meeting. Enforcement action taken for failure to display snowmobile registration and failure to stop at a road crossing.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, small game, and snowmobile activities. V Violations included no license in possession, operate snowmobile on county roadway, fail to stop at stop sign, and fail to display registration. Also, a violation of illegal possession of big game animal parts is being prosecuted. People are reminded they cannot possess wild animals unless they have proof they are possessing them legally.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling activity on local trails and lakes this past week. Many people were out enjoying themselves and she reports no violations were observed. She also did an interview on a local radio station and took a report of a mountain lion sighting.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobile activity with many groups from out of the area enjoying our plentiful snow. Enforcement action was taken for speeding, failing to display valid registration and for operating down the side of a county road. CO Sutherland also worked angling activity in the area. Snow levels are starting to effect the access to some area lakes.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, state trails and trappers. He also worked on equipment items and required training during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working snowmobile and fishing  activity. Wichmann investigated a TIP call about subjects operating snowmobiles in a closed area and he had snowmobile training at Camp Ripley during the week.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) continued to work on a complaint in the Eveleth district. CO Velsvaag also worked on Lake Vermillion on snowmobile and received several calls about illegal ATV use by inimical drivers.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked anglers, dark house spearers, and local snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations. Anglers continue to do well on perch and panfish. Hardy spearers have removed 36 inch deep ice chunks to continue dark house spearing efforts. CO Arhart worked the sports show Aquatic Invasive Species booth in Duluth. Nuisance animal complaints were investigated and Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders were also tracked. Calls concerning deer feeding were received.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported a few anglers were checked throughout the week with very few fish being caught. Time was spent answering questions at the Boat and Deer show in Duluth. Time was also spent preparing for a few court cases coming up in the next few weeks.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a couple days working with a new hire Conservation Officer with field training tasks. Several days were spent working at the Duluth Boat show staffing the TIP booth and assisting with the DNR LaserShot booth. Officer Duncan also spent some time working in the office on computer related tasks. Some snowmobile at ATV complaints were also fielded that will require continued follow-up.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working ice angling and snowmobile activity throughout the week. CO Humphrey received several calls/complaints of injured animals, snowmobile collector permits, unlawful snowmobile operation and fish house removal dates.  CO Humphrey assisted other Officers working the TIP Wall of Shame at the Duluth Deer Expo and Boat show in Duluth. CO Humphrey completed required Departmental/Divisional online training. Angling and snowmobile violations were encountered during the week

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working the TIP wall at the Duluth Sports Show.  Fishing and snowmobile activity were worked this past week. Fishing remains slow in the area and snowmobile trails are still in great condition in the area. Enforcement action was taken for speed, registration, and fish house violations. A few areas are still reporting snowmobiles trespassing on agricultural property. Extra time was spent working on a case of an illegally taken bear from this past fall and is still under investigation. Extra ski pass enforcement was done at area state parks. Compliance was good although complaints of skiers without passes continue to come in.

 

WREO Mike Scott (NE) staffed an AIS booth at the Duluth Sports Show with the Minnesota Sea Grant Folks discussing AIS issues with sports show participants. Many questions were answered reference AIS issues as well as general DNR questions and the new upcoming Deer feeding decision. Information about people using wetlands on their property for mud truck runs and events was discussed and a larger meeting for a local township reference the use of the wetlands and wetland impacts is set for an upcoming meeting next month to discuss how to resolve the mud truck concerns and other wetland impacts as the township moves forward with cleaning up some property sites.

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Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) along with fellow District 8 officers manned the Wall of Shame display at the Duluth Boat and camping show. The event was well attended. Officers fielded numerous questions covering a wide range of topics. Olson also checked snowmobile activities in the Duluth area.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on the frozen Lake Superior shore. A few whitefish, herring, loopers and salmon are showing up when the weather cooperates. Inland ice anglers and snowmobiles were checked, with some violations found for registration and safety training. A reminder than anyone born after 12/31/1976 must complete Snowmobile Safety Training before they can legally operate a sled. Enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

 

Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week at training.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) monitored snowmobile and angling activity. Calls of trespassing have increased with area snowmobile trails deteriorating. An antique snowmobile permit was issued and a youngster who had just turned 12 completed his online certification and is now ready and legally able to ride.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing, snowmobile, and cross country ski activity, with enforcement contacts made for miscellaneous snowmobile violations and no ski passes. Ice anglers are reminded that the season for walleye and northern pike closes Sunday, Feb. 23, at midnight. The fish house removal deadline for lakes in this area is midnight, March 3.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on a litter complaint from ice anglers. The report was of litter left behind after a portable fish house was removed. Litter included human waste, cigarette butts and cans. He checked anglers who report a slow bite; the pan fish anglers have had the best luck. Fish house burglaries on area lakes continue. He checked snowmobiles on the trails and on the lakes. Some of the violations he observed were speed, expired registration and failure to stop at stop signs. He assisted the local Sheriff’s Dept. with snowmobile speed complaint on area lakes. Pillsbury Forest received some enforcement time a complaint of dumping a deer carcass was investigated.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked spear fishermen, anglers and snowmobilers during the week. The officer came upon one snowmobiler who had just met up with some black spruce trees on a corner in the trail. The operator said speed probably contributed to his situation.  Litter was also addressed when an angler happened to drop his drug paraphernalia down his ice hole. The officer also assisted the Sheriff’s Department with a logging accident.

 

McGregor – vacant.

 

Pine River – vacant.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports patrolling the areas snowmobile trails throughout the week and weekend. Lots of sleds were out enjoying the nice weather and freshly groomed trails. Fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake were checked during the week and the Officer found that a few fishermen had some perch and a few walleyes were being caught. A call of a wolf issue and a snowmobile complaint were fielded. Lots of snowmobile, fishing, and ATV law questions were answered throughout the week. Several collector snowmobile permits were issued to parties for upcoming vintage sled runs. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and snowmobiling violations.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) worked from snowmobile in the Mora station. Several anglers were checked on area lakes; the bite was spotty. Mille Lacs Lake anglers were checked throughout the week as well. An Upper Red Lake work detail was attended by the Officer. Anglers had some success with walleye. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended lines, unmeasurable fish on the ice, possession of fish fillets on the lake that was not being immediately consumed and dumping of fish carcasses into the lake.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked snowmobiling activity. Conservation Officers Le, Grewe and Kruse worked a snowmobile detail in the area. Violations encountered included failure to display registration and operating an ATV on a Grant-in-Aid trail. Trails remain in perfect condition. Speldrich met with the Assistant Wildlife Manger to discuss signing of the newly classified areas with limitation in the General Andrew’s State Forest and the Nemadji. These areas will be designated non-motorized and the hunter exemption WILL NOT apply.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled area snowmobile trails and lakes. Warmer weather brought out an increase in angling pressure. Many folks had luck finding bluegill and crappie around the area. Snowmobile trails were in excellent condition and riders from all over the state were found riding area trails.

 

WREO Rob Haberman patrolled local snowmobile trails over the week. Trail conditions are good, but can be icy in low snow areas especially on corners. WREO Haberman followed up on wetland conservation act cases and public waters cases. WREO Haberman also worked on scheduling upcoming lake service provider training being held on February 18 in Brainerd.

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports increased activity likely due to the warmer weather, however angling success was still slow. Nicer riding conditions brought out more snowmobiles and ATVs which equated to a lack of helmets, training certificates, and proper registration.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Mille Lacs and area lakes. Some nice perch were seen on Mille Lacs and pan fish are starting to pick up on smaller lakes provided temperature remains stable. Area snowmobile trails remain in good condition with a fair number out over the weekend enjoying the relative milder temperatures. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers, working snowmobile complaints, and checked on a trapping complaint. Fishing remains slow in the area with mostly panfish being caught. Warmer weather over the weekend brought out a few more snowmobilers and compliance was excellent. Some violations encountered included speed and registration issues.

 

Onamia – vacant.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers, snowmobile operators, and hunters during the past week. Time was spent on the upcoming academy and the TIP trailer as well.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended the annual Race on Trace, vintage snowmobile event. The event attracted many snowmobilers as spectators. Snowmobile trails were busy as well. Anglers were checked. Some crappies and sunfish were caught. More anglers had empty pails, than had fish.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week conducting follow-up on public waters cases. Fishermen and snowmobilers were checked. Enforcement action was taken for fail to stop at road crossing, speed, no name/address on minnow truck, no minnow dealer vehicle license, and insufficient commercial records.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Kimball firearms safety class. CO Mies checked sleds and ATVs in Stearns, Meeker, and Wright counties.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Most anglers were not having much success, only small pan fish. CO Langevin also checked cross country ski passes in Wild River State park. Local snowmobile trails were also patrolled. Trails are in good condition in the area. Violations included no license in possession, no ski pass, studded track on paved trail and no shelter ID.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers on local lakes and rivers who reported having some success on pan fish. Snowmobile trails continue to be in decent shape on the local grant-in-aid trails, warnings were given for speed violations. Officer Londgren also checked numerous groups of coyote hunters over the week.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobilers in the Wright County area. Anglers were still having luck with the northern pike bite and a few nice Walleyes were also seen. Snowmobile activity was slowed with the colder weather, but the trails are still in good shape. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, possession of marijuana, litter and underage consumption of alcohol.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Violations were found for angling without a license. Time was spent with the TIP Wall of Shame for the St. Cloud Sports Show.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and snowmobilers. He issued a number of written warning and summons for failure to display registration, speed, muffler, no snowmobile safety certificates and stop sign violations. He also took enforcement action for burning of prohibited material. He captured an injured swan and had it transported to a rehabilitation center.

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) conducted aeration inspections on area lakes for proper signs displayed. The Carver County Sheriff’s Department was assisted with fish house vandalism on Reitz Lake. An injured trumpeter swan in Corcoran was captured and brought to the rehabilitation center. State trails and parks were patrolled for ATV and snowmobile activity. Anglers were checked daily and fish houses were documented for litter, identification and reflectors displayed.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for snowmobile activity. Lots of snowmobilers were still out using the trails. With the fresh snow, trails are expected to stay in great condition. Salzer also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling snowmobile trails. CO Grewe participated in a snowmobile detail and responded to calls received. Violations included ATV’s on a trail where they are not permitted, angling with extra lines and license issues.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen on metro lakes. He did snowmobile enforcement in Dakota County. CO Neitzke assisted with training at a district meeting. He also patrolled complaint areas at Ft. Snelling State Park.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishermen, ATV, and snowmobile activity in the metro area lakes and trails. Officer Lee talked about ice fishing regulations to the Asian Outdoors Heritage youth ice fishing event at Medicine Lake in Plymouth. He did a presentation to the Hmong Alliance Church in Brooklyn Park on hunting, fishing, and state park regulations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and snowmobilers in the West Metro area. He worked a snowmobile detail in District 8 with COs Kruse, Grewe, Heaton and Lt. Speldrich. He provided a ride a long for a Southeast Asian Law Enforcement student.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued checking anglers on Scott County lakes. He patrolled for snowmobiles and ATVs on area lakes and trails. CO Pril also spoke at a Cub Scout meeting and a fishing clinic in New Prague and responded to dead animal calls.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week patrolling for angling and fish shelter activity. Time was also spent reviewing wetland related cases and preparing for an upcoming court case. A call was received regarding an injured trumpeter swan.

CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports snowmobile activity up this week as well as fishing activity. CO Peterson stopped out to assist a snowmobiler who was stuck. As she approached, she observed his tracks went across a large agricultural field. Enforcement action was taken for recreational trespass and operating a snowmobile without snowmobile safety certificate. CO Peterson also followed up on a big game case from last fall. A bow and antlers were seized and a citation issued for taking a wild animal without a license.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) continued checking anglers and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. CO Arntzen also attended a snowmobile training course at Camp Ripley, handled TIP complaints, and patrolled the WMAs in the area.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Scott counties throughout the week.

CO McGowan spent time patrolling snowmobile trails and checking ice anglers. Snowmobile trails throughout Dakota County are in excellent condition. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed, registration issues, trespass, angle with extra lines, angle without a license, over limit of crappies, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) assisted with a vehicle and trailer that went through the ice on Peltier Lake in Anoka County. She assisted with a deer removal program and had a ride along. CO Kruse handled TIP calls, did equipment maintenance and handled nuisance animal calls. She worked with neighboring COs on a snowmobile detail in the Willow River area and worked fishing and snowmobile enforcement on area lakes and trails.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations including fail to display registration, excessive muffler noise, and fail to stop at road crossing. CO Johnson responded to a TIP call on the Rum River in Anoka. Two individuals had placed tip-ups on the river and went back to work in their place of business. Citations were issued for unattended line and being more than 200 feet from the tip-ups. He assisted with a witness interview for CO Broughton in Longville.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall ) spent most of the week working ice fishing, coyote hunting, and snowmobile enforcement. Poor snow conditions continue to affect coyote hunters and snowmobilers. With the close of the walleye season almost here numerous ice fishermen have stated this has been one of the slowest winter walleye bites they have had in years. Time was also spent conducting aeration system inspections and contacting local firearm safety instructors to setup and prepare for upcoming spring classes.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) provided local citizens with outdoor updates via a weekly radio show. A trespassing investigation has been sent to the Lincoln County Attorney for charges.   A reminder to remove or check your fish houses after the warmer weather.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports that ice fishing activity continues to be busy on Big Stone Lake. Many people from the Upper Midwest are making the trip to the lake. Commercial minnow dealers and trappers were also checked during the week. Assistance was given to the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Department with a search warrant.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and sleds. Trails continue to be blown shut by incongruent wind patterns. Angling success seemed to elevate for a couple days then waned.

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) checked coyote hunters and ice fishermen throughout the week. A few inches of fresh snow improved trail conditions and brought out a few more snowmobilers.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office with a fatal snowmobile accident on the Minnesota River. He checked coyote hunters and is starting to notice more shed hunters out. Fishing has slowed down and the recent warm-up has made for difficult driving conditions on area lakes. Make sure to check your fish house if it is on the lake with the warm weather.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports that a court date was scheduled for a WCA restoration order violation in Redwood County. Ice fishermen were checked and AIS information was issued. Snowmobile registrations were checked on area trails and coyote hunters were worked.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) attended a volunteer instructor forum and a district meeting. Nelson checked aeration systems. He spent the rest of the week on angling, predator hunting, trapping and snowmobile enforcement.

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked snowmobile activity and followed up on a complaint in Sibley State Park. He checked anglers and fish houses for identification and shelter tags. Denz also received a complaint on coyote hunters trespassing.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked snowmobilers and anglers during the week. Mueller also conducted aeration inspections and attended a district meeting in New Ulm.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continues to have very minimal fishing success in the area.  Oberg has mainly worked snowmobile enforcement with an emphasis on registration issues and speed. Oberg has also been following up on a couple active cases. Division armoring was also done last week.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week working ice anglers and snowmobile activity. Assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies with traffic assists during poor weather conditions.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ice fishermen, snowmobiles, small game and ATVs.  Gruhlke attended a district meeting and followed up on calls concerning trapping and the use of radios for taking coyote.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) monitored ice angling activity. A TIP report was investigated regarding illegal taking of a big game animal. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies for vehicle accidents. Snowmobile activity has been very slow with little snow on the ground. Predator hunters were checked.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked snowmobile and angling activity. Additional snowfall is being utilized by snowmobile trail groomers, improving trail conditions. Snowmobile activity has been heavy the last couple of days. CO Howe assisted with a youth event designed to introduce young people to ice fishing.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, ATV and snowmobile activity. CO Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to a local firearms safety class.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Trail conditions continue to be good and riders are taking advantage. Enforcement action was taken on angling and fish house violations.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended a firearms safety instructor class for area instructors. Angling activity was worked on area lakes. The officer is preparing for upcoming commercial inspections.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, and angling activity during the week. The officer also attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted with an Upper Red Lake work detail.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and ice fishing activity. He attended training at Camp Ripley, and worked a sport fishing enforcement detail on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile and fishing violations.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) closed a case on a wetland violation.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and snowmobile enforcement this along with attending a meeting and training. The area trails are still in very good shape and have been extremely busy. The back waters of the big river are still producing a few pan fish but the bite is still a little slow.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking anglers and snowmobile activity. Fishing remains slow in the area but the snowmobile trails are in great shape. Time was also spent attending training and a district meeting. Some snowmobile violations were detected.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received a lot of feedback from people on the cattle deaths in a pen. He checked predator hunters, ice fishermen and snowmobilers. He found good compliance on snowmobile trails. He attended training at Camp Ripley and a district meeting. CO Hemker also had a ride along from WSU.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports area snowmobile trails are in excellent condition. Many snowmobilers were out on the trails this past week. Remember our area trails are narrow with many tight corners taking snowmobilers through our densely wooded hill country. Keep the speeds appropriate to the trail conditions. CO Fritz attended mandatory district training. Enforcement  activity included snowmobile trespass and no registration on a snowmobile.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports attending a district meeting and training. Time was also spent checking snowmobilers in the area. Trails have been groomed and are in good shape. Snowmobile complaints have been down this winter. With the warmer weather trout anglers were out having some success. Injured animal calls have been on the rise as well.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked checking anglers, snowmobiles, and small game hunters. Officer George took complaints of trespass and illegal hunting activity. Enforcement action was taken for transport loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and unattended fishing lines. Officer George attended a district meeting in Rochester.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly snowmobiles and anglers during the week. Trails were in good shape during the week and a number of sleds were taking advantage of them. CO Heyn also handled other calls and attended meetings.

 

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 Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time training in Duluth with COs Schmidt and Duncan. Training tasks were covered and a day was spent at the Duluth Boat, Sport, Travel and RV Show. A day was also spent addressing a critical maintenance issue with one of our aircraft.

 

NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas continued working on deer surveys in the central part of the state. He completed permit area 222, and moved on to PA221. Snow conditions are very good, and early deer numbers look to be in the 10-12/mile range.

NR pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew the last day of moose capture out of Ely. Capture of 8 animals when well. Heineman also flew marten and wolf telemetry.

 

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.

 

 SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

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:

STAFF NOTES:

 

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports presenting information/answering questions regarding DNR Safety Training programs and Instructor Forums at the District 16 meeting in New Ulm. He also planned for upcoming Instructor Forums and Instructor Certification training for Firearms and ATV Safety. Saturday he facilitated an Instructor Forum in Alexandria where there were 19 instructors in attendance.

 

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez met with several Washington Co deputies regarding snowmobile trail conditions and enforcement tactics. The RTO checked anglers on Big Carnelian Lake and Goose Lake. The bite seemed to be slow and not many anglers were seen either. RTO Gutierrez received several inquiries regarding an upcoming FAS instructor clinic in Eagan, where he has received much interest. The RTO continues to receive registration notices for the upcoming instructor forums he will be hosting.

 

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week preparing for upcoming classes and instructor meetings. Training was conducted for HEFAS instructors in Houston. Training was attended with District 18.

 

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted with snowmobile safety set-up and training at Camp Ripley. He also recorded narration for new employee orientation presentations.

NW RTO Jon Paurus provided training to new ATV and Snowmobile safety instructors in the Longville area. An instructor forum in Bemidji was attended and several area instructors attended to share ideas and receive training updates. Snowmobile and fishing enforcement patrols were completed during the week also.

 

NE RTO Shelly Patten helped set up and host the LaserShot and TIP Wall of Shame at the Duluth Deer Classic and Sport Show. District 8 officers, Fond Du Lac College Law Enforcement students and volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors helped staff the DNR booths for the show. Patten assisted State Patrol with traffic control during a freak traffic light malfunction at a busy intersection on four-lane Hwy 53 in Virginia. The traffic lights were showing red and green lights at the same time.  Traffic was very confused in all directions.

 

RTO _ PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:

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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3 thoughts on “FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report

  1. Pingback: Third Time’s A Charm: Don’t miss out on a good bite! | Minnesota Sporting Journal

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