WEEKLY CO REPORT: Game and Fish Violations from your part of the state.

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District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Angling continues to be fair to slow. Most fish houses are off of the inland waters in anticipation of the March 17 deadline. Officer Huener did find several anglers out with extra lines; in addition he issued warnings for illegal length walleyes.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored ice shelter removal and saw a dramatic increase in snowmobile trail usage with the nicer weather this past week. He also investigated a possible taking of deer out of season and a pollution issue. Enforcement action for the week included no ID on shelter, litter, ATV registration violations, excessive speed on snowmobile, and snowmobile registration and trail permit violations.

CO Angela Warren (Thief River Falls) worked snowmobile activity on area trails. She checked anglers on the Red Lake and Thief Lake Rivers and monitored ice house removal.  She investigated a call of a deer killed when an individual used a pellet gun to try to scare the deer away. CO Warren also taught the law and ethics portion of a snowmobile safety class in Grygla.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report slow walleye success, but pike fishing has improved. Snowmobiling activity has increase with the warmer weather. Officer Gorecki also handled numerous calls ranging from fishing license questions to state snowmobile trail complaints. Enforcement action was taken during the week for numerous fishing, snowmobile, and ATV violations.

Baudette -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Warroad #1 – vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a meeting in the Twin Cities metro area. Time was also spent checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, lakes, and rivers were checked on snowmobile. Aeration inspections were completed. Public water access sites were monitored for fish houses. Violations encountered included no angling license and no snowmobile safety training.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked with volunteers to plan snowmobile safety and firearm safety classes. He had complaints of trespass and wolf depredation. Lakes were monitored for angling activity and shelter removal. Snowmobilers made a big push with the nice weather compromising trails. He also assisted other law enforcement with an assault and stolen property cases. Testimony was required at a court trial about a man taking his gun for a walk without a hunting license or enough orange clothing during the last deer season

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and marked fishing shelters.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling on area lakes. Anglers are reporting a fair panfish bite and waiting for conditions to improve so movement on the lakes is easier. CO Vollbrecht patrolled area snowmobile trails. Trails were in excellent condition, but conditions did deteriorate some with the warm weather the past couple of weeks. CO Vollbrecht and other officers met with the new assistant county attorney.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked angling activity. CO Holt also took a complaint of wanton waste from the 2013 deer season. Enforcement activity for the week included ice house marking violations and snowmobile registration violations.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked with DNR Wildlife staff to examine three dead turkeys which appeared to have died from starvation. CO Peterson monitored shelter removal and assisted local PD on calls.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on fish houses left on the lakes after the removal deadline. Fishing was spotty but with the warmer weather people were getting out. While checking one group of fishermen a youth was asked how many sunfish he had in his pail. The youth responded he only had 17, but after counting it was found he had 21 sunfish. Dad was not pleased and told the youth, “It’s no wonder why you are only getting a ‘C’ in math.” Some snowmobilers were out. The trails are melting with the warm weather. Several calls of sick deer were handled along with talking to a firearms safety class in Wolverton and answering question while manning the booth at the Sport Show in Fargo.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent time working the DNR Eco Booth at the Red River Sportsman’s Show in Fargo. An injured deer call was taken in the Moorhead station. Time was spent monitoring fish house removal in Becker and Clay counties. Compliance was good.  Snowmobile activity was monitored on area trails. Planning for the upcoming academy and in-service was done.

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CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports fish house removal in the Perham station went well with only a few shelters left at some public accesses. After contacting the owners they were all promptly removed. Reports of panfish bites started to come in with a few TIPs of possible over-limits. Snowmobile activity was up but trail conditions have deteriorated with the warming weather. CO Vinton signed off for a youth who had completed the online FAS class and needed the field day before applying for an out of state hunt.

Moorhead – vacant.

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports the warmer temps brought out some renewed desire for some to get back on the ice. Anglers report fair to poor fishing for bluegills in the area.  Richards took possession of some incidental caught fur from local trappers. Ice shelter removal was good overall with only a few left after the deadline. Enforcement action was taken for those that didn’t make the effort to get them off.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spoke to a Firearms Safety class in Battle Lake on rules regulations and ethics of hunting. Plautz monitored the fish house removal deadline with only two houses left on the lakes after midnight March 3. Plautz responded to an injured owl and met with a farmer having trouble with the deer herd running through a cattle fence allowing them to escape. Plautz worked snowmobile trail enforcement finding more sleds out with the warmer temperatures.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement work checking ice fishermen and fish shelters. Fish house removal went very well in Grant County. The officer worked with the county and DNR Eco Waters on a waters violation. Calls were handled in the vacant Wheaton station and a complaint of a shot deer was investigated. Predator hunters were checked as well.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area lakes for fish house removal compliance. Osborne had one house still left on the ice after the deadline, actually remnants of the fish house after the owner tried to burn it rather than chip it out of the ice. The officer made contact with the owner two weeks prior to the deadline to remind him to start working on it and not wait till the last minute. Fishing activity increased with the nice weather over the weekend.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time following up on several icehouses that didn’t make it off by the deadline. Assistance was provided by the aviation section with spotting houses on rural lakes. Final preparations were completed for a FAS class starting in Alex, as well as a ride along being conducted for an Alex Tech Law Enforcement student.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fish house removal with one shelter remaining on the ice past the deadline and some litter issues followed up on. The crappie bite on Lake Osakis continues to be monitored with several more cases made on overlimits. One angler was found to be in possession of 45 crappies over the limit at his residence. Additional time was spent working snowmobile activity, monitoring the predator hunters, and setting up spring FAS classes.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on ice fishing and fish house removal deadline. One fish house fish remained after the deadline in Stevens County.  Anderson assisted CO Baumbarger (Glenwood) with fish house removal checks and the removal of a fish house from Lake Minnewaska. The officer also checked the vacant Traverse County station for any remaining fish houses and fishing activity on Lake Traverse.   The Morris firearms safety class will be held on April 24. Calls from the public were fielded this week on angling license expiration dates, angling license residency questions and fish house use questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) continued to monitor fish house removal; most people in the area removed their fish houses off before the deadline, with a couple being left after the deadline. The officer checked fishermen, snowmobile operators, trappers, and minnow dealers this past week. Time was also spent attending a meeting in St. Cloud and working on public vs. private water issues. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license in possession, and leaving fish houses on the ice after the deadline.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) focused on angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. He spent time completing required tasks and working with local prosecutors.  Enforcement activity included snowmobile registration violations, ice shelter violations, and trespass.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) monitored snowmobilers and fishermen in the area.  Snowmobile trails in the Park Rapids and surrounding area were in great condition and the weather had many riders out enjoying.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received reports of another vehicle on a snowmobile trail.   Ice angler compliance was good as all anglers have purchased new angling licenses.  Snowmobile activity was up with the people taking advantage of the good trails before the impending thaw. Officer Oldakowski also provided assistance to local law enforcement on one case with a drunk and disorderly dispute and another instance with an emotionally disturbed person that had become barricaded in an apartment.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reported primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on ice fishing and snowmobile activity. He also received a call regarding burning regulations and marked fish houses for the upcoming removal deadline.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch anglers in the area. The fishing and weather are starting to heat up. CO Mathy also attended the Leech Lake Advisory Committee meeting and assisted with a kid’s perch fishing derby on Lake Winnibigoshish.

subscribeCO Larry Francis (Remer) reports the weekend’s warm weather took its toll on area snowmobile trails. Saturday they were in good condition, but by the end of Sunday they were getting rough, especially in the corners. Officer Francis stopped one party for failing to display registration on his snowmobile. He had owned the sled since 2007, but apparently never “had time” in the last seven years to put his registration on; enforcement action was taken. Other enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed and unregistered snowmobile.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on snowmobiling and ice angling activity. Fishing success was poor. Warmer temperatures and high snowmobile traffic took their toll on snowmobile trails. Many anglers were successful in removing their fish houses. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, operating a motorized vehicle other than a snowmobile on a snowmobile grant in aid trail, and operating a snowmobile at greater speed than reasonable circumstances allow.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and snowmobilers in the Staples area. He noted a few fish houses remained on the ice past the deadline. Officer Halverson also worked a career fair at Central Lakes College.

CO Colleen Adam (OHV Recreation Officer – Park Rapids) checked fishing activity and fish house identification on area lakes. Warm weekend weather brought snowmobilers out to get full use of the trails before they deteriorate beyond enjoyable use. There is a good base and if night temps stay cool there should be more days for riding. Registration and trail stickers continue to be an enforcement issue. Many fish houses were wisely removed over the weekend. Travel on the lakes is getting difficult.

CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) spent time checking area lakes for fish houses on the ice after the deadline. Overall, there was good compliance considering the amount of snow anglers had to deal with. He found a few panfish anglers out enjoying the mild weekend weather. Officer Siltala also found snowmobilers out in force taking advantage of the last days of good trail conditions as trails are deteriorating at a fast pace with the warmer weather.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) along with CO Patten spent time monitoring snowmobile activity around the Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, Ash River Trail, and surrounding trails. Snowmobile enforcement action was taken for speed and registration issues. CO Kittelson recommends people with ice shelters on Rainy Lake start working on removing them before deadline of March 31 as slush conditions are worsening.

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CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports receiving a few calls from people concerned about starving deer. Snowmobile trails remain in good shape. A work detail focusing on snowmobile speed was worked with CO Velsvaag.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended a day-long meeting in the metro, and worked anglers and snowmobiles. Enforcement action was taken a number of snowmobile violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at two Firearms Safety classes and continued to photograph ice shelters and take GPS readings of their positions. Owners of the ice shelters are encouraged to start the process of removing them early and not wait until the last minute. Numerous reports of dogs chasing deer were investigated. Dog owners are reminded to keep track of their dogs during this time of year. Warmer temperatures brought out extremely high numbers of snowmobilers to area trails causing them to deteriorate rapidly and create poor riding conditions. Enforcement action was taken for failure to transfer ownership on a snowmobile and fail to display registration.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) rode area snowmobile trails and found them to be in excellent condition, and noted those that strayed off the trail got stuck real fast. Registration and trail pass compliance was very good, some speed issues were addressed. Fredin gave a law presentation for a group of students at the Hoyt Lakes Snowmobile Safety class.

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the warm weather arrived over the last week and with it slush has reappeared on the surface of many lakes. Reports of several snowmobiles becoming mired in knee deep slush when they have left the beaten trail are now common. Trout fishing has seen an increase of success on many of the smaller lakes north of town. Violations include: fail to display snowmobile registration, and no ID on an ice shelter.

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CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile enforcement details and found a few people out using the snowmobile trails. The wind and warmer weather helped harden up the lakes a bit, so traveling is safer, however, the slush is still bad in isolated places so be careful. The officers came across two older snowmobiles mired in slush on Fall Lake and spent over and hour helping to push and drag them to solid snow. The officers were glad to help, but were very tired and soaking wet after doing so.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that warmer weather has been bringing more people outdoors. Anglers and snowmobilers were checked throughout the week, in addition to attending meetings. Slush on lakes is still a concern in some areas, so be sure to check conditions or get a slush report before you head out.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a great deal of slush coming up on the lakes with the warm-up. Any unpacked area is treacherous. Several snowmobilers were assisted when either stuck in 4 feet of powder or in the deep slush. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered snowmobile, failure to display registration, failure to transfer ownership, unmarked fish house, and litter. A deer baiting case was satisfactorily resolved.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored snowmobile trails and area lakes. The officer received several calls regarding feeding deer in Silver Bay and responded to State park violations. Slush continues to be a problem for anglers and snowmobilers.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement activity during the week and answered a call of a nuisance fox getting into a homeowner’s chicken coop. Snowmobile activity seemed slow over the weekend despite the beautiful weather and groomed trails. Enforcement action was taken for various licensing violations and excessive speed.

Silver Bay – vacant.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome)  checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, and monitored fish house removal. Enforcement action was taken for no snowmobile registration and snowmobile speed. He also stopped a driver going the wrong way on a divided highway.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling and snowmobile activities. Violations included no license in possession, operate snowmobile on county roadway, and fail to display registration. He also handled wildlife calls. The snowmobile trails were excellent with only a few snowmobilers taking advantage of them.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobile activities, and finished station inventory. The warmer weather has many people outdoors. Panfish in the area have started to bite. Enforcement action was taken for OHV registration and snowmobile registration issues.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. The snowmobile trails were in excellent condition and were definitely seeing tracks. Angling activity is still slow but people were out over the weekend in force to enjoy the weather and some pan fishing. Anglers are encouraged to make arrangements now to get their houses off the lakes as planning for this may take a few days and the deadline is fast approaching. She also attended a career fair with other local law enforcement and businesses. She spoke at Northern Lights Charter School in Warba to several students interested in a Conservation Officer career.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked pan fishing activity in the area with the bite heating up on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license. Multiple individuals were checked that hadn’t bought their new angling license. Remember, a new angling license was needed to fish starting March 1.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, ski trails and snowmobile trails.  He also worked on station inventory paperwork 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 speed and failure to display registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) reports lots of slush and helping multiple people to get out of it this past week. Slush and snow conditions have made it difficult for the anglers checked and multiple calls on deer feeding and fish house removal questions. CO Velsvaag worked in the Tower station and observed that snowmobile conditions on Lake Vermilion are rough but trails were very good.

MN Whitetail Classic_MN Sporting Journal_web-2Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling activity and checked anglers. Compliance was good. Perch and panfish are being caught by those that can get to the fish. Area lake travel is still difficult with some slush spots being reported. Fish shelters are being removed.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked ice anglers and followed up on shelter removal.  Snow and ice conditions made shelter removal extremely difficult on some lakes. Anglers are catching a few trout, salmon and herring on Lake Superior. Snowmobile work crews were worked in Lake and St. Louis counties. Enforcement action was taken for registration and speed.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a couple days working snowmobile enforcement on area trails and lakes. Some examples of violations include speed, no registration, and operate snowmobile without safety certificate. Winter fishing was also worked on inland lakes and Lake Superior. Office work and returning calls from the public was also completed.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a hunt expo with K9 Schody put on by the Minnesota Chapter of Safari Club International. Several questions were answered about hunting, fishing and the DNR K9 unit. K9 detector training was attended in the metro area where K9 Schody worked on his game and fish detection skills. Some work was done following up on old cases and working on reports for nuisance beaver work. Fish houses appear to have been taken care of on area lakes and snowmobile activity has picked up with the warmer weather.  Enforcement action was taken for registration violations.

WREO Mike Scott staffed an AIS booth at the Red River Valley Sports Show in Fargo/Moorhead with DNR Ecological and Waters. Information about AIS issues were discussed with those attending the show as well as many hunting, fishing and snowmobile questions were answered. Work with a Local Gov’t Unit (LGU) on wetland issues and some AIS were completed.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior. The warmer weather had hundreds of people on the ice. The fishing was spotty but lake trout and herring seemed to make up most of the fish seen. Anglers are reminded that a 2014 angling license and trout stamp is required for Lake Superior. Also a reminder, the USCG cutter Alder is breaking ice in the Duluth-Superior Harbor and will be starting operations on Lake Superior in the near future.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked snowmobilers and ice anglers on a warm winter weekend. Although trail and snow conditions were nearly perfect, not many snowmobilers were found enjoying the trails. Ice anglers on Superior have found some success with lake trout, salmon, and whitefish, but are reminded to keep careful mind of the wind direction and ice conditions that can quickly change. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ice angling & shelter removal. He investigated a snow mobile trespass complaint near Cross Lake and patrolled snowmobile trails in the Brainerd area.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and worked snowmobile enforcement. He also manned the LaserShot system and mini Wall of Shame at the Aitkin Sports Show.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobile enforcement and fish shelter removal. Compliance on shelter removal has been good. Some shelter owners are failing to remove the litter and debris from under the shelter. Investigations are pending. Officer Guida participated in a snowmobile saturation where some speed enforcement and trespassing complaints were monitored. Additional calls have been fielded regarding landowners depositing snow on the right of way/snowmobile grant-in-aid trail.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports focusing on fish house removal issues. Despite really tough conditions on many area lakes, fish house owners did an amazing job complying with the removal deadline. Just a couple fish houses were found left out unclaimed on area lakes needing enforcement action.

McGregor – vacant.

Pine River – vacant.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time during the week monitoring the removal of ice shelters in Pine and Kanabec counties. Great job to area fishermen for their efforts in getting their shacks off! Only a limited number of people had issues due to slush and deep snow. CO Wynn also checked numerous fishermen throughout the week. Fishing is still fairly slow in the area with some sunfish and crappies being seen in pails. Snowmobile activity picked up with warmer weather over the weekend. Enforcement contacts were made in the Pine City and Hinckley areas for speeding and failing to stop at road crossings.

WREO Rob Haberman worked at the Red River Valley Sportsman’s Convention speaking to individuals about AIS laws and regulations. WREO Haberman also worked on fish houses left on the ice and litter complaints. WREO Haberman assisted another conservation officer on a snowmobile trespassing complaint near Cross Lake.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored ice houses that still remain on lakes in the area; owners have been contacted to have them removed. Snowmobilers were out in full force. The trails held up rather well for the most part, but the Officer still managed to bury his sled on a few occasions which resulted in a firm example for many attentive snowmobilers of why to stay on the trail. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed and snowmobile exhaust modifications.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took a handful of calls from landowners and drivers that found deer that looked to be in poor health and not moving very well. A couple deer were found that appeared stressed, malnourished and likely having a hard time with severe winter conditions. Deer have been hanging out near roads and trails in order to escape the deep snow and drivers and snowmobilers need to use extra caution to avoid hitting these deer. Extra time was spent patrolling Grindstone Lake and educating anglers about the littering problem on the lake. Littering on the lake this season has been greatly reduced due in large part to efforts by the Grindstone Lake Association and lake residents. These folks have made a huge impact by cleaning up other people’s garbage, handing out garbage bags and urging anglers to take pride in keeping Grindstone Lake clean.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working on checking Mille Lacs and other area lakes for fish houses left on the ice. The Officer checked a few fishermen that were out looking for some late season perch. A wolf depredation investigation is ongoing on a local farm and a predator controller zone was opened up and a trapper was called in to trap for the nuisance wolf. The Officer attended the Mille Lacs Lake input meeting where the regulations for the upcoming season were discussed. Time was spent manning a booth at the Aitkin Commerce Show. Lots of kids enjoyed the laser shot system and lots of law related questions were answered during the two day event. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Department on a call of two parties that were stuck on a logging road and could not get themselves out. The Officer, a Deputy, and two parties from a local towing company located the stranded motorists and were able to shovel the vehicle out and get them back to the highway. S Snowmobile activity was also monitored throughout the week and weekend. With the warmer weather lots of snowmobilers were seen out enjoying the trails

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fish house removal issues and found the snowmobile trails in really good condition.  A Mille Lacs Lake input meeting was attended, with numerous ideas heard on how to improve the fishery. Warm weekend weather made for an enjoyable time for outdoor enthusiasts. Fishermen should be reminded to buy their license now, as the 2013 license has expired.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on calls regarding ice houses left on the lake after the deadline. Enforcement action was taken for those who had not made an effort to get their houses off the ice by the deadline. Speldrich patrolled area trails on snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for failing to stop at a road crossing, speed and failure to display registration. Speldrich noted tracks in numerous areas where snowmobilers left grant- in-aid trails trespassing on to private property. These are the people we can thank when landowners decide not to continue allowing these grant-in-aid trails on their property. If you see this activity, please call the TIP line.

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers and patrolled for ice houses left out past the deadline. Removal compliance was good despite the tough conditions. More snowmobiles were out this past weekend but conditions are quickly deteriorating. Lakes are quickly reverting back to deep pockets of slush. Several 30 something year olds don’t seem to grasp their need for snowmobile safety training certification. Verkuilen also attended the Mille Lacs Fisheries input meeting.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week finishing up fish house removal issues and working snowmobilers. One snowmobiler was stopped for speeding and arrested for DWI. He was more than twice the legal limit and did not have the required safety training.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in a snowmobile detail. All but one shelter was removed by the deadline. CO Friese spoke to a Long Prairie trapping class about laws, rules, & ethics regarding trapping. A few anglers were out. Fish continue to be slow to bite. Many snowmobilers enjoyed the weekend. Trails deteriorated rapidly from Saturday to Sunday.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) took care of a calls of a dead deer in a lady’s yard, a snowy owl found dead in a silo and a deer problem in a farmer’s silage. A TIP call of possibly poached animals was investigated and it was found to be old deer carcasses dumped from last fall. Anglers made a fantastic effort in removing their fish houses before the deadline. Only two fish houses were found left out on the ice in CO Kuske’s patrol area.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) found all area lakes in his station to be clear of fishing shelters upon the deadline. A few anglers out without realizing their license had expired were advised of the change. Contact was made with three archers in route to shoot carp. The problem was they headed to a river off limits to such activity; no breaks will be given had they been at the river shooting. Officer advised thankful shooters to be thorough with reading the regulations. Snowmobile activity was also worked with altered mufflers being the most common violation.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, snowmobilers and fish house deadline issues. The warmer weather had many snowmobiles out over the weekend. Two snowmobile work crews were worked with violations detected for speed, registration, studs, and fail to stop at stop signs. Angling success in the area has been slow with a few trout being seen in pails.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on fish house cases all week. CO Mies worked on checking sleds and ATVs. CO Mies worked on a trapping case along with a litter case.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) dealt with shelter houses left on the ice, overall 99 percent of the shelter owners found a way to get their house off the lake by the removal deadline. Fishermen are still having a hard time navigating the lakes with continuing blowing and drifting snow, a few panfish are starting to bite. CO Kuske provided a ride along experience for a college student during which a deer that apparently died from starvation and exposure was recovered from a residence. The student also received experience in snowmobile enforcement, checking registrations and running radar on area trails.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He followed up on fish house removal and issued summons and written warnings for a number of violations. He checked grant-in-aid snowmobile trails. He followed up on a number of liberalized fishing questions.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to a Youth Firearms Safety Class in Hanover. CO Reller also spent a lot of time checking lakes for fish house removal compliance and making sure anglers were picking up litter on the ice. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no shelter license, litter, trespass and leaving fish house on the ice after deadline.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Time was spent on ice shelters that were left after the deadline. Violations were for leaving shelters after the removal date, no shelter license, and no shelter identification, and litter.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked at the MN Deer Classic at the DNR/TIP booth, and took complaints of northern pike being taken out of season as well by illegal methods. Officer Londgren also checked for shelter compliance and worked on getting shelters/garbage removed that was left behind. Snowmobiles and coyote hunters were checked, as well as anglers.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy ice shelter off week. Anglers had left three portable style ice shelter on area lakes and one permanent style shelter. There were also six or seven shelters left on area accesses. Snowmobile trails were busy over the weekend with temperatures finally above freezing. Violations included no shelter ID, no shelter license, shelter left on access, shelter left on lake and littering.

Cambridge – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) spent most of the week monitoring fish house removal and returning lots of calls. A district meeting and training was attended in Roseville. Litter was removed from lakes left behind from anglers.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) dealt with several ice house issues where shacks were left out after the deadline; some had the owner’s information removed. Salzer also patrolled for snowmobile activity. The trails were in great shape and lots of snowmobilers were out.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week dealing with fish house issues and checking anglers. CO Grewe spoke at a Rotary Club meeting with CO Salzer, worked a snowmobile detail in a neighboring station and attended a district meeting. Violations included expired snowmobile registration, altered snowmobile mufflers and fish house issues.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) did fishing and fish house enforcement in Hennepin and Dakota counties. He patrolled for snowmobile violations. CO Neitzke assisted with training at a regional meeting. He also talked to a firearms safety class and patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.

Bloomington – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking ice shelters left on the lakes after the deadline and investigating littering complaints. CO Arntzen worked a snowmobile enforcement detail in Hennepin County and worked the Wall of Shame booth at the Deer Classic in Blaine. CO Arntzen continued checking anglers, recreational vehicles, and attended a District meeting.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued to check ice anglers and fish houses. He spent some time checking aerator systems in Scott County and checking on equipment. He also attended a district meeting and training in Roseville and assisted with the Wall of Shame trailer.

CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports working area lakes for fish house removal. She worked with several anglers who had difficulty removing their fish houses due to the difficult conditions.

CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Hennepin counties for snowmobile activity. The warmer weather brought out numerous snowmobilers on local trails. CO McGowan continued to work on ensuring all lakes in Dakota County had ice shelters removed. Enforcement action was taken for numerous snowmobile infractions.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he completed checks for fish shelter removal. He received several calls from anglers who did not meet the deadline. CO Johnson checked snowmobilers as well. Enforcement action was taken for speeding, failure to stop, and failure to display registration. He attended a continuing education training meeting. CO Johnson helped with the take-down and transport of the TIP Wall of Shame at the Deer Classic.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week monitoring ice shelter removal and snowmobile activity. WREO Block assisted the State Patrol with the apprehension of a fleeing motorist who attempted to evade police by entering a townhome and then attempting to break through an interior wall into the neighbor’s townhome. The fleeing motorist became stuck in the floor trusses of the two properties and was taken into custody. A DNR Safety Instructor forum was attended in Prior Lake with several area instructors in attendance. The officer also assisted with a search warrant of a residence regarding a big game violation.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled fish houses still on lakes after the removal deadline. She had documented and marked fish houses and called fish houses owners after they had removed their houses and left litter. She informed them that they were getting tickets and had to remove all the litter. All litter has been removed! CO Kruse attended a district meeting, did online training and handled fish houses stored on lake accesses. She assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County, handled injured deer calls and worked fishing and snowmobile enforcement.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training and a regional meeting in New Ulm. An AIS booth was manned at the Fargo Sportsman Show in Fargo, ND. Restoration and replacement orders were issued in McLeod County. A Public Waters violation was discovered in Murray County.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice fishing activity throughout the week, with anglers having moderate success. Warm weekend temperatures convinced many people to enjoy local outdoor activities. ATV and commercial minnow activity were also monitored. Angling violations were encountered.

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) attended a regional meeting in New Ulm and patrolled area snowmobile trails. The officer also followed up on various TIP calls which were received throughout the week.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking fishing shelters, spring goose hunters, and snowmobiles. Recent warm temperatures have destroyed trails and made most all outdoor activities sloppy.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working fishing, snowmobile and predator hunting enforcement. Investigations were done on fish house issues dealing with the March 3 removal deadline. Preparation work continues for upcoming spring firearms safety classes and commercial business inspections. A meeting was attended at the regional headquarters.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) advises that all fish houses have been removed from area lakes in his station. He attended a training session in New Ulm. Coyote hunters have been out with some success.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that warmer weather brought out the perch and crappie fishermen. Aeration systems were inspected and commercial minnow inspections were performed. Remember that the 2013 angling licenses expired as of the end of February.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week working snowmobile activity and finishing up on ongoing investigations. He attended the Minnesota Deer Classic in Blaine, answering questions from the public reference the TIP Wall of Shame display.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) attended regional and safety meetings. CO Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, predator hunting and snowmobile enforcement. Despite the weather problems, local shelter owners did a good job of removing fish houses by the deadline.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) spoke at the 4H shooting group meeting. Assistance was given to local law enforcement for numerous vehicle crashes that occurred during two days of dangerous weather conditions. Due to drivers not moving over for emergency vehicles, close calls were observed first hand by this officer whom was almost hit from behind a few times.  Shelter removals went smooth for the most part. Predator hunters were checked. Commercial businesses were inspected.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked area lakes for ice houses left on after the cutoff date.  She followed up on an ice house that had been left on a public access. CO Mueller checked anglers throughout the week. Complaints of deer caucuses found were investigated.  Snowmobile trespass complaints were also investigated. CO Mueller spoke at the Buffalo Lake Rod and Gun Club annual meeting.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) trained officers on patrol rifle maintenance. CO Oberg also worked the ice house deadline with overall good success. CO Oberg attended a regional meeting.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, snowmobile, small game, angling, and litter activity on lakes during the week. The officer attended a Regional meeting and required training. The officer gave the law and ethics presentation at a Firearms Safety Class in Owatonna.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time working angling and snowmobiling activity. Talks were given to multiple school groups. A landowner was assisted with snowmobile trespass problems. Several fish house owners did not keep their houses blocked up, and the houses are now frozen on the lakes. Warm weather and winds are reducing the snow pack.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and monitored coyote hunting activity. Snowmobile trails are still in great condition. Fish house removal went smooth with very few houses remaining after the deadline. Regional training in New Ulm was attended.  The officer also gave a presentation for Career Day at Morristown Middle School.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to work with individuals who are finding it difficult to remove their ice shelters due to the snow conditions. Snowmobile activity on area trails and lakes were worked.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile, ice fishing, and fish shelter removal activity. A few reports of injured deer were received. A law and ethics presentation was given at a firearms safety class in Spring Valley.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, snowmobile, and ATV activity. Time was also spent responding to complaints and checking area lakes and PWA’s for litter violations.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) conducted outreach to non-certified Lake Service Providers.  Preparation for the upcoming academy was also started.

Albert Lea – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working snowmobile and fishing enforcement again this week. Area trails continue to be in fantastic shape and a complaint was investigated along with a detail was worked regarding snowmobile trespass. Fishing success has improved with a few very nice pan fish seen in the bag.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers and working on getting ice houses off the lakes. The weekend was spent checking anglers and snowmobile activity. Trail use was very heavy over the nice weekend. Some fish house and snowmobile violations were detected.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking snowmobilers and anglers. A few ATVs were in use on the lake. Officer George took complaints of injured deer along a road way and one stuck in the fence. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office on a search warrant.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) received multiple injured deer calls. A dumping complaint was investigated and enforcement action was taken. Trout anglers have been out with the warm up and having some success. Coyote hunters are still out but success has been poor. Crow season started and a few hunters have been seen. Success has been limited. High numbers of snowmobilers are out enjoying the trails. Compliance was high.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and snowmobiles during the week. Heyn also did miscellaneous office work and handled calls. Heyn was first on scene to a multi vehicle roll-over accident with several injured people.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishermen had better success this past week. Snowmobilers are taking advantage of the late winter trails. Spoke to a firearms safety class in LaCrescent. Coyotes were very active this past week and the hunters had better success.

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 at New Ulm training with CO Pilot Geving. Aerial surveillance of many of the regional lakes was flown in search of abandoned fish shelters and debris. Also, a day was spent at a regional meeting/training session.

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew reconnaissance flights for fish shelter removal violations and training flights with pilot Lofstuen. Geving also attended a Region 4 meeting in New Ulm.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying numerous wildlife telemetry flights throughout the week. Jensen also flew area lakes to monitor fish shelter removal efforts with very few shelters found on area lakes. Jensen did perform some license checks from the plane now that temps went up a little. One warning was issued for no license in possession. Angling pressure seemed low for how nice the weather was. Maintenance issues were handled during poor weather days.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew helicopter deer surveys for PA342 and Frontenac State Park.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://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 http://www.mndnr.gov.

Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://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 http://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: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html


NE RTO Shelly Patten attended an RTO meeting via Lync. Patten set up ATV and Firearms Safety Instructor training in Duluth area. Patten continues to develop upload videos for the YouTube channel. Patten attended the Bird, Buck, Boat and Bait show to help run the DNR LaserShot booth for Saturday and Sunday.

West Central RTO Frank Rezac attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. He worked on setting up more ATV and Firearms Safety Instructor training in the St. Cloud area. He attended the Bird, Buck, Boat and Bait show to help run the DNR LaserShot booth.

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez held another Instructor Forum in the Prior Lake area. WREO Adam Block stopped in to visit with some the area instructors. Many good comments were received along with some good suggestions. RTO Gutierrez also worked laser shot booth at the Bird, Buck, Bait and Boat Expo held at the State Fairgrounds. Turnout was not as good as expected but still many folks stopped by and visited with the RTO and many kids enjoyed the LaserShot booth.

East Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence prepped display equipment for the new sport show (Bird, Buck, Bait & Boat show) at the St. Fair Coliseum and worked the show as well over the weekend. RTO Lawrence conducted two instructor training sessions for those interested in becoming safety instructors for Firearms Safety and Bow Hunter Ed Safety. RTO Lawrence worked on background applications for processing, updated presentation materials for instructor training and then answered questions about upcoming instructor training, fishing opportunities, and answered calls on ice conditions for metro lakes.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on instructor background checks and upcoming HEFAS instructor training classes. A RTO meeting was attended via Lync. Time was also spent working the BBBB Sport Show in St. Paul.

NW RTO Jon Paurus attended a monthly meeting. Paperwork for newly certified instructors was completed. Assistance to field officers regarding student certification was also provided.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week taught Trail Ambassador training and worked on the ATV/Snowmobile instructor newsletter. He also completed new employee orientation training narration, end of the month items, and participated in the monthly RTO meeting one day. Owens also attended an ATV meeting in St. Paul and worked on work planning.


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

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051   shelly.patten@state.mn.us

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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