District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers and late ice houses on Lake of the Woods. A Firearms Safety class was attended in Lancaster. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered snowmobiles and possession of an illegal length northern.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of Firearms Safety Classes in Hallock and Karlstad, conducted follow up investigations on commercial violations, and attended an awards ceremony. Follow up investigation continues on a take gray wolf out of season complaint. Enforcement for the week included fail to maintain commercial records and fail to register big game animal.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) attended an awards ceremony and question session, and attended a meeting in Bemidji. Snowmobiling activity was worked after a blizzard produced over a foot of snow early last week. Preparations were made for upcoming Snowmobile and Firearms Safety Classes.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angler activity on special regulation lakes and monitored area ATV activity throughout the week. Assistance was given to instructors at the Kelliher Firearms Safety Classes and at the Kelliher MTA Trapper Education Class. Time was spent investigating a TIP call and working with an owner on a fish house removal. Several calls were fielded with questions regarding the snowmobile trail closing date and state trail non-motorized uses. Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration violations and fishing violations.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on deer cases from the 2012 and 2013 deer seasons. Time was also spent working predator hunters and ice anglers. Anglers have been catching sunfish and crappies. A meeting was attended in Thief River Falls, along with various other DNR staff from Region 1. Various small game and big game related wildlife complaints were also received.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had a report of a fish house left on a small lake, concerns about fish winter kill, deer eating cattle feed and deer being shot. The snowmobile traffic has turned to ATV traffic. A woman called about a dead deer at her property and she locked her dogs up so the officer could remove it. She did not mention the pot belly pig that wanted to keep the deer. A litter item pitched from a car was a book; ironically it was titled “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and patrolled areas for atv activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked area angling and trapping activity. Complaints were received of illegal depositing of garbage and dogs chasing deer. A TIP complaint was also investigated. Enforcement action was taken for trapping violations.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training at Camp Ripley and followed up on angling TIPS. Wildlife complaints were taken as well.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and working fishing TIPS. He also followed up on a complaint of an individual shooting geese. CO Forsberg attended youth firearms safety classes in Dilworth, Glyndon and Hitterdal.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week instructing and training at Camp Ripley for in-service training and certification of new Use of Force instructors.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received questions about spring snow goose hunting. Richards continues to check panfish anglers. Poor fishing success and weather patterns have kept the pressure off the local lakes. Correspondence on future safety classes was also performed. Enforcement action was taken for a 2013 firearms deer season violation.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) found some anglers having success fishing tullibee this past week. Other anglers are having scattered success with panfish. Car-killed deer permits were a common theme throughout the past week and littering violations are being investigated.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and ATV operators. Fishing activity has been slow, but should pick up with the warm weather. There has been plenty of waterfowl moving into the area along with a few robins.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this past week picking up dead birds found by citizens now that the snow pack is down significantly. An owl and two woodpeckers were discovered after the snow melted. Fishing pressure remains steady with plenty of people out enjoying the warmer weather this past weekend. Pan fish success has been decent on several station lakes.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to check fishermen on area waterways. Osakis and Smith Lakes continue to receive heavy fishing pressure and violations involving crappie and sunfish overlimits were handled over the weekend. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement, and use of force training and planning sessions were attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) signed up a few more students for the Morris firearms safety class that will be held April 24-26. Students will be required to complete the online firearms safety course before attending the classes. Calls were fielded this week regarding road kill deer and firearms safety class questions.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers on local lakes and monitored ATV and trapping activity. Lake accesses are rapidly deteriorating with the warm temperatures.
Enforcement action included failure to check traps, several ATV violations and angling without a license.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and the last of the snowmobilers. Trails are now deteriorated enough that the majority of the public have put their sleds away for the season. Crappies seem to be biting fairly well and anglers are enjoying the warmer weather.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked late season ice anglers over the week. License and limit compliance was good. State forest areas were checked for ATV and ORV traffic and one person was tracked down for a public access motor vehicle violation. Enforcement action was taken for no license on possession.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) primary worked ice angling activity. A complaint of dogs chasing deer was received.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check perch and pan fish anglers. Ice conditions have held up well to this point but area lakes are now starting to erode with the warm weather. Caution is advised. CO Mathy presented during a career day at the Walker High School with other area law enforcement agencies. Enforcement action for the week was taken for angling violations.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) noted that waterfowl is starting to show up in the area and the snow is off the surface of most lakes. Some folks are still getting out on the ice, but the number is surprising low. An illegal dumping complaint was investigated and area anglers were checked.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ice angling activity. Ice conditions are starting to deteriorate yet ice anglers’ yielded moderate success. CO Broughten followed up on complaints of dogs chasing deer and license questions. A presentation was given at the Walker-Akeley-Hackensack School career day.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity and investigated a dog chasing deer complaint. An ATV complaint of tearing up the county road ditch was received.
WREO Shane Siltala spent time preparing for upcoming Lake Service Provider training. A reminder that anyone who installs docks, boat lifts, and related equipment are required to attend training and be permitted. This now includes anyone who rents watercraft and related equipment. Time was spent monitoring local angling activity and discussing AIS laws.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) along with CO Patten and CO Bozovsky executed a search warrant at an individual’s residence in regards to a moose that was taken illegally from Ontario, Canada and imported into Minnesota. Fishing activity on the Rainy River was monitored with a few more anglers then the previous weekend; the Birchdale area is still locked up with ice. CO Kittelson also testified at a civil trial in regards to a snowmobile accident that occurred back in 2010.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working angling activities over the week. Assistance was provided in the Baudette/Lake of the Woods/Rainy River area relating to sport fishing. Snowmobile activities continue. Snow remains deep as deer continue to struggle.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports that warmer weather finally arrived and the snow is melting fast. A few anglers were observed, however the panfish were not cooperating. A few calls of injured/sick/dead deer were received.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobiles and ATVs. The officer assisted COs Kittelson and Patten serve a search warrant in International Falls on an illegally taken moose case. The officer worked Vermilion Lake snowmobile water skipping with four other officers. Several citations were issued to participants. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession and snowmobile and ATV violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) has received a number of calls for deer injured by vehicles and trains. He has also received calls of road-killed Great Grey Owls. Fredin spent time chipping ice out from an abandoned fish house where the owner stated he would remove but only ripped the wall and roof off leaving the rest. Time was spent with other law enforcement officers on Lake Vermilion monitoring snowmobile activity.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted officers in enforcement activities on Lake Vermilion over the weekend. Ice conditions have been changing daily with warm weather and rain for the last few days. Although there is several feet of ice in most places traveling across area lakes is getting more difficult. Violations included careless operation of a snowmobile and, operating a snowmobile without a helmet by a person under 18.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile trails and some BWCAW fishermen. Officer found dead deer in a lot of places throughout the week. The winter has been very hard on the deer and it’s likely to get worse for a little while. Keep your dogs restrained. The deer can’t take any more stress than they already have. Officers dealt with some northern pike fishermen in the BWCAW that were fishing where the season has been closed for a month and a half. They said two guides and a DNR fisheries employee had told them that it was closed, but that they didn’t believe them and did it anyway.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended training at Camp Ripley in preparation for spring in-service later this month.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports monitoring crappie lakes throughout the week. Many anglers were out with the nice weather. Assistance was provided at the Trout Lake Portage water skips, which was a very popular place to be on Saturday. Assistance was provided to CO Stage with a closed season northern case. Citations were issued for angling without a license, attempting to take northerns in closed season, expired ATV registration, expired snowmobile registration, and snowmobile speed.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted in training the new use of force instructors at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent at Ripley reviewing lesson plans for the upcoming in-service and completing instructor training. Officer Wahlstrom returned nuisance animal calls and checked the few remaining snowmobilers
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to work snowmobile and fishing activity during the week. Several calls of injured deer were handled along with a report of a grey owl being struck on Hwy 61. Area Lakes are still in great shape with plenty of folks out trying their luck with panfish over the weekend. A complaint of illegal dumping is also being investigated by the officer.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, attended a meeting in Deer River, and assisted CO Kittelson with the execution of a search warrant.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and assisted the county with a suicidal person call. The warm weather has many people out and about. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and operate ATV on roadway.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers fishing panfish this past week. She checked various local hot spots and found there to be moderate success. Enforcement action was taken for license violations. She also received a complaint of a dog chasing deer. After investigating the complaint, she found a very tired and thin looking deer about 100 yards from a ski trail. She addressed the issues with the dog owner. This time of year, pets, especially dogs can smell things better because the air carries more moisture in it and things are thawing. Please keep an eye on your dogs.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week of pan fishing activity. Due to the nice weather many sportsmen were getting out on the ice to finally enjoy the nice weather while catching crappies and bluegills. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling for bass during closed season and failing to display registration on a watercraft. CO Sutherland also assisted the county on a domestic violence call.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration and ATV operator under 18 without a helmet.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV Officer) checked anglers this past week and followed up on remaining fish house complaints. CO Velsvaag checked snowmobilers on Lake Vermilion and Itasca County trails.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Angling success was variable during the week. Jumbo perch, panfish and tullibee observed in creels. Many vehicles observed traveling on lake ice, allowing easy access for anglers. Enforcement activity was taken for angling license violations. CO Arhart also attended the Itasca County TEP wetland meeting and tracked Wetland Conservation Act and public waters cases. Migrant American goldeneyes arrived on Third River during the week.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked snowmobile trails in the area for the last chance riders. Registration issues continued in the last week of the season. Shore anglers and ice anglers were checked in the area. Lakes are in good condition with some slush but very manageable with a snowmobile. Follow up on an abandoned ice house at a public access was completed. Officer Schmidt assisted State Patrol Officers with crashes during inclement weather and also assisted with a pursuit of a stolen vehicle.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. Snowmobile activity has slowed with warm weather and deteriorating trail conditions. Ice angling activity was observed on area lakes. Anglers reported mixed results. A livestock depredation complaint was received in the Moose Lake area. CO Humphrey completed seasonal equipment maintenance and changeover.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received complaints of dogs chasing deer and also sick or injured deer in the area. One depredation complaint was received and is being investigated where a cattle owner lost a calf and believes it was wolves that got it. One snowmobile complaint was received on a snowmobile that was operating in the median of Interstate 35. After finding the area and following the tracks on foot through waist deep snow, the suspect was found at a residence and admitted to operating within the interstate right of way. He was cited for that violation. With the warmer weather, some ATV complaints are starting to come in. Complaints of careless operation and unlawful juvenile operation were received. Assistance was given to the state patrol on a pursuit on I-35 where a stolen vehicle was driving very erratically. The suspect was taken into custody after being forced off the road by Troopers. More training was done with K9 Schody and other work was done for the DNR’s canine unit.
WREO Mike Scott worked with a local individual on a new logging area that contained possible wetland impacts and what was expected from the state as this was a private logging sale. Officer Scott attended the Duluth Home Show staffing a booth with the MN Sea Grant folks talking to participants of the show about AIS issues, concerns and solutions to some it the current issues. Information was very well received with over 1,000 folks stopping by the booth to engage us in conversation.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked looper anglers on the North Shore. The ice on Lake Superior is no longer safe, due to warmer temps. and the diligence of the USCG ice breaking crews.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked late season ice anglers and a few residual snowmobilers riding on fading snow. Several riders contacted on the now closed GIA trails across private land were reminded that they risk the existence of everyone’s ability to ride our wonderful trails when they use these routes after the annual sunset of the easement. Several other groups of riders showed very poor respect for other trail users and posted trail signs. The snow is slowly starting to melt, and tributaries are starting to show some runoff over the ice. Continued warmth will help. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) met with personnel from DNR Forestry about the upcoming fire season, checked spring beaver trappers, and monitored late ice panfish activity. Calls were taken about timber wolf issues, one where the family black lab was attacked by four wolves. The dog survived after a trip to the vet to get sewn up. The officer also responded to a TIP call of a possible panfish overlimit where a stockpile of fish was found in a home freezer. Charges are pending.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Despite a slow pan fish bite, numerous anglers were checked out angling in the nice weather. Most remembered their new 2014 angling licenses. Officer Guida worked a detail with an area Officer and enforcement contacts were made for operate a snowmobile without helmet (under 18 years of age), operate in a careless/reckless manner, and operate class II ATV on state highway.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including giving a presentation to a Cub Scout group in Deerwood on natural resource conservation and furbearing animals, hosting the LaserShot simulated hunting system for youth at the annual banquet of the Cuyuna Whitetails chapter of the MN Deer Hunter’s Association in Crosby, checking fishing and beaver trapping activity, and responding to injured wildlife and dogs chasing deer issues.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen throughout the week. Time was also spent on litter, car kill deer and a deer taken down by canines.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) attended training at Camp Ripley and continued follow up on a big game case. She checked area anglers who were starting to see the bite pick up. Most lakes were quite wet with the warm weather and sun beating down but most areas were still accessible.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck at the local dams and a few on the ice. Garbage dumping on public land and ice continue to be one of the most reported complaints. Vehicles on closed roads in the Pillsbury Forest have received some enforcement time. He checked some beaver trappers afield and the reports of success have been fair.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) monitored ice angling activity on Cass and Crow Wing county lakes. Ice conditions are starting to deteriorate in areas and anglers should use caution when traveling on area lakes. CO McGowan also worked with the county attorney’s office regarding a trespass case from this past winter.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a slight increase in snowmobiling activity after the recent snowstorm. One group of snowmobilers were caught joyriding on privately owned properties without permission and cited for trespassing. Recent snowfall has been melting fast and turning most snowmobile trails in the area to very poor condition. Many trails have spots melted down to the dirt. Deer continued to congregate along roadways causing a high number of car vs. deer accidents. Warmer weather has also increased ice fishing activity and some anglers have been found fishing without a license.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking station lakes for spring fishing activity. With the winter like weather few fishermen were seen out on the lakes. Patrol was done for ATV activity and also any late season snowmobilers. Please remember to check the DNR website for spring trail and road closures before venturing out on an ATV ride. Public accesses and area lakes were also checked for garbage and debris after the winter fishing season. Lots of ATV, snowmobile, fishing and trapping related questions were answered throughout the week. Please note the Officers new phone number is 218-232-3473.
WREO Rob Haberman assisted DNR Ecological Services with mechanical harvester training in Brainerd. WREO Haberman answered questions about AIS laws and harvester requirements. WREO Haberman also worked on public water and wet land cases in his assigned area.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) enjoyed the warm weather throughout the week. The officer observed a lot of people out collecting maple sap to make maple syrup. A complaint was fielded regarding trenching that occurred last winter. The caller was concerned about the amount of water flowing into public waters as the drainage was coming from farmers’ fields. Calls regarding wolves and deer were also addressed.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) checked anglers in the Pine City area during the week. Ice conditions began to deteriorate late in the week thanks to the warm weather. Use caution when venturing out on the ice this time of year. Shoreline areas and major access points will deteriorate the fastest. No fish is worth your life. CO Wynn received several calls on dead owls and car injured deer. He also spent time checking a wetland complaint.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked area lakes for pan fishing activity. The bite remains relatively slow. State forest and WMAs were patrolled for road closure violations. A reminder that many deer are along roadways so drive carefully.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended LEMA Honor Guard practice at the St. Paul Law Enforcement Memorial. She assisted with calls regarding snowmobile trail conditions, State Forest road closures, ATV operation in state forests and a call regarding livestock compensation. A few anglers were seen on area lakes. Please use caution when venturing out on the frozen water.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) found little activity during the week, mostly maple syrup harvest. Proactive patrols for dogs chasing deer were accomplished with numerous dogs chased home by the officer. Information was given to officers on some of the Lake Vermilion issues that are taking place. Melting of snow is resulting in high hopes that spring is here.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored angling activity throughout the week. The bite was found to be quite slow on area lakes. Warmer temperatures brought out anglers in spite of the slow bite. Several taxidermy inspections were conducted throughout the station with the assistance on CO Thesing. Anglers are reminded that licenses need to be renewed for the 2014 season at this point.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) delivered a service award to a volunteer safety instructor. A game farm inspection was done. A snaring violation investigation was concluded. A few anglers sloshed through the slush to try their luck, with little cooperation from the fish. Creeks and rivers are open. There is a lot of ice left on area lakes; however, shoreline ice is receding rapidly.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) attended a public hearing at the Morrison County Courthouse for possible opening local SNAs (Scientific and Natural Areas) to hunting and trapping and handled two dogs chasing deer complaints where dog owners leave their dogs outside, lose and unattended all day while they are gone but assume the dog is going to stay in the yard but they don’t. A trumpeter swan was picked up that apparently died when it hit a power line.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers and trapping activity in the area. The officer worked administrative tasks. A firearms safety class where ethics and regulations were discussed in Paynesville.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week preparing for and attending a Morrison County contractor training focusing on wetland laws. Time was also spent checking fishermen, ATV operators, and beaver trapping activity.
Conservation Officer Martin (St. Cloud) spoke at a FAS class, prepared for the upcoming academy, and attended in-service training as well.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked anglers, ATVs and monitored fire activity. Thesing spoke at the Cold Spring Firearms safety class. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license, burn prohibited material, and litter.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) gave a law talk at the Howard Lake firearms class. CO Mies checked anglers. CO Mies checked ATVs and worked on commercial inspections.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) spent a considerable amount of time addressing dog chasing deer complaints. In each situation dog owners left their pets unrestrained and allowed to run free while away from home or at work for the day. One owner who has been counseled several times now still seems to treat the whole matter of his dog’s roaming the countryside unattended to be a trivial matter. CO Kuske worked on prepping materials and curriculum for the upcoming CO Academy.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked a booth at Cabela’s Women’s Day, spoke at firearms safety classes, and investigated a call of shooting turkeys out of season. Officer Londgren also continues to check ice fisherman, ATVs, and patrol state and federal lands.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area rivers. He took enforcement action on a number of illegal burning violations. CO Sladek followed up on a number of animal calls.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) attended meetings and assisted with preparation work for the upcoming academy. Several animal complaints were handled. CO Musatov followed up on a trespassing complaint involving shed hunters.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked a few anglers that were out trying their luck with a slow pan fish bite on the area lakes. ATV enforcement was also worked. Several calls were taken on wildlife complaints in the area.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving a few more calls of dogs chasing deer in the area. Some of the dog owners were contacted and laws explained in regards to them chasing deer. Few anglers got out on area lakes, due to thinning and melting ice. The few that went out, found very little success. Only small panfish were caught on area lakes. The recent snow brought out small numbers of snowmobilers for a few days.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers all week having very good success. He gave a firearms safety presentation to a class in Mayer. Animal calls were handled all week including nuisance turkeys, coyotes and beaver. Litter dumped at public access sites were investigated.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. CO Salzer assisted with several firearms safety classes and a turkey clinic.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week dealing with litter issues and following up with complaints. CO Grewe spoke at Turkey Clinic and did some equipment maintenance.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and snowmobilers in the metro area. He did a presentation to a firearms safety class in Andover. He answered questions on state park regulations and firearms safety classes.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and doing off-road vehicle enforcement. CO Arntzen spoke to a firearms safety class in Marine on the St. Croix. CO Arntzen also handled calls about trapping, littering and tampering with traps. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, PFD violations, unattended lines, no fire extinguishers, registration violations, and drug paraphernalia.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked boaters and anglers by boat on the Mississippi River with a neighboring Conservation Officer. He responded to animal calls and other calls during the week. Violations included fishing without fishing license, no throwable life saving device, no fire extinguishers in boat, unattended fishing lines, and no fishing license in possession.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to a turkey clinic at Carlos Avery WMA. She worked ATV and WMA enforcement in Anoka County and handled various TIP calls. CO Kruse assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked ATV, spring trapping, light goose hunting, and state park enforcement. ATV operators are reminded of the April 1- August 1 ditch restrictions in the Ag Zone. Parts of the area received 7-10 inches of snow which slowed the waterfowl migration. The law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught in Lamberton in the vacant Redwood Falls station.
CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) reports that light geese are in the area but have been uncooperative for local hunters. The recent snow storm has allowed coyote hunters to make a last go around the Canby area. Fishing has begun on some area lakes with the rivers opening up and lakes starting to open.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ice fishing, light goose hunting, and OHV activity during the week. This officer also spoke to numerous people at a father and son outdoor event in Ortonville.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working trapping issues and ATVs. Duck and goose numbers in the area have declined from the previous week. Sloughs have re-opened and most lakes are opening. Enforcement action was taken for a multitude of ATV infractions.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked AIS information and education on area lakes. Officer Hanson also worked with BWSR and SWCDs on following up on WCA cases.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check anglers with expired angling licenses. Caution is advised on area lakes as ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. He monitored ATV activity and received a call about injured swans.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. She worked at a booth at a sportsman’s banquet in Hutchinson. Mueller also addressed issues of dogs chasing deer around the Star Lake area.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) helped train new Use of Force instructors at Camp Ripley. Oberg also attended instructor in-service training at Camp Ripley. At Camp Ripley Oberg trained instructors on the patrol rifle.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated solid waste disposal complaints. He also investigated and removed debris left from ice fishermen. Nelson spent the rest of the week on small game and angling enforcement.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week training at Camp Ripley. Preparations were made for officer in-service to be held at Camp Ripley later this month.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked Jackson County including commercial enforcement, migratory waterfowl and a small game investigation. Gruhlke answered several calls for information.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) completed monthly aeration inspections. Commercial inspections and educational contacts were made regarding the importance of invasive species prevention. ATV activity was monitored along with snowmobile activity with the arrival of snow. Investigations were performed regarding the out of season taking of small game. Coordination was completed in the soon to be held volunteer instructor appreciation banquet.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked ATV and angling activity, and did a ginseng inspection this week. Plans were made for upcoming work details and youth events.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing and ATV activity. Time was also spent working at the NW Sports Show, giving a law and ethics presentation to a FAS class, and answering questions at a local high school career fair.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV activity. TIP calls were investigated. Ice anglers are still having some success in the area.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended division training at Camp Ripley this past week. Assistance was also given to a neighboring officer on a report of a deer being shot at.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV activity and angling activity. Angling activity has been slow with the recent weather changes. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV activity, and the early (catch and release) trout fishing season. A report of livestock depredation, possibly involving a mountain lion near Lyle, was investigated. A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearms safety class in Le Roy.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) assisted at a Lake Service Provider training.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishermen on the Mississippi River, as well as investigating trapping complaints. Both open water and ice fishermen were doing ok with some nice crappies, perch and sunfish checked in the bag. Open water guys are also finding some walleye and saugers.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports a windy and wet week. The activity did increase on the weekend when the weather finally settled down. There were plenty of boat fishermen out at the dam sites. The fish catch was slow. He did see walleye, sauger, perch and northern being caught. Water temperature is still too cold. Saturday saw a lot of boaters out on the water for the first time. All boats were clean and dry except a few forgot to remove the drain plugs before coming to Minnesota to launch. Enforcement was taken for no fish license in possession, no PFD, expired registration and fail to transport boat without removing drain plug.
CO Phil George (Rochester) taught the laws and ethics portion of firearms safety class and spoke with a group of students attending the field day after home study course was completed. There are still a few pieces of ice still supporting anglers but most of it is in poor condition. A few trout anglers are out during the catch and release season and some ATV operators were checked as well.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy walleye fishing on the river but no limits were checked. He worked with a Wisconsin Warden and a case involving a deer hunting residency issue. There were several wildlife calls including one were a skunk had a milk carton stuck on its head. Hemker also attended an adult archery education class at St Mary’s University.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking angling activity. Driving on the ice in the area has come to an end as of last Friday. Some of the back waters had around 24 inches of ice and some of them were completely ice free. Open water anglers did better for fish on Sunday with numerous large fish being observed in live wells. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a telemetry flight at Camp Ripley for their survey animals. Jensen then flew two wolf pack search flights and a marten telemetry flight. Locating wolves from the air is starting to get more difficult due to deteriorating snow conditions. Jensen attended a pilot meeting and performed training on 406mgz personal locator beacons and went through safety equipment with the other pilots. During poor weather conditions, other hangar related equipment items were sorted and updated.
CO Pilot Bob Geving flew wolf and fisher telemetry. Geving also a possible wetlands violation flight and attended a pilots meeting and training event at Camp Ripley.
NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas attended the quarterly pilot meeting at Camp Ripley. Winter projects, upcoming spring projects were discussed, as well as aircrew safety information, pilot training and maintenance items.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a Red Lake wolf pack count and attended an pilot meeting at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew Fish Shelter missions over Lake of the Woods, the Rainy River, as well as Rainy Lake to the Boundary Waters border. Multiple shelters were observed on Rainy Lake due to difficult conditions. Local COs advised they were aware of the problems. Several houses were observed on Rainy, but it was otherwise clear. Aircraft maintenance issues were attended to and a pilots meeting was attended at Camp Ripley.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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.