District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) spoke at and assisted a local police department with a DARE class. Follow-up continues with the last couple fish houses left on Lake of the Woods. Many northern pike tip-up anglers have been using the lake with mixed results. Mature female northern pike seem to be spread out a bit more than most years. Enforcement action for the week was taken on an angler using too many lines, ATV and OHM violations. An investigation is pending on a wanton waste case involving three deer that were left hanging since last November.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls of an injured owl and dogs chasing deer. The law and ethics portion of Firearms Safety classes were taught in Oslo, Argyle/Stephen, and Newfolden. CO Woinarowicz assisted a North Dakota Game Warden with investigations finding violations of non-residents buying Minnesota resident licenses and taking big game with illegal license.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored activity on the Red Lake and Thief Rivers and access checks were performed. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of a Snowmobile Safety class in Middle River. Trails, WMAs and other areas were monitored for ATV and off-road vehicle activities. Questions were answered in regards to gray wolves, turkey and deer seasons.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angler activity on special regulation lakes and monitored area ATV activity throughout the week. He gave a laws and regulations presentation and assisted the instructors at the Kelliher Firearms Safety classes. Time was spent monitoring spring beaver trapping activity and an accidental catch otter was seized. He completed a commercial inspection at a local taxidermy shop. CO Regas investigated a report of an injured deer which was being followed by a man who appeared to be tracking the deer and was in possession of a rifle. CO Regas and sheriff deputies followed tracks to a residence about a half mile from the original call. The investigation revealed the family’s dog had chased down a deer injuring the deer and the dog’s owner had been tracking the deer to euthanize it. The dog’s owner had taken corrective action with the dog prior to officers making contact with the owner of the dog. Neither the dog’s owner nor officers were able to locate the deer after several hours of tracking it. Time was spent investigating an ATV trespassing complaint and fish house removal progress continues to be monitored on the remaining shelter on Upper Red Lake.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers on the Rainy River were reporting a good walleye bite until Saturday when the water clarity diminished greatly. The river is now open through Frontier landing, and opening up at a much faster rate than earlier this spring. Anglers on Lake of the Woods are reporting difficult and slushy conditions that are making travel difficult.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and ATV operators. Fish have also started to run in area creeks. Time was also spent working on a game farm inspection. A firearms related training session was attended in Bagley.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) completed mandatory trainings, monitored anglers and beaver trappers. A draining complaint was closed and permit questions were answered concerning wood cutting on WMAs and shoreline alterations. A dead deer was reported on a lake and a reportedly injured eagle was actually so gorged on a car kill deer it could not take flight.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) prepared for upcoming in-service training, answered calls related to turkey season and checked beaver trappers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored ice angling activity in the Bemidji area. Reports are spotty with most people targeting perch. Time was spent checking area forest roads for activity and monitoring ATV activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling and ATV activity. Most forest roads and trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest are now closed due to melting snow and wet conditions. CO Holt attended a DNR Earth Day/Arbor Day event at the Paul Bunyan Mall in Bemidji. Questions were answered regarding AIS, angling and hunting seasons.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting employees for DNR Fisheries and Waters with a site inspection after a neighboring landowner complained of water backing up onto their property. CO Vinton assisted a North Dakota Conservation Officer with a possible license fraud investigation. Several calls were received of deer parts getting dumped in area ditches. All instances appeared to be the result of the melting snow uncovering the parts dumped during the end of deer season.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked anglers and ATV/vehicle enforcement in closed areas of the State Forests. Enforcement action taken for ATV’s in a closed area, over limit of sunfish and culling/sorting.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the ice pulling away from shore. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and following up on a trapping complaint. CO Forsberg also investigated a license fraud case, conducted a game farm inspection, and followed up on a complaint of tree branches left on lake from tree removal. He also talked at FAS class in Hawley, checked for fish run, and assisted with a commercial fur buyer inspection.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent time working on upcoming trainings. WCA and public waters cases were reviewed and several sites were visited on follow up from last year. Several open cases were worked on and LGUs contacted regarding progress. Cases were discussed and guidance given to field COs regarding WCA issues.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice angling has basically come to an end in the area. Ice conditions have become unsafe on most lakes and access to the ice has become difficult. Spring migration has been impressive with various bird species observed. Folks should prepare their watercraft and be ready for open water fishing. An incidentally caught otter was seized and spring beaver trappers were checked.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) dealt with nuisance eagles attacking cows during calving time. An eagle was reported dead hanging from a tree with nest in it. A wolf was accidentally caught in a coyote trap. Litter violations are being investigated and fishing enforcement was monitored. An incidentally caught otter was also seized.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on burning complaints and on geese being shot during closed season. Additional time was spent handling calls on beaver depredation and ATV’s operating on public highways. Fish run activity was worked.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen on area lakes even though ice conditions have deteriorated. Access to lakes has almost been impossible lately with only a few lakes accessible. Anglers should be aware of changing ice conditions and take necessary precautions before heading out to fish. Air boat training was attended in Appleton.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked some of the last ice fishermen of the season on station lakes. Anglers seem to have better success catching panfish than they do getting onto the ice to fish. Most lakes have several feet of open water between the ice sheet and shore, making it difficult to get out. One angler was found to be in possession of an illegal length crappie on a special regulation lake. Assistance was also given to the Douglas Co Sheriff’s Office locating and removing a missing snowmobile from last December found deep in the cattails of Lake Mary.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports continuing to monitor the fishing activity, noting the ice is pulling away from shorelines fast and the best mode of transportation is walking. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire activity, teaching FAS classes, and attending meetings at Camp Ripley. Two individuals were caught operating motor vehicles in a WMA and Johanson and other officers worked on a commercial investigation in District 3.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATVs, fishing and fire activity. Ice is going out on several medium sized lakes around the Morris area. Fish run activity has been monitored on area streams and rivers. Time was spent working illegal burning and issuing minnow transportation permits. Airboat and Ice Rescue training was attended near Appleton. Calls were fielded regarding a bobcat sighting near Wheaton and questions were answered about WMA regulations and firearms safety classes.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and spring beaver trappers. Time was also spent monitoring fish run activity, and seizing incidentally taken otter. Baumbarger attended airboat training on Lac Qui Parle and Artichoke lakes. The training was well put together, covering day and night airboat operation, search and rescue techniques, and very realistic scenarios.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATV activity and angling activity. A call of two dead bald eagles in a field was received. CO spoke at a Firearms Safety Class at the Boy Scout camp.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) responded to spring fish run questions and patrolled areas of fish spawn. ATV patrols were conducted in agricultural and state forested areas. Questions were taken and a presentation conducted at a local archery club. Questions and topics ranged from the deer, fishing, wolves, and the turkey season to name a few.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked angling and related activity throughout the week. Numerous dead deer calls were received. A call of a deer caught in a fence, a call on a sick fox, and a call on a bird in someone’s yard were also received. Most of the calls were referred to the area DNR Wildlife office.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) is beginning to see fewer anglers on area lakes as the ice is beginning to erode. A vehicle went through the ice in shallow water on Lake Winnibigoshish. ATVs and foot travel are the primary means of get around on the lakes. CO Mathy checked ATV use on closed state forest roads.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ice angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast and lakes are becoming unsafe. CO Broughten completed mandatory training and met with the county attorney on open cases. CO Broughten also fielded calls concerning animal complaints and a public waters violation.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and checked ATV activity. A wolf depredation was investigated. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered ATV and no fishing license
CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked fishing activity on rivers, area lakes are starting to deteriorate. The temporary forest closures are in place across much of the region and users are encouraged to check the website on Thursday afternoon for the weekend update. CO Adam attended a monthly OHV monitoring meeting and employee meeting in St. Paul.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted with two different Lake Service Provider trainings in Alexandria and Walker. Many enforcement related questions were answered regarding LSP laws and permit conditions. A reminder that any business that rents watercraft is now required to obtain an LSP permit. Local angling activity was monitored and AIS laws discussed.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking boating and fishing activity on the Rainy River. The busiest day being Friday with approximately 375+ boats; the catching success decreased as the week and weekend progressed. Enforcement action was taken for no current angling license, illegal length fish, fish transportation issues, no Type IV PFD, and expired boat registration.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the week was spent working on equipment, storing equipment, and transporting equipment. Additional time was spent on office items and administrative reports. Outdoor activities were monitored with little noted.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports warmer weather again continued to melt a lot of the snow. As the snow melts, large amounts of trash are showing up along the area roads. A few migrating birds were observed passing through the area. Deer are frequenting the roadsides and continue to get hit by vehicles.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was the special guest speaker to the Palo Retired senior citizen at the Loon Lake CC, where Fredin detailed his job requirements and heard a few tall tales from the attendees. Fredin along with other Officers pulled a fish house off Lake Vermilion, the owner was contacted and issues a summons. Vermilion water skipping activities were checked.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted area officers in removing an ice house long past the ice house removal deadline from Lake Vermilion. Although there is still as much as 30 inches of ice on much of the lake’s open areas and weak spots have increased. Violations included angling without a license, possession of an overlimit of crappies, and operating an unregistered ATV.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a couple BWCAW fishing complaints and found some people that weren’t good at counting crappies. ATVs are showing back up on the lakes and there seems to be some confusion about them having a license plate and numbers and registration on them. The plate needs to have the ID numbers, valid registration sticker, AND be visible. If it is hidden, “lost”, or “just fell off” and in the tool box, you will most assuredly be given extra attention when the officers see you.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found lots of walleye anglers during the week as border walleye season comes to a close. A fair amount of snowmobilers were also out getting their last rides of the season in. Fishing slowed down from the previous week, but a few nice pike were seen. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing licenses in possession, no fishing license, extra lines and unattended set lines. One fellow was using his snowmobile to go into the BWCA to check his illegal unattended set lines. He didn’t even have a fishing license.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted with inspection of a commercial fur buyer. The officer also checked Lake Superior tributaries for break-up. Officer Manning took a call on a pair of deer stuck on Lake Superior’s ice; the deer had apparently walked or swam off by the time the officer arrived.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended a meeting with the Superior National Forest LEO, district rangers and area game wardens to discuss nuisance animals and cooperative law enforcement efforts on national forest lands. The Officer conducted a fur buyer inspection with area officers and met with the county attorney to discuss big game cases.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) followed up on litter complaints and enforcement action was taken for illegally dumping garbage on a roadway. Several injured deer calls were handled and a meeting was attended with the US Forest Service on nuisance animal issues. Drivers on the North Shore please use caution as deer are active around roadways this time of year attempting to find the spring’s first areas of green grass and creating a hazard to drivers.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers during the past week. He also handled wildlife calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, attended K-9 training and assisted the county with a domestic call. Enforcement action was taken for operate ATV on roadway and angling license issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked anglers this past week. Ice is pulling away from the shore on many lakes and is becoming thin in some areas that have current flowing, including Tioga Bay on Pokegama Lake. Please use caution this time of year when accessing the ice. She also traveled up to the Rainy River over the weekend to see how the walleye fishermen were fairing. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late ice angling activity with the pan fish hopping out of the holes. The bite was very good and many limits were seen over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. ATV activity has also spiked in the recent days with the warmer weather. Action was taken for operating an ATV on a county road. An ATV was also reported through the ice on Pokegama Lake. The ATV was promptly recovered the next day out of 25 feet of water and the operator was able to get to safety. The individual had driven over the exact location the day before, but due to the rain overnight it had greatly reduced the holding power of the ice. Please be careful on area lakes.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, spring beaver trappers and state parks. He also worked closed roads and trails during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing. Wichmann also took calls on injured deer.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) checked anglers and ATVers this past week. Snowmobiling conditions have deteriorated and several gates have been closed on GIA snowmobile trails. CO Velsvaag also attended a meeting regarding multiple use trail development.
Water Resource Enforcement officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, and a few snowmobilers on area lakes. Panfish and perch angling success improved. Some 12 inch blue gill were observed in creel buckets. Lake ice travel diminished from full-sized trucks to ATVs over the week. CO Arhart also worked aquatic invasive species and angling efforts at the Rainy River, tracked wetland restoration cases, and assisted the Dixon Lake Association with duck nest box maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, for transporting walleye without skin patch, for transporting watercraft with plugs in, for transporting water from infested streams, and for expired boat registration. The first migrant wood ducks were seen in open reaches of Third River. Fresh American goldeneye eggs were observed in nest boxes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of last week working fishing enforcement on Lake Superior and its tributaries. During the week people were ice fishing Lake Superior and the next day fishing the same location in open water. One day was spent working in St. Paul. Officer Duncan assisted the DNR Wildlife division with a couple deer calls and some other misc. wildlife complaints. Snowmobile and ATV enforcement was also worked.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working ATV complaints on roadways and snowmobile trails. Shore anglers were checked on Lake Superior. Ice anglers were checked on local lakes and ice conditions were okay but water and slush were a factor.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and ATV enforcement throughout the week. ATV activity has increased with warm weather conditions. Ice angling activity was sparse on area lakes. Some open water was observed on the St. Louis River near Cloquet, however, lots of ice and debris is mixed with the high moving water. CO Humphrey followed up on a wolf livestock depredation case from the previous week. Several calls were received about deer feeding and sick and/or starving deer. Boats were prepped for the upcoming open water season.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) continued K9 training with partner Schody. Assistance was given with inspecting a commercial fur buying operation in the state. A meeting was attended at Camp Ripley to get ready for the upcoming in-service training for all of the officers in the state. A K9 demo and talk was given to Safari Club International at their annual banquet in Hinckley. A report of a dead eagle was received and checked into. With the snow melting, ATVs and off-highway motorcycles are starting to show up in the area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a public highway, equipment and registration violations.
WREO Mike Scott attended meetings to prepare for the new academy training at Camp Ripley. Training was worked on for trapping enforcement for the new officers as well as upcoming in service training for current officers. Officer Scott worked on runoff from local gravel pit into trout stream was concluded with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to fix the issue and worked with DNR fisheries on AIS issues in the Duluth area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the North Shore rivers are just starting to open up. Plenty of pack ice on the Duluth end of Lake Superior. Some shore anglers are picking the spots of open water. He assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with blocking local roads due to flooding concerns. He monitored local trails for ATV/ORV use during the spring wet season. Officer Olson checked inland streams for stream trout opener. The snow cover in the woods is still knee deep and a few anglers attempted to snow shoe into local trout streams.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Many are showing up to fish, and sometimes having to change plans depending on where the ice has drifted to. Officer Ter Meer has not seen anyone fishing the rivers yet, but plenty of people looking and ready. The Duluth entry gates to the south pier are now open, so depending on where the ice had drifted some are trying there. He has heard from many ready to get out onto Lake Superior in their boats once accesses open up. Online department training was also completed.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked a few ice anglers on the sheltered harbors where some ice remains. A meeting was attended with DNR Fisheries regarding upcoming commercial activities. A case from last fall was prepped for court. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working anglers on Big Sandy and other area lakes. Most access points were still safe for travel but have quickly been deteriorating. She assisted Aitkin County SO on a call in McGregor of a suspicious person near the school. Enforcement action included an over limit of crappie and ATV registration violation.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including checking fishermen, fish run, beaver trapping, assisting local law enforcement agencies, working a detail in the Superior National Forest between Crane Lake and Ely, giving a presentation on CO duties and furbearing animals at a local church, and responding to various wildlife issues including an incident where a wolf attacked a dog in the yard of a person’s residence.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fishing and trapping activity. Complaints of dogs chasing deer and hunter harassment/trespass were also handled.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for ATV activity. CO McGowan also checked ice anglers on area lakes as ice conditions are becoming very poor. CO McGowan also worked with the county attorney’s office on a take deer without a license, and waterfowl hunting violation case that are scheduled for court trials.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ATVs, angling activity and wildlife complaints. Two 4WD truck drivers were cited for trespass on posted private property.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) saw fewer ice fishermen as the weather gets warmer. ATV’s are replacing snowmobiles and seasonal state forest closures are in effect as the trails get soft. A call from a cattle rancher was handled as a large stretch of fence was knocked down by the cattle and wolf tracks were found nearby, and the officer responded to a grass fire started by sparks from a wood fired maple syrup boiler.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on litter complaints. He continued with investigations of deer and beaver carcass dumping in the Pillsbury Forest. Pan fish anglers have been out trying their luck with mixed results ice conditions are very dangerous. He worked on a wetland excavating complaint. ATV’s tearing up ditches and in the closed Pillsbury Forest received some enforcement time. Burning without a permit and during closed hours violations were reported and enforcement action was taken.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked ATV and angling enforcement. The ice conditions are weakening at access points. Officer Guida worked with local highway authorities on a deer carcass that was illegally dumped in the road right of way. The hunter from last fall neglected to take off the site tag prior to the dumping and also forgot to register the deer. Officer Guida also worked with training staff on the upcoming academy and in-service training.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked pan fishing activity and continued to monitor dogs that are left unattended. Equipment issues were addressed, along with very pertinent mandatory training. Ice conditions are getting bad on most lakes. CO Starr also worked on ATV issues, investigated a small fire, and took a call about dumped deer carcasses.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) worked with neighboring officer checking fishermen on an area lake where the crappie bite took off for a few days. Area forest roads were patrolled for illegal traffic and a call of dogs chasing deer was handled. A party reported a muskrat chewing through a garage door and targeting old beer cans once inside. The party set a live trap and jokingly planned on getting the muskrat into a support group for his alcohol problem.
WREO Rob Haberman worked on wetland and water cases in his assigned area. WREO Haberman also patrolled state forests for vehicles entering closed forest roads. WREO Haberman also checked fishermen on local lakes.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked checking ice conditions and river levels throughout the county. Ice fishing seems to have ended in the Pine City area with the Snake River rising and breaking up shoreline ice in many access areas of Cross and Pokegama Lake. Some lakes on the north end of the county had fishermen on them, but ice was deteriorating quickly with the warm weather. CO Wynn took numerous calls on nuisance, sick, and injured animals. Forest roads are currently closed in the Chengwatana State Forest along with other state forests in the Pine County area. Check the DNR website for current forest closure information.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working area state forest roads and trails for the spring road closures. Please remember to check our DNR website before venturing out on an ATV being most trails area currently closed for the spring. Area lakes were checked with a few fishermen out but the pan fish bite varied from lake to lake. A complaint of a waters violation was investigated and a call of an injured goose was also investigated. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a complaint of double tripping on a local lake. Some permits were issued and some items were tagged for a local minnow dealer for the upcoming minnow season. Mandatory Department training was done and lots of fishing, hunting, trapping and ATV law questions were fielded.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in beaver trapping activity with the warmer weather and thawing of area creeks and rivers. A few anglers have still been out ice fishing but most areas have been reduced to accessing ice by foot traffic only. There is still some thick ice out there but shorelines have started opening up and many areas of ice have deep slush and some water on top to deal with. Enforcement activity included a report of a swan that was shot and otter being taken out of season.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored area trappers testing their luck. A few trappers had some luck but had some issues with rising waters with melting snow. Anglers tested their luck in Isle Bay on Mille Lacs but not many fish were seen. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration. Please ensure you ATV registration in up to date for the upcoming season.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked a dwindling number of anglers as local ice is getting slushing and is starting to pull away from shore. He also checked some beaver trappers, processed some confiscations, and winterized some equipment.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) fielded calls during the week regarding sick or injured deer, dead eagles, state forest ATV trail closures and depredation related issues. Officer Speldrich also checked anglers who were found out on her lakes enjoying the weather and looking for fish. Officer Speldrich completed investigations for prosecution and appeared in district court. The case stemmed from a case where a bear hunter was charged with trespass and other bear hunting related charges. After consultation with his attorney, the suspect pled guilty to the charges.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked on bow fishing complaints where game fish were shot. CO Mies checked ATVs and worked on a public waters case.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found fishing activity slowing down as ice conditions are deteriorating. Shore fishing is just getting started but most people are having limited success. An individual was stopped for operating a class 2 ATV on a state highway, his excuse was, “How else am I supposed to get to town?” CO Kuske attended an ATV club meeting to discuss safety training and future trail projects. A presentation about the lighter side of being a conservation officer was given by CO Kuske at an insurance company shareholders luncheon.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) spoke at the Sobieski Youth Firearms Safety class and the Royalton Youth ATV Class. A TIP call of suspicious activity at a remote creek area is being investigated and a TIP call of anglers fishing for walleyes before season on the Mississippi River. A couple of landowners with brush piles that CO Kuske noticed with furniture and/or garbage in them were proactively contacted before they burned them illegally and get a fine.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted with preparation for the upcoming academy.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week opening several new wetland and waters cases in the area. Training was completed. WREO Bertram also assisted with a fur buyer inspection in Otter Tail County.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked with local agencies to present information to our Amish community regarding environmental laws, rules, and ordinances. Ice along shorelines of local lakes deteriorated rapidly through the week. A few anglers made their way to solid ice and gave it a try. Sunfish were fairly cooperative. Crappies remained stubborn. Creeks were checked for fish run activity.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVs, and illegal burning activity. Time was spent working spring fish run. Ice conditions in the area reached a point where getting on to most lakes is out of the question. Enforcement action for the week included burning prohibited material, unattended fire, no burn permit and no angling license in possession. Thesing spoke at the Cold Spring firearms safety class.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) took a call regarding two shelters that the floors were cut off and left in the lake. The caller was hoping that those responsible would come and clean up their mess. Unfortunately they have left them out on the lake. Information regarding those responsible can be left with the TIP line.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored ice conditions throughout the station and found that most deteriorated quickly with the recent warm weather. CO Silgjord assisted fisheries personnel with a northern pike study. ATVs are starting to come out. CO Silgjord would like to remind area residents of the Ag zone restriction from April 1st to August 1st. Fires were also checked throughout the week for permits.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations to firearms safety classes in Monticello and St. Michael. Most lakes in the area have opened up along the shoreline and the ice is deteriorating fast with the high winds and warmer weather making unsafe ice conditions. Enforcement action was taken for fish house being left out after deadline, take furbearer with firearm and taken furbearer out of season.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman on the Mississippi River. He assisted with a number of nuisance animal calls. Officer Sladek gave an enforcement presentation to a firearms safety class and followed up on a road kill bear. He also investigated a number of ATV complaints.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers, ATVs, and took calls on littering/dumping. Officer Londgren also spoke at numerous firearms safety classes over the past week.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving numerous bear complaints over the past week. Homeowners are reminded, that if they do not wish to have bears near their homes, they need to remove bird feeders. CO Langevin also received a call of a possible wolf kill on a newborn calf. The calf was ruled a stillborn and coyotes had fed on the carcass. CO Langevin has received numerous calls regarding trash left on area lakes. The snow has melted and the trash left by anglers is now highly visible.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) investigated a trespass complaint and handled several animal calls. CO Musatov spoke at two youth firearms safety classes. Open water anglers and ATVs were checked.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week following up with open investigations and attended a court trial in Hennepin County. CO Grewe spoke to a firearms safety class and took several wildlife complaints.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked area streams for fish run. Several animal nuisance calls were handled. He gave a presentation to the Waconia Lions Club.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. Salzer attended a career fair at North Hennepin Community College and assisted with two Firearms Safety Classes. Salzer also dealt with a small game incident.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen with CO Pril. He patrolled for ATV enforcement. CO Neitzke returned calls and investigated numerous animal complaints. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and investigated a complaint of illegal camping there.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in district vicinity. He spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Eden Prairie. He took a call regarding an individual that was frustrated with the Canada geese that kept making a mess on his yard so he decided to use a BB gun and shot at them. Numerous calls for questions about fishing regulations were returned.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked trout anglers and other fishermen on Dakota County rivers. He worked off-road vehicle and ATV enforcement around Dakota and Scott counties. He did AIS enforcement around the Mississippi River accesses, spent some time working at the Cambodian New Year event and responded to calls and complaints throughout the week.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring recreational vehicles, and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen spoke to students at a Forest Lake school about hunting and fishing regulations. CO Arntzen also responded to several animal complaints, answered calls about trespassing, trapping, and investigated a wetland violation.
Violations for the week included operating an ORV in a restricted area, no fishing license, and failure to remove drain plug.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) finished a litter case and checked anglers on area streams. She assisted a CO from up north with a fishing case and handled various TIP calls. CO Kruse scheduled upcoming classes, assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County and handled nuisance animal calls.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) conducted airboat training with officers from Regions 1 and 4. Ice conditions on Big Stone Lake are diminishing fast, with many people hoping for ice out in anticipation of the border water opener next weekend.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that the burning of prohibited materials was a common activity this past weekend with enforcement action taken. Lake Hendricks still had 20 inches of ice close to shore. Northern Pike have been seen in area streams.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) participated in airboat training scenarios on LqP and Artichoke with area officers. Dumping and littering complaints are under investigation. Reports of people shooting fish were received and firearms safety was attended in several communities.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that Camden State Park was a busy place for this year’s stream trout opener. Around 50 vehicles were counted in and around the park by mid-morning. Fishermen are reminded that angling licenses and trout stamps are required for trout streams that run through state parks. Illegal motor vehicle operation on WMAs continues to be an issue. Enforcement action was taken. Assistance was given with firearms safety classes in Marshall and Belview.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working public water issues and ATVs. Waterfowl are once again moving through the area. Most area lakes are ice free with ice remaining only on the largest lakes.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a meeting in St. Paul. Officer Hanson also followed up on WCA cases and issued AIS information to fishermen. Training was also completed.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked ice anglers and found the ice conditions to be very unsafe. He assisted a neighboring officer with removing fish house floors that were left on an area lake. Commercial inspections were conducted. Denz also spoke to approximately 80 students at a New London Firearms Safety class sponsored by the local chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked numerous anglers that had success on the opening day of the trout season. Rainbow trout made up most of the limits caught. Throughout the week, she investigated a garbage dump, a complaint of shooting from a green SUV in Birch Cooley Township and dogs chasing deer. She assisted McLeod County with wild turkeys causing problems at an elementary school. Mueller also spoke at a FAS class in Buffalo Lake.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) prepared to instruct at the upcoming officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. Oberg also spent time setting up talks at firearms safety classes for this spring. Oberg also assisted with an injured deer call.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked local trout streams. Cloudy stream conditions made for tough sight fishing, but some anglers did well. Nelson wishes to remind anglers that non-target and/or rough fish need to be released if not kept. Beaching them is illegal.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given to a district officer monitoring areas for illegal activity. Beckmann attended the DNR Commissioner’s Listening Session in Windom with other department personnel. All area lakes are now completely free of ice, with many showing different degrees of winterkill.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing and ATVs in Jackson County. Complaints of bow fishing from shore were received. Gruhlke also completed a radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including bear license application deadline, turkey season and other relevant area activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked shore anglers and several ATV operators. Ice is clear of all lakes and there even was the sight of a couple watercrafts out for the first time. Commercial operations were inspected.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, ATV, and commercial activity. CO Howe also attended Division airboat training. The St. Peter trout ponds opened to their usual crowds. A minnow trapper was contacted in the field, with an inspection completed.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for boating, fishing, and ATV activity. Officer Ihnen also assisted with a FAS class held by a local instructor group. Additional time was spent monitoring compliance for spring beaver trapping activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV activity. TIP calls were investigated. The officer worked the trout opener in the southeast with neighboring officers and gave a law and ethics presentation to a FAS class in Morristown.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked the opening weekend of the trout season. A trapping complaint is being investigated. Time was spent on the Minnesota River testing equipment. Several questions from the public regarding the upcoming turkey seasons were answered.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV and angling activity. The officer assisted neighboring officers with the trout fishing opener near Forestville State Park. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV activity and working the trout fishing season opener. Investigated an illegal snare set from the trapping season. Burning permit violations were also handled. A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearms safety class in Adams
WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked trout opener. Follow up on WCA cases was completed. A K9 search for a firearm was conducted. Trespass complaints were also addressed.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement on the Mississippi River as many of the backwaters became ice free although ice still is present on lake Pepin. He also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley in reference to upcoming training and the academy. Finally, he worked a very busy but sloppy opening weekend of trout fishing in the southeast and closed out a trapping investigation.
CO Phil George (Rochester) spoke with an ATV safety class and checked anglers during the opening weekend of the trout season. Officer George worked checking boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River with some boating violations detected.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishermen had a good week fishing on the river. Trout opener, even with rainy weekend, was successful. There were many fishermen with limits.
Area streams were in great shape. Remember, if the DNR doesn’t have an easement along a stream then you need to have permission from the landowner. Just because a car is parked along a stream doesn’t give everyone permission to fish. Turkeys are slowly showing up in traditional strutting areas.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy trout opener. Fishing was fair to good as most anglers had some trout on the stringer. Rainbows were the most common along with a few brown trout as well. Violations encountered were over-limit of trout, possess illegal length trout (slot limit), no license in possession and no trout stamp. CO Boyum also answered calls reference the upcoming turkey season. A trespass call was also investigated.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy trout opener but the weather made for less people and less fish caught than usual. He responded to complaints of ATV’s operating on a closed ATV trail and in a different location an ATV operating on a closed snowmobile trail. He received a call from a person asking about taking his four-year-old turkey hunting. Hemker asked about the young hunter’s ability to use a gun and the proud father explained he was really almost five-years-old. Hemker also attended a Winona County meeting for township representatives and discussed DNR issues.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked trout anglers over the weekend. The rain muddied up most streams and slowed the fishing down. Anglers were still finding fish on a few of the streams that were pretty clear.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking angling activity. Trout anglers did well with numerous limits of trout seen in the bag. River fishing success has slowed a little. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.