CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT 04-21-2014 District 1 – Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and conducted follow up on open cases. CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spoke on laws and ethics at the trapper education class in Thief River Falls and seized a bobcat that had been incidentally caught in a coyote snare. A trespassing complaint was investigated, assistance was provided to a sheriff’s office with a motorcycle accident, and turkey hunters were checked. With the nice weather ATV activity increased dramatically in the area. Enforcement action for the week included ATV operation and registration violations.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) patrolled for off-highway motorcycle and ATV activity. WMAs and other areas were patrolled for fire activity. The law and ethics portion of a Firearms Safety Class was taught in Middle River. CO Warren performed equipment maintenance on patrol vehicles.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity on special regulation lakes, spring fish run progress, spring beaver trapping activity, seized accidental catches and worked on commercial inspections throughout the week. He also assisted the Kelliher Firearms Safety instructors administer the final test with 14 students successfully completing the class and are now ready for the upcoming FAS field day. He attended the Upper Red Lake Area Association meeting and a meeting with the area Forestry manager. Time was spent investigating the dumping of light goose carcasses. With the coming of spring warming the area lakes ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Anglers are reminded to use caution and utilize ice safety equipment and consider the use of a PFD when venturing out on the late season.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting good success catching sturgeon, and that the Rainy River is now open to Wheelers Point. CO Gorecki attended annual in-service training and investigated a possible arson fire. Other calls of service included injured animal calls and fish houses still left on Lake of the Woods. Baudette -vacant. Blackduck #2 – vacant. Karlstad – vacant. Warroad #1 – vacant. Warroad #2 – vacant. District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending annual training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working spring beaver trapping activity. Anglers and ATV operators were also checked. CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored beaver trapping and angling activities. He had a call about a car kill deer and attended training at Camp Ripley. An unlawful posting of a lake public access was investigated. The poster had stolen a no trespassing sign and placed it at the access. He also responded to a call of an officer being shot and assisted with a search for the suspect.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked area lakes for angling activity. Only a handful of people are still venturing onto the ice, use caution. CO Vollbrecht patrolled the Soo Line Trail with CO Holt and checked beaver trapping activity. Officer Vollbrecht assisted with a structure fire and a wildfire investigation on another grass fire. Conditions are very dry with strong winds most of the week making it difficult to control fires. CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring trapping activity and ATV traffic. Complaints were received and investigated relating to illegal trapping. CO Holt also responded to an out of control brush fire which required air support to extinguish. Several area taxidermies were inspected.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending annual spring in-service training at Camp Ripley and monitoring spring fish run. A call of someone shooting as ducks and geese were seen flying was investigated. ATV activity is increasing as the weather has improved. Riders should be reminded that ATV travel in the ditches south of US Hwy 10 is closed through July. Though most lakes in the area still have ice, travel on them would not be advised.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored the local fish run and attended spring in-service training. Angling pressure was low as many lakes became inaccessible due to soft ice on the edges. CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The ice is starting to pull away from shore making access difficult. Time was also spent attending annual training at Camp Ripley, talking at a youth turkey hunt, seizing an accidentally taken otter and following up on a fishing TIP. WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week at in-service providing instruction with the Use of Force Team. Time was spent following up on public waters and burning questions. Time was also spent focusing on fish run activity. Moorhead – vacant. Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) spent time checking early fish run activity and taking information on incidentally caught otter. Annual in-service training at Camp Ripley was attended and a complaint regarding a turkey hunter was handled. A laws and ethics presentation was given to a Fergus Falls FAS class. Trappers are encouraged to report any incidental caught critters while targeting in season animals.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked a few ice anglers and beaver trappers throughout the week. Annual in-service training was attended and the officer worked on an upcoming volunteer appreciation banquet. Nuisance turkey and deer complaints were handled.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Additional time was spent investigating complaints of individuals shooting geese out of season and spearing prior to season. A firearms safety class was attended in Ashby and the station boat was readied for the upcoming open water season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Complaints of fishermen catching a swan and a pelican caught in barbed wire were investigated. Fishing activity was monitored in the area.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring fish run activity this past week as well as the opening of spring turkey season. Enforcement action was taken on a pair of adults who had a fully loaded .22 cal. rifle sitting between them on the front seat of their truck; they were using it to “shoot squirrels.” Lawler spoke to a marine mechanic’s class at Alex Tech School about AIS laws and regulations as they prepare for graduation. Nuisance Canada goose calls were also taken.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to monitor the angling and fish run activity in the area. Additional time was spent working ORV and fire enforcement, and follow up work was done on open cases and investigations. Several days were spent at Camp Ripley instructing CO use of force training.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on illegal ATV operation, fire activity and border waters fishing opener. Fishing was slow on the border waters. Many boaters still seem to be baffled about having to exchange water on bait at the access before taking it home to avoid a violation of the AIS water transportation laws. A WCA TEP meeting was attended at the Stevens County SWCD and an RPO was issued to an individual placing fill in a wetland. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as calls handled regarding nuisance beaver, turkey season, WMA use and FAS classes.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) monitored spring fish run and beaver trapping activity. Time was also spent armoring pistols at in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer investigated reports of dogs chasing deer, monitored AIS compliance, and checked fishermen with CO Miska at the border water fishing opener. Wheaton – vacant. District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) worked fishing and ATV activity. Many forest roads are closed right now due to poor road conditions and will open up again when they dry out. Fire danger is high and burning restrictions for Hubbard County go into effect Monday, April 21. CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports the spring beaver trapping is well underway. One trapper reported traps being stolen, with one recovered. Another person called to report he found a live beaver in a trap. There was nothing illegal about the set and the beaver was dispatched and returned to the trapper with his gear. A number of anglers were checked as well with the main target being rough fish.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked ice angling activity during the week. Numerous calls with questions were answered and equipment was prepared for the upcoming open water season. CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on ice angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Ice continues to deteriorate from area lakes, which is finally bringing some open water on ponds and smaller lakes. CO Broughten fielded calls concerning accidental caught otter and a public waters violation. CO Broughten also prepared boats for open water and attended annual training at Camp Ripley.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and checked ATV activity. Assistance was provided to the local police department with a juvenile runaway. CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked area lakes for fishing activity, many are inaccessible and unstable. State 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. Officer Adam attended a meeting in St. Paul, investigated OHV mudding complaints, checked fish run areas and trapping issues, assisted DNR Forestry with wildfire complaints, and contacted a driver for littering. Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala met with local SWCD personnel to discuss wetland issues. He also monitored angling activity and checked ATV activity. AIS educational efforts were also accomplished. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display registration, ATV passenger under 18 without helmet, and operate ATV in road right of way without driver’s license. District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking the end of spring walleye fishing season on the Rainy River with little activity reported as wind and cold temperatures moved into the region. A law presentation was given at a young firearms safety class in Littlefork. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports litter in road ditches has appeared as the snow has started to melt. Public access sites were monitored. Work planning continues. Administrative reporting and office work continue. Very little outdoor activities taking place.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area forest roads and trails for ATV activity and damage due to the muddy conditions. For the second year in a row, people are concerned that ice will cover the area lakes for the fishing opener.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and patrolled for spring beaver trapping activity. Very little late season angling activity has been observed and ATV and OHM activity has picked up. Several calls of litter left behind on area lakes have come in from lake shore owners.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. I. Falls # 2 – vacant. Ray – vacant. Tower – vacant. District 6 – Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports there has been an increase in outdoor activity with the warmer weather later this week. ATV’s have started to surpass snowmobiles as the preferred method of travel on lakes and trails, although many lakes are beginning to get hazardous near landings because the melting snow and ice. Violations included littering, angling without a license, and failing to remove traps.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen and spent time training at Camp Ripley. Officer observed that many new birds are returning to the area after the long winter. The snow is finally starting to disappear and the deer are finding food in places where the snow has gone away.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended yearly in-service training in Camp Ripley during the week. CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped volunteer instructors with hunter education class; folks interested in helping with classes are always welcome to contact the officer. Manning attended division training on trapping and first aid at Camp Ripley. She also helped instruct arrest and control techniques and firearms skills during annual spring in-service.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working a strong crappie bite and investigating possible over limits. A litter investigation was worked with CO Williams. A fish house remaining out on Lake Vermilion well past the deadline was seized with further enforcement action to the owner. ATV activity and closed trails were also monitored. Enforcement action included over limit of crappies, litter, fail to display snowmobile registration, and no fishing license in possession. CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley during the first week of in-service instructing Use of Force and firearms tactics and skills. The officer checked anglers along the North Shore and responded to a TIP complaint in the Silver Bay area.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week along with a complaint of illegal dumping of fish remains. Several calls of injured deer were handled and annual division enforcement training was completed at Camp Ripley. Silver Bay – vacant. District 7 – Grand Rapids area CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked for fishing activity and patrolled for ATV activity. He also answered wildlife calls and small game questions. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast, use caution.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended annual in-service training, monitored OHV activity, handled injured deer complaints and assisted the county with a search warrant. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and OHV registration issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) performed maintenance on division equipment this past week down at Camp Ripley. She also checked ATV activity on Blandin property southwest of Grand Rapids. Right now, Blandin has their property closed to traffic due to spring thaw. Anyone caught on Blandin property with a motor vehicle could be charged with trespass. Ice is thinning out around the edges of many lakes, travel carefully.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked some of the last ice angling activity with the ice conditions declining quickly. Enforcement action was for no angling license in possession, operating a watercraft without a throwable and for not having enough life jackets on board. ATV activity has also increased with the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a county roadway.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs and spring trappers. He also received various complaints during the week. CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) worked ATV enforcement activities as the weather improved. He spent the majority of the week attending in-service training at Camp Ripley. District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended annual in-service training held at Camp Ripley. CO Humphrey also armored division handguns for other Officers attending training. CO Humphrey followed up on a deer feeding complaint with MDHA. A call of dogs’ at large chasing deer was reported over the weekend.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent a good portion of the week at yearly in-service training at Camp Ripley where training was received on firearms, defensive tactics, scenarios, and trapping enforcement. Complaints of ATV’s operating on closed trails, trespassing and other violations were investigated over the weekend. Interviews and a search warrant were conducted on a bear case from last fall. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior with a few salmon caught. Officer Schmidt attended in-service training at Camp Ripley for most of the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent most of the week participating in annual training at Camp Ripley. A few calls were taken on dogs chasing deer and litter complaints. Lake Superior tributaries are open and the steelhead are starting to make their way up river. Cold water temperatures have been keeping river fishing slow. Some violations encountered were using illegal methods of take and a couple license issues. Lake Superior Marine Unit Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time at in-service training at Camp Ripley. The warmer weather is slowly melting off the snow pack. The North Shore rivers are running pretty well. The majority of anglers are shore fishing though. Work was spent finalizing a class outline for upcoming training with the U.S. Border Patrol.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked anglers and ATV riders. A few diehard snowmobilers were still seen on the North Shore State Trail, though grassy sections are starting to become more common. In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Shore anglers fishing where pack ice has not drifted in, some trying the rivers, and others still ice fishing at McQuad. Seeing some fish, not much in rivers yet. Seeing no smelt activity. Also checked for crappie anglers on inland lakes, as well as beaver trappers. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations. District 9 – Brainerd area CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored ATVs, angling activity and wildlife complaints. He also participated in annual training at Camp Ripley.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week including patrol of fish run, angling, beaver trapping, ATV, and state forest activity, responding to injured and nuisance wildlife issues, and talking with students about careers in natural resource law enforcement at a career day event at Central Lakes College.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked with in-service training of Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley. Officers were trained in multiple topics and training also involved firearm and Taser use. Officer Guida also instructed a group of youngsters in Firearms Safety at the Turn In Poachers headquarters.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for late season ice angling activity. Most lakes in the area are not safe for foot traffic and very few anglers were observed fishing. Time was also spent monitoring off-road vehicle activity in the area. CO McGowan also assisted local agencies with a home invasion call. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and off-highway motorcycle violations.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) assisted with training at Camp Ripley and checked anglers on area lakes.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked spring turkey hunters, monitored seasonal closures for State Forests, fielded complaints of burning prohibited materials, and checked on the spring fish run in area creeks. A call of 4×4 trucks ripping up a wetland resulted in a healthy tow truck bill to get out of the swamp and pending charges for all involved.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended annual training. District 10 – Mille Lacs area CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked angling activity and patrolled closed state forests. She responded to a call of an injured eagle. Upon arrival, she determined eagle was still able to fly short distances and appeared healthy enough to survive. Speldrich attended the funeral of Deputy Severson with the LEMA Honor Guard.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent much of the week at Camp Ripley completing annual law enforcement training. Station activity included checking trappers and dealing with nuisance animal complaints. Very few ice anglers were found and ice has become extremely dangerous and really melted away from shore lines. Some ATV violations were found and a case was made involving trapping without a license.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports attending the Enforcements Division’s annual in-service training during the week at Camp Ripley. The Officer also assisted in armoring some of the division’s handguns. Spring fish run activity and fishing activity was monitored throughout the week. Area state forest roads and trails were checked for illegal spring road closure activity. Please remember to check our DNR website before venturing out on state trails. Most of these trails are closed for the spring road closure. Trapping and turkey hunting activity was monitored during the week. Lots of hunting, fishing, and ATV related law questions were fielded throughout the week.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) attended training and responded to calls regarding ATV traffic, nuisance muskrats, and dogs chasing deer. No one was observed on the ice with shallow lakes and areas with current having open water.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked turkey hunters during the week seeing few birds. Time was spent checking trapping activity and handling incidental otter being caught in beaver traps. Assistance was also given armoring division handguns.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. He received calls of burning issues, sick and injured animals, and OHV questions during the week. Time was also spent patrolling area state forests for closure compliance. WREO Rob Haberman conducted watercraft inspector training and a law enforcement job discovery clinic at Central Lakes College. He also went to a DNR media course in Grand Rapids. WREO Haberman also spent three days at Camp Ripley for in-service training.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on some equipment issues and assisted a neighboring officer with a separate equipment task. The Onamia Firearms Safety Class was given the law and ethics talk. Nuisance animal calls were taken, along with some trapping concerns. Officer Starr started fish run scouting and is gearing up for turkey season.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked for turkey hunters throughout the week. A few hunters were successful but the snow on opener didn’t help anything. Anglers were checked on area lakes. The Officer also traveled to Ely for a work detail. District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked turkey hunters, anglers, ATVs and burning. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for annual training on shooting, first aid and defensive tactics.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended annual in-service training. A few anglers were out. Most lakes are unsafe to attempt accessing. Creeks were checked. CO Friese assisted with an ATV certification in Browerville. Aeration inspections were completed.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored fires throughout the station, gave a law and ethics presentation at an area Firearms Safety class and investigated a possible wetlands violation. While conducting an evening patrol CO Silgjord located and addressed an underage drinking party with the assistance of a county sheriff’s deputy. CO Silgjord also assisted with division recruiting efforts by attending the Central Lakes College Law Enforcement Career Fair and giving a lecture at a Natural Resources Law Class. Assistance was also given to the State Patrol during the heavy snows that resulted in many vehicles ending up off road. Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at yearly in-service and preparation for the upcoming academy.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, trapping and turkey hunters. The officer found anglers doing very well with catfish on the Horseshoe Chain from shore. Enforcement action was taken for controlled substance violation and false application for a husband and wife license.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports more complaints of dogs chasing deer are coming in with enforcement action taken against the dog owners. CO Kuske assisted a homeowner with bird ID on a flock of Chukar partridge that flew into his garage, and also assisted the State Patrol with cars in the ditch during the last snowstorm. A garbage dumping complaint was handled where people are dumping old TVs and tires in the ditch in front of a residence. A tag was issued for a road hit otter and for car kill deer. With the warmer weather many Class 2 ATVs have been stopped and educated on where they can operate (shoulder of the road) and not on state highways. A TIP call of a poached merganser and turkey was investigated with the merganser found to be recently shot on the Mississippi River. WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week opening new wetland and waters cases. Citations were issued for no contractor responsibility form and no OHM registration. Beaver trappers were also checked.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) met with a minnow dealer to tag equipment that is to be used in AIS designated waters. Spring fish run in under way and CO Kuske spent time monitoring areas, providing protection for these vulnerable fish as they make their spawning runs. CO Kuske attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms class. CO Mies worked on a tip call. District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on the Mississippi and Elk rivers. He followed up on a complaint of an illegally shot hen turkey; charges are pending. He attended annual training at Camp Ripley. He answered a number of questions about turkey hunting and is following up on a trespassing complaint. CO Sladek wants everyone to be careful when navigating the rivers they are very high and cold. He advises everyone to wear a life jacket at all times.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week at in-service training at Camp Ripley. Officer Reller also handled a call related to a possible fish trap which turned out to be just a minnow trap. Most of the lakes in the area still have some ice, but that should change by early in the week.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) attended training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov assisted with prep work for the upcoming academy. An animal call was handled and follow up done on a trespassing complaint.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend in the area’s state parks. The warm weather brought out lots of trail users. The hikers, bikers and horse riders were out in full force on the holiday weekend. Anglers are starting to hit the St. Croix River in search of catfish and suckers. The water is still moving pretty quick and the water level is high on the upper St. Croix. The speed of the water is making some fishing more difficult but anglers are taking advantage of the access to the upper river.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked on wetland violations, illegal fires, and talked with students at firearms safety classes. Officer Londgren also took calls on nuisance animals, and replied to questions on turkey hunting. Cambridge – vacant. District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended in-service training during the week at Camp Ripley.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for angling activity. CO Salzer also patrolled for turkey hunting activity. Salzer also received a TIP of a possible license fraud.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring creek activity. CO Grewe followed up with another littering complaint. Violations included taking northern pike out of season and no fishing license in possession.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) returned calls regarding animal complaints. He patrolled Dakota County for ATVs, ORVs, and turkey hunters. CO Neitzke assisted with armoring handguns and annual in-service training. He also talked to two firearms safety classes.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. He spoke at a FAS class in Bloomington. He checked anglers in the Bloomington station. Bloomington – vacant. Prior Lake – vacant. District 14 – East Metro area
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports the he worked the spring turkey opener. The snow storm on opening day did not help. A young turkey hunter had an accidental double kill over the weekend. CO Johnson received a report of an aggressive turkey that chased a woman in Oak Grove. He spoke to firearms safety classes in Oakdale and Coon Rapids. CO Johnson completed some administrative training.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended three days of in-service training at Camp Ripley. She handled TIP calls and checked anglers on area streams. CO Kruse finished up on a litter case, handled nuisance animal calls and assisted the Wisconsin DNR with a case.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft users, and doing off road vehicle enforcement. CO Arntzen investigated several wetland violations and issued a resource protection notification. He also rescued an injured Bald Eagle and handled several TIP complaints. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, PFD violations, and operating a watercraft without required navigational lights.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week. He did boating and AIS enforcement in Dakota and Ramsey counties and assisted the William O’Brien State Park staff with the retrieval of their fences that were floating down the St. Croix River. Violations included no fishing license, taking trout without trout stamp, insufficient life jackets in boat, no type IV life-saving device on board watercraft, and no fishing license in possession. Eagan – vacant. Hastings – vacant. Maplewood – vacant. Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, and WMA enforcement. Trout fishermen continue to try their luck on those designated stream areas along the Redwood River. A few boaters were out on area lakes trying to find some spring crappies and getting their boats prepared for summer. Boat owners are reminded to check their registration and safety equipment before venturing out. Annual enforcement division training was also attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) reports that the burning of prohibited materials was an issue with enforcement action being taken. Lake Hendricks had a very nice weekend, weather wise, for the opener. Fishing was slow but anglers enjoyed being out in their boats. CO Lage attended several days of training at Camp Ripley.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked the ice free border water opener on Big Stone Lake. Many anglers were excited to be on open water after the long winter. Fishing success was low, but compliance was high. An investigation involving illegally shot migratory birds was taken near Appleton. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the TIP line. Incidentally taken otter were also seized during the week.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Time was also spent instructing fellow officers during the recent annual in-service training session. ATV activity has increased due to warm temperatures and muddy conditions. CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued numerous out of state minnow transport permits throughout the week and conducted commercial inspections. The officer also followed up on a TIP complaint of someone catching walleyes out of season.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) collected several incidental otter caught in spring beaver traps. Please be aware that otter tend to migrate in the spring to ponds where fish spawn. This results in a higher than average number of otter in one area. This concentration led to the recent incidental catch of five river otter in a 24 hour period from one short stretch of the Minnesota River. For more information regarding ways to avoid catching river otter in the spring visit the MN DNR’s website.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Two restoration orders and two RPNs were served in Lincoln County. A WCA violation was reported in Sibley County. AIS info was issued to fishermen on area lakes and rivers. Benson – vacant. Madison – vacant. Redwood Falls – vacant. District 16 –
New Ulm area CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with in-service training. CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports with spring finally here waterfowl are back in large numbers. Oberg reports shore fishing activity is also starting to pick up. Oberg also spent time instructing at officer in-service training at Camp Ripley.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) performed some taxidermist and raw fur buyer checks. He also spent time at Camp Ripley armoring handguns. The rest of the week was spent on fishing activity.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers and ATV operators. Officer Beckmann also assisted with instruction at the division’s annual spring in-service at Camp Ripley.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing, turkey hunters and ATVs in Jackson County. Gruhlke also attended annual training at Camp Ripley. CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Anglers and watercraft were inspected on area lakes. An initial inspection was performed on a game farm. Litchfield – vacant. Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling activity. Howe also attended in-service training and armored pistols. CO Howe and CO Ihnen assisted local authorities with the search for a drowning victim on Madison Lake.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) had a busy week patrolling for boating, fishing, and ATV activity. Officer Ihnen also gave a law and ethics presentation to a local FAS class. Additional time was spent monitoring spring turkey hunting activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked angling, ATV, and trapping activity. TIP calls were investigated. Trapping and litter complaints were also handled.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) instructed officers at Camp Ripley this past week for the division’s annual in-service.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, angling, small game, & big game activity. The officer assisted neighboring officer with a game farm inspection & also responded to a TIP call. The officer gave the law & ethics portion of a firearms safety class in at St. Mary’s School in Owatonna. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring ATV, trout fishing activity, and completed some commercial license inspections. He attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked turkey opener. Follow up on a public water case was completed. A litter violation was addressed and angling violations were encountered. Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a good start to the turkey season with some success reported. He investigated ATV complaints and went to annual training. As he was returning to his residence at 10:00pm on a weekend night he observed an out of control wildfire on a nearby bluff. Local fire departments were contacted and residents were notified. Hemker also spoke about his career at a local high school.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week on the backwaters of the big river, as well as attending in-service training and working first season turkey hunters. The big river is up and a little cold, and fishing has been a little slow, but the trout fishermen have been having pretty good success. Some turkeys were checked, but the birds appeared to still be bigger groups.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked turkey hunters during the week. Hunters checked had mixed success, but some were getting birds. Heyn also attended annual training at Camp Ripley.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking frustrated turkey hunters. Gobblers being henned up and unresponsive was common. Success was limited. Trout anglers were doing a little better with good stream conditions and warmer weather. CO Boyum also attended in-service training at Fort Ripley.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time last week doing training at Camp Ripley. The weekend was spent checking ATV activity, as well as fishing and boating activity. Numerous ATVs were out taking advantage of the spring weather. Trout anglers were doing well but river anglers were struggling to find any fish. Most boats that were checked did not have any fish on board. Some fishing, boating and ATV violations were detected.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports windy week to start the turkey opener. The weekend shaped up and hunters had good success bagging birds. Trout streams are in good condition. The Mississippi River is at 11.5 with normal being about 5. Most landings are still open, but the water is right at the top of the ramps. The cold weather once again shut down river fishing. Enforcement for the week included no fishing license, fail to display registration on an ATV, and take two turkeys with one shot.
CO Phil George (Rochester) took litter complaints and followed up on a waters violation. ATV operators are reminded of the road ditch ban in place until August 1st. Officer George checked anglers throughout the week and answered many questions regarding the turkey season, zone boundaries, and license issues. Some turkey hunters had success. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV. 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 Bob Geving flew wetland photo inventory missions with DNR Forestry personnel. CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of in-service training at Camp Ripley. Jensen flew the last wolf pack count flight of the year due to snow conditions getting too poor to locate the animals. Jensen assisted with checking anglers from the seaplane on Big Stone and Traverse lakes on the 2014 opener. Nice weather but fishing success was poor. NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten and wolf telemetry and a river survey for Bemidji Fisheries. Heineman also prepared for upcoming statewide goose survey.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time this week working FTO with CO Schmidt. Fishermen were checked along the North Shore of Lake Superior and the French River Fishery was toured. A day was spent in Brainerd dedicated to flight training and the in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. 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. SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website. See Also: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/training.html STAFF NOTES: NE RTO Shelly Patten attended Camp Ripley in-service training which included defensive tactics and firearms training. Patten assisted State Patrol with an ambulance vs. moose crash. West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports teaching use of force techniques at Camp Ripley during officer in-service training. He also planned for upcoming instructor training/firearms safety field days. Instructor equipment needs and questions were also addressed. NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officers annual in-service training. Officers receive training in firearms, defensive tactics, outdoor related topics and first aid. RTO Lawrence spoke with FAS Instructors about upcoming FAS training. SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez spent most of the week at Camp Ripley assisting with Conservation Officer in-service training. RTO Gutierrez has received several registrations and inquiries regarding his upcoming Volunteer FAS Instructor training. Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent most of the week assisting with training Conservation Officers at annual in-Service at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent on instructor background checks. NW RTO Jon Paurus assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officers annual in-service training. Officers received training in firearms, defensive tactics, outdoor related topics and first aid. Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week took care of equipment transfer items, attended the quarterly All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) meeting and worked a deer poaching case. Assisted with instructing at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officer’s annual in-service training.