Here is the weekly CO Report courtesy of Richard Sprouse from the MN DNR.
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) followed up on a case involving wasted deer that were harvested last November; charges are pending. Enforcement action was taken on an individual for burning tires and on another who was burning without a permit on a day with high winds. Pike anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls of dogs chasing deer, nuisance beaver, and a car struck bear. A complaint of domestic animal carcasses dumped in a local WMA was investigated. Area turkey hunters were checked and sucker spearing activity was monitored.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored areas for fire activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity on area trails and gravel pits. CO Warren attended an ATV/ORV meeting with other DNR divisions. The Red Lake and Thief Rivers were monitored for activity.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored spring fish run activity, ATV trail activity, spring beaver trapping activity, AIS compliance of boating traffic going to and from the Rainy River and the spearing opener activity. FAS instructors were assisted at the Blackduck/Kelliher youth firearms safety field day. Time was spent investigating tip calls of light goose and deer carcasses being dumped, investigating complaints of ATV trespassing and careless operation, investigating a report of a car killed bear and several accidental catch otters were seized. Enforcement action for the week included fish house left on lake after deadline, AIS violations, and ATV registration violations.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing activity throughout the week. Sturgeon anglers reported excellent success throughout the week with some anglers catching sturgeon over 70 inches. Other time was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints, fire complaints, and finishing fishing cases up from this winter season.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and ATV operators. Time was also spent speaking at a firearms safety class in the Crookston area. A suspected public waters violation site was checked, spring beaver trapping activity was monitored, and a possible wolf depredation complaint was investigated.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling, ice out, leech and beaver trappers. He had calls of a vehicle striking a moose and a dead deer on the ice. He assisted with a domestic call and took enforcement action on open burning of garbage that started several acres on fire ruining multiple Easter celebrations. Another fire call had a person burned trying to control it and despite medical efforts he died at the hospital.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked beaver trappers, ATVers and monitored spring fish run.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored closed forest roads and trails during the week. Accidental otter were collected from spring beaver trappers. Spring fish run was monitored. Suckers have not been observed in area creeks and the lakes continue to open slowly.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked trapping activity and monitored spring fish run. A wildfire investigation was completed. CO Holt patrolled for ATV activity in the Bemidji area with CO Vollbrecht. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations and failing to extinguish a permit fire.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating a vehicle stuck on a state forest trail at the request of MNDNR Forestry, contacting anglers for the sucker spearing opener and monitoring the spring fish run. CO Vinton was requested by the Becker County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) to assist with a call about four kids in a paddle boat stranded on a lake still mostly ice covered. CO Vinton arrived and it was discovered that the young men were fishing and not in distress. Citations were issued for no PFDs on the paddle boat and a discussion of the risks they placed themselves in by boating on the frigid water. CO Vinton also provided the BCSO and Detroit Lakes Fire Dept. with information related to the operation of their airboat.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored the fish spawning, conducted follow-up on pending cases and handled miscellaneous wildlife issues.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and turkey hunters. A few shore fishermen are looking for crappies but action is slow with cold water temps. Most ice is gone from area lakes with the wind and rain over the weekend. Turkey hunters are finding mixed success. A firearms class was attended in the Felton area and a range day was completed in Pelican Rapids.
WREO Joe Stattelman instructed at the ongoing academy at Camp Ripley for the introduction to the division’s Use of Force program. Time was spent monitoring fish run locations in Otter Tail and Becker counties. Several WCA and PW complaints were investigated and correspondence with Local Gov’t Units (LGUs) conducted.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked open water anglers, beaver trappers, and answered questions related to numerous topics. A wet cold weekend dampened the spirits of a lot of bow fishermen and turkey hunters. Richards displayed one of the TIP Wall of Shame trailers at the Fergus Falls DU Duck Fair over the weekend.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) hosted a volunteer instructor banquet with over 90 people present. A free meal and each instructor going home with a door prize along with three firearms given away put smiles on everyone’s face in attendance. Plautz checked area streams for fish run activity and scouted turkey hunting areas.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked primarily spring fish run and spearing activity. Additional time was spent in the vacant Wheaton station working on a complaint of a minnow dealer that had a boat stolen. Fishermen were checked and calls were handled regarding a dock upside down in a lake, illegal ATV operation, nuisance beaver, and an otter accidentally caught in a fish net.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area streams for fish run activity and for spearing activity. A firearms safety class in Millerville was attended and the laws and ethics portion was taught. Station equipment was maintained and put into storage. Air boat training was completed on Lake Ida with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports some shore fishermen are starting to fish along certain shorelines looking for panfish. Success has been limited so far with the cold water temps. An investigation into some illegal trapping activity was conducted with enforcement action pending. Also, an accidentally trapped otter was reported and seized from a spring beaver set.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing activity including fish run, rough fish opener, and open water panfish anglers. Several bow fishermen were found starting the season early and a couple of northern pike were found shot and left at a creek. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement and checking beaver trappers and turkey hunters. CO Johanson and several other officers conducted interviews on open trapping investigations.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on illegal commercial minnow harvest, ATV and border waters fishing activity. Fishing complaints were worked in the vacant Wheaton station. Anderson attended and spoke at the Stevens County area firearms safety classes where 36 students were certified. Airboat rescue training was attended in cooperation with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The officer also spoke to 450 students at the Morris Safety Camp on boat and water safety as well as a presentation on AIS. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as questions related to fishing, turkey hunting and FAS class questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen around the area, with ice recently off the lakes. Baumbarger monitored spring fish run, assisted CO Anderson with Morris FAS Range/Field Day, and prepared materials for the upcoming FAS class in Pope County. Time was also spent on airboat training/demonstration w/ COs Osborne and Anderson for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Additional time was spent on cases from the fall season.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) seized several accidentally taken otter from beaver trappers. Bow anglers and spear fishermen were out over the spearing opener, with few problems reported. A banquet was put on for all the firearms, ATV, and snowmobile safety instructors. A huge thank you to the instructors for all their hard work and time commitment.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked ice angling activity, investigated a complaint of someone dumping trash on state land, assisted the sheriff’s office on a call of trees blocking roads and assisted the sheriff’s office on a domestic. A complaint of stolen traps was received.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked spring beaver trappers. A TIP led to enforcement action for not tending traps. Two separate incidents of accidentally caught otters were also processed. CO Mathy checked for illegal fires and worked on equipment maintenance.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on spring angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Lakes are beginning to open up with a number of smaller lakes already open. Spring spearing activity was slow. CO Broughten received a TIP call concerning fox found dead in snares. By the condition of the animals it was determined that the traps had not been checked in quite some time. The owner of the traps was located and enforcement action was taken. CO Broughten investigated several fires and a complaint of a person putting carpet in the lake. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office with a domestic. Enforcement action included no burning permit, failure to have burning permit on person, underage consumption of alcohol, careless driving, and failure to check traps.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and check ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV’s on roads and for failure to display registration. People are starting to call in observing bear in the area of yards. Please keep garbage and bird feed out of reach. CO Halverson gave a fur presentation to Pillager students and laws talk to Leader’s Firearms Safety Class.
CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked area creeks and rivers for fishing and spearing activity. State forest closures are in place across much of the region and OHV users are encouraged to check the website on Thursday afternoon for the weekend update. CO Adam finalized training materials, completed equipment maintenance and returned seized property.
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) assisted a local sheriff’s department with a personal injury crash and a DWI arrest. Parthun began an investigation of a wetland violation, checked beaver trappers and checked area streams for fish run activities. A complaint of a dog chasing bicyclists on a state trail was addressed and equipment issues were taken care of during the week.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking spring beaver trapping activity in the area. People are reminded to obtain burning permits before doing any burn activity. Remainder of week was spent monitoring sturgeon fishing activity on the Rainy River.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports returning phone calls, continued equipment work, on-going work planning and responding to questions over the week.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports area lakes remain locked in ice and area resorts, bait shops, and other establishments are very nervous about when ice out will occur. Lake Vermilion has enough ice that snowmobiles were observed operating on the ice over this past weekend. Planning for training at Camp Ripley was looked into. A few injured animal calls were received. Most callers don’t understand that very few injured or sick animals will ever make it back into the wild. Mother Nature can be a very cruel thing, especially in the eyes of someone looking out their living room or kitchen window.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked spring beaver trapping activity and helped out teach a Firearms Safety field day. Various trapping violations were encountered with one case closed, with further follow up needing to be done to clear others. A case of dumped otter, bobcat, fisher, marten and muskrat carcasses is also being investigated.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on litter issues stemming from anglers who were neglectful when they removed their shelters from area lakes. Angling activity is very slow but some sucker anglers were seen out reporting little success. One specific angler decided to try his luck for northern pike despite being told by CO Frericks that it was illegal to angle for them during the closed season. The angler’s equipment was seized and he was cited. Quite a few spring beaver trappers are being seen out and most trappers have been doing well. One trapper contacted CO Frericks to report an otter that was taken by accident.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time on White Water Lake in Hoyt Lakes cleaning up the remains of a fish house were the owner ripped the sides and roof off leaving the main frame. The fish house owner then dumped the ripped off parts at another location on the lake. Time was also spent picking up others blocking material and empty beer bottles. He received a call of possible trapper harassment when a trapper was confronted about trapping within the road right of way. Accidental caught muskrats were picked up. Ice has pulled away from the shore lines but the main lake ice remains solid.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that a late season snow storm arrived along with some cool weather, slowing down the recent ice melt. Anglers are still making it out on the lakes in spite of the deteriorating ice conditions. Violations included litter, operation of an ATV without a driver’s license on a public road, no fishing license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked on some litter and burning complaints. People will burn their garbage in their wood boilers and feel pretty safe doing so, but the odor can be tracked for a long ways and the smell of illegal plastic burning fills people’s houses. Some people have health issues and the smell can be very unhealthy. The smell can be very unpleasant for a family that is out for a walk and enjoying a nice spring day. Others will burn at night to avoid anyone seeing the black smoke they give off, but they too can be tracked. It is illegal to burn garbage and enforcement action will be taken for those that are found to be doing so in the Ely area.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) thought that he’d checked the last snowmobilers of the year, but 14 inches of snow during the past week proved him wrong. Some people would love to ride them year around, but most believe that five months is enough. Some areas of Cook County still have knee deep snow in the woods. A few guys were out trying for pike on the Canadian border. The fishing was slow, but the fish that cooperated were big. A call of a sick moose was taken from the Saganaga area of the Gunflint Trail.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped with a Hunter Education class. The officer checked anglers on Lake Superior’s shore and its tributaries. Fish sanctuaries and state parks were also patrolled. Travelers are reminded that melting snow can result in dangerously cold and fast moving water on rivers, and in forest roads that can be extremely treacherous and can quickly erode away stranding vehicles indefinitely.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports ice conditions are deteriorating with fewer anglers venturing out on the ice all the time. Streams were monitored for fish run. More and more ATVs are coming out, and CO Bermel would like to remind parents that youths are not allowed to ride on streets or alleys until they have a valid driver’s license. Enforcement action for the week included litter and youth ATV violations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) responded to TIP calls in the Silver Bay station that resulted in enforcement action. The officer taught the law and ethics section of the Cook County firearms safety class. Wahlstrom checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore tributaries and worked on bear investigations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted with a youth firearms safety class and worked ATV enforcement efforts. Several injured deer calls were handled along with illegal burning and trapping investigations.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, monitored the fish run, and patrolled for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, small game, and answered wildlife calls. He also did equipment maintenance and investigated an arson fire.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked trapping enforcement, monitored OHV activity, assisted with a control burn and attended K-9 training. The recent snow and wind kept activity on the slow side. Some fish have been seen in the area creeks. Enforcement action was taken for trap tag issues and burning permit issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked ATV enforcement activity involving spring closures. She attended training.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity during the past week. An ATV detail was worked with the enforcement airplane where ATV’s were searched for using closed areas. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a wetland, operating and ATV down a county road and for operating an ATV in a spring closure area. Overall compliance to the laws was very good. CO Sutherland also gave a law talk at a firearms safety class.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers and patrolled trails. He also worked a special ATV detail, investigated a litter complaint and taught a firearms safety class.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Recreational Officer) followed up on a fish house litter complaint and took several calls on the extended beaver season regulations. CO Velsvaag completed some training and followed up on ATV complaints on the Mesabi Trail and lands in Itasca County that have seasonal ATV closures.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked all- terrain vehicle details and complaints. Spring fish run and sucker spearing openers were worked. Pelicans were eating walleyes stopped below beaver dams. Many river flowages are ice free. Most lakes remain ice covered. Wetland Conservation Act violations resulting in court appearances were tracked. Nuisance porcupines were handled.
District 8 – Duluth area
WREO Mike Scott (NE) attended a meeting in St. Paul looking at computer equipment for the new Record Management System. Steelhead anglers on the North Shore were checked. Fishing has been slow. Reports from anglers were some smaller fish were caught but far and few between as described one angler.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked streams and rivers in the area for beaver trapping and followed up on a TIP complaint regarding beaver trapping. ATV complaints continue and problem areas were patrolled. The officer attended the local Pheasants Forever banquet. Officer Schmidt also attended training in St Paul.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority enforcement work on the North Shore. Many fishermen were checked on several different tributaries. High water and continued cold temperatures have slowed fishing success. Officer Duncan attended a firearms safety class and assisted with the DNR lasershot and an answer booth at a Pheasants Forever banquet. A trapping investigation was also completed during the week.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement. CO Humphrey checked shore anglers along the St. Louis River in Cloquet. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails are temporarily closed to motorized vehicle use. Spring beaver traps were also checked in the area. An incidental otter catch was handled. CO Humphrey checked burning permits. Burning restrictions in Carlton County are in effect. The Officer is investigating a litter/dumping complaint near Cromwell.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a K9 meeting and training in the metro area. Complaints of littering were investigated consisting of dumping household garbage alongside a county road and dumping a large amount of snow goose carcasses near the Midway River in Esko. These cases are still under investigation and if anyone has any information that might be useful in locating the person(s) responsible they are asked to call TIP (1-800-652-9093). Reports were worked on and more interviews are expected to be done on the illegal taking of a bear from last fall. One complaint of dogs chasing deer was received in the Barnum area. Spring river fishing is starting to pick up in the area. Many lakes still are ice covered. Some turkey hunting success is being found in the area but numbers are noticeably down.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked rivers and anglers. The cool weather has hampered many. He also assisted the sheriff’s office with several vehicle accidents and followed up on nuisance animal complaints.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked stream and shore anglers as the ice continued to blow out along Superior. Water temps in the rivers are still very cold, and no fish were seen over the weekend. A dead bald eagle was picked up in the Silver Bay station; investigation continues to determine whether it was an illegal or accidental kill. Enforcement action was taken for angling and traffic violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week checking anglers along Lake Superior and the rivers. The fish seem to be getting more active near the river mouths, but have not seen many fish caught in the rivers yet. The pack ice is still affecting shore fishing access at times. No smelt activity seen yet. He also investigated a turkey hunting violation and a possible deer poaching, attended meetings and performed some equipment maintenance throughout the week. He’s receiving complaints and concerns of bear cubs out crying and some people harassing them to try to get photos. Please leave the bear cubs alone and observe from a distance, so not to disturb them. Enforcement action was taken for angling and turkey hunting violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) monitored trapping and ATV activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officer Academy. Numerous small lakes in the area are now ice free.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked area angling activity and monitored fish run. A large amount of suckers were illegally dumped within the roadway. Officer Guida also instructed at two area firearms safety training classes. Officer Guida took part in the Assoc. of Township Officers meeting at Lake Edward Town Hall where Division activities including fire danger, burning permits, nuisance beaver complaints, all-terrain vehicle operation, and safe boat operation were discussed.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored turkey hunting, sucker spearing and closed trails in the Cuyuna Country SRA and Pillsbury State Forest. He assisted Minnesota Power & Garrison Animal Hospital staff with the rescue and subsequent release of an osprey injured when it became entangled in plastic bale twine in nest atop a high voltage power pole near Riverton.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fish run, trapping and turkey hunting activity. Incidental otter catches and illegal posting of state property were also handled.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports responding to several calls of nuisance beaver and monitoring beaver trapping activity. CO Peterson patrolled area streams and creeks for fish run activity. Area ATV trails and forest roads were patrolled for illegal use. Most remain closed to ATVs.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked turkey hunters and crappie anglers. State forest spring closures were monitored and the opener of rough fish spearing season received some enforcement time. An investigation into a pile of dumped garbage on public land led to charges of littering, wanton waste of fish, failure to register a deer, and embarrassment for the suspect when he was confronted with his girlfriend and her father present.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the earlier rough fish opener where it appeared too early for suckers to be running well. Some anglers were also out where open water could be found but activity was slow. He also responded to burning complaints, checked on ATV traffic, and monitored the fish run.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked several turkey hunters throughout the week. Several questions were fielded from hunters regarding turkey regulations. Please be aware that the Mille Lacs WMA is an independent turkey zone within zone 508. A turkey license specific to the Mille Lacs WMA is required (Zone 512). ATVs are starting to hit the trails in the area with the slightly warmer weather. Enjoy the trails and ride safely!
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) patrolled area state land for illegal ATV activity for the spring road and trail closures. The officer investigated a call of a turkey hunter who was told that they could not be on a parcel of state land. The officer found that the hunter was able to be there and they had legal access to the state land. A presentation was given at the Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club for the Youth Forkhorn Day. Around 50 kids were given the opportunity to try some shooting and shown some outdoor safety and survival techniques. A big thank you to the sponsors and to the many volunteers who made this event happen. Area lakes were checked for fishing activity and the officer found most of the lakes were inaccessible being the ice conditions were deteriorating due to the recent warm weather and rain. Over the weekend, the officer received a call of several subjects with bows and arrows alongside a state highway and had a dead bull moose that they were dragging out of the woods. The subjects were located and the officer found that they had a very realistic moose replica, right down to the fake blood on the moose and on the subjects. The individuals advised the Officer that they were doing a photo shoot for a magazine cover. When the officer asked why they had picked this very well-traveled location they advised that the area looked like moose country. Assistance was given to the Orono Police Department on a call of some juveniles taking a walleye and northern pike with a bow and lots of fishing, trapping, hunting and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week. The Officer also helped the State Patrol with trees down over the highway and with traffic control on Highway 169 where ice from Mille Lacs Lake pushed over the Hwy and blocked the road.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked trapping activity in the area. She received a report of a trapper trespassing in a neighboring station. The information was passed along to the neighboring officer. Speldrich received a call of dogs chasing deer and questions regarding state land recreational opportunities. Reports were received of illegal use of a WMA parking area, littering, underage consumption and damage to property. She also worked on recruitment of instructors for firearms safety.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored turkey season, burning complaints, ice fishing, open water fishing, sucker spearing, and off-road vehicle use. Some confusion is present with the sucker spearing opener change. Some other confusion about turkey zones is also present, please read the regulations before entering the field. AIS enforcement action was taken on bait containers with lake water being transported. Trespass issues and baiting situations are taking a good deal of time.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a lot of beaver trapping activity and worked a couple cases that involved trapping without a license. A few accidentally caught otter were also collected from trappers. Fish run activity in the area was found and CO Grundmeier spent time monitoring local smelt run activity. One angler that was out pursuing smelt late one night was caught throwing his beer cans out into the woods at the public lake access. Instead of getting a citation for littering, the angler was given the opportunity to pick up all the garbage at and around the public lake access. The access was clean within 20 minutes.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about turkey hunting, trapping, and forest closures. He met with Mille Lacs officers regarding upcoming enforcement work, and presented 30 and 50 year instructor awards to two local Pine City instructors at their field day. CO Wynn checked on area ATV complaints and spent time checking ice conditions and fish run locations.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked trapping activity throughout the week. Trappers are having good success with beaver and a few incidental otter were also dealt with. Some lakes are starting to open up a bit and wind conditions pushed ice on Mille Lacs into homes and onto roads.
WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses with open water. He checked lake service providers and watercraft coming to and leaving from infested waters accesses. WREO Haberman worked creeks for the spearing season opener around the Brainerd area and assisted another CO with checking a river for illegal fish traps.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring the spring fish run. A carcass dumping complaint was also received and investigated. The responsible party was located and a citation was issued. CO Silgjord assisted with setting up and putting on an ATV Safety Class in Sauk Centre. Recent wind and rain has cleared most area lakes of ice, preparations for the upcoming open water season are in the works.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) investigated an unlawful burning complaint. A game farm inspection was conducted. Training was done. Sucker spearers took advantage of the earlier season. A wolf encounter was reported in northern Todd County. Wolves were showing interest in a calving area, until the farmer ran them off. They have not returned. It should be noted the farmer had taken precautions to protect the cows and vulnerable calves, such as appropriate fencing, additional lighting, and vigilant observation.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked shore anglers, and bow fishermen. Wetland and public water cases were addressed. Thesing spoke at the Albany firearms safety class and assisted at an ATV safety class in Sauk Centre.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on a trapping complaint. CO Mies worked on fish run activity.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at the new officer academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) is finding more and more people illegally digging into the bank at Blanchard Dam with shovels to look for cross rocks now with enforcement action taken when finding this happening. Two possible poached deer were investigated (turned out to be deer from last deer season) which it was uncovered that the hunter hadn’t validated the deer tags. Sucker fishermen and ATVers are starting to come out. Problems encountered with ATVs are Class 2 ATV operators who don’t know where they can ride and what age can operate them. An unusual call came in of a beaver attacking a pit bull in its yard though no ponds or lakes would be near the residence. CO Kuske told the caller that most likely it was a different kind of animal than a beaver and that the pit bull attacked the animal and not the other way around. The caller was concerned because there are children in the neighborhood and they wanted to know if they could shoot the beaver for the safety of the children.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports having northern pike and walleyes still in the creeks for sucker spearing opener. Several spawning areas were monitored for illegal activity. CO Kuske gave a law presentation at an ATV class; local trails saw increased activity this past weekend. Shore and bridge fishing for crappies and sunfish is still slow, but most lakes in the area are now ice free.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, trappers and completed vehicle maintenance on equipment. Follow up was completed on information of individuals shooting songbirds. Archery carp shooters were found without licenses, and no life jackets; enforcement action taken.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland violations. A deed restriction was placed on a property where the landowner did not complete restoration of a wetland. The landowner was also cited for failing to complete the restoration order. Minnow equipment was tagged for an area bait dealer for use in AIS waters. Assistance was also given to neighboring officers at an ATV safety training class and for a trapping investigation.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations at a Firearms Safety Class in Rockford and at a ATV Safety Class in Rockford Twp. A student interested in becoming a conservation officer did a job shadow with CO Reller. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and having no PFD in watercraft.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers where he took enforcement action on a number of fishing violations. Officer Sladek followed up on a TIP call of individuals shooting at swans and is following up on a hunting trespassing violation. CO Sladek gave a Boat and Water safety talk to 75-100 kids at the Becker safety camp and gave an enforcement talk at a Firearms Safety Class at the Elk River Sportsman’s Club.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked open water anglers. Violations were found for no license and underage possession of alcohol. Several animal complaints were handled during the week.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spoke at firearms safety classes, appeared for a court hearing, checked anglers and ATVs. Officer Londgren also conducted commercial license inspections, responded to injured animal and wetland violation calls.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking turkey hunters in the area. The nicer weather has hunters seeing and harvesting more birds in the area. CO Langevin also reports speaking to a city hall meeting regarding nuisance bear issues. Most local lakes are clear of ice and anglers are looking for early open water panfish.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers having some success on crappies. Turkey hunters were checked and turkey carcasses dumped in a ditch were investigated. Several animal nuisance calls were handled. A landowner trespass onto State property was investigated.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and turkey hunting activity. CO Salzer attended an equipment meeting in St Paul. Salzer assisted West Hennepin PD with a stolen vehicle.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with wildlife complaints. CO Grewe spoke at a firearms safety class and responded to complaints of people fishing walleyes out of season. Violations included no fishing license.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled for ATV and ORV enforcement. He checked fishermen in Dakota County. CO Neitzke gave a presentation to a firearms safety class. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishermen and responded to animal complaints in Scott County. He talked to a youth firearms safety class in Rockford and issued turkey and mink permits. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappies.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station. Along with CO Glaser, he worked at John F. Kennedy High School’s Annual Career Fair. He also worked on equipment maintenance.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spoke to firearms safety classes in Forest Lake and Hugo. CO Arntzen investigated wetland violations and issued cease and desist orders. He responded to several TIP complaints and spent time working a trapping case. CO Arntzen also got equipment ready for the upcoming fishing opener and issued several possession permits for turkeys struck by vehicles.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he investigated a WCA violation in Nowthen. He responded to a call of an injured Saw-whet Owl in East Bethel. It was transported to The Raptor Center. CO Johnson spoke to firearms safety classes in Andover and Ramsey. He checked Turkey hunters and patrolled at Carlos Avery WMA.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week. He spoke at a firearms safety class in Prior Lake and responded to a complaint of a possible game violation in Saint Paul. CO Pril also spent some time with CO Arntzen preparing boats for the open water season and responded to a couple of dead turkey calls.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled three different litter cases and calls of incidental otters taken by beaver trappers. She attended a meeting at the Carlos Avery WMA, handled various TIP calls and gave a career talk to a class at North High School. CO Kruse found vehicles driving off-road and stuck in Carlos Avery WMA, handled injured animal calls and set up future firearm safety classes. Violations encountered this week included taking northerns out of season, no fishing license, operate vehicle off-road in a WMA, speeding (30 mph over speed limit) in a WMA and litter.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers and boaters on Big Stone Lake during the week. Spring fish run activity was also monitored. Littering by shore anglers continues to be a problem. The annual Border Water Walleye Challenge was held on Big Stone Lake, with 90+ teams competing this year.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked fishing, turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent working the DNR booth at the Tracy Area Sportsmen’s Show over the weekend. Most of the questions focused around the upcoming fishing opener, invasive species, and ATV operation. Assistance was also given at firearms safety classes in Wood Lake, Redwood Falls, and Morgan.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued numerous out of state minnow transport permits throughout the week and conducted commercial inspections. The officer also addressed nuisance animal complaints.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Nice weather days result in boats being readied for the fishing opener and shore anglers looking for panfish. Enforcement action was taken for taking northern out of season, an over limit of northern, and license violations.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) taught a FSC in Canby with a good number of students attending. Fishing has been very good on the Hendricks Lake. Turkey Hunters are doing very well in the area.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training in Anoka and worked on a WCA violation in Sibley County. Officer Hanson also worked on AIS compliance for AIS Lake service provider training in Meeker County.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) monitored ATV activity and checked fisherman and boaters. He spoke at two firearms safety classes about law and ethics. Denz taught boating safety at a kids fishing clinic sponsored by the Little Crow Anglers. He also followed up on trapping complaints and conducted commercial inspections.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) kept a close eye on a good crappie bite. Mueller also spent time looking for a mute swan that was reported in Renville County. Time was spent on educating and enforcing AIS regulations. Boaters are reminded to remove the drain plug before traveling on public roads. She investigated two garbage dumping/littering complaints. Mueller spoke at an ATV safety class in Winthrop.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) finished follow up on a deer case that involved illegal party hunting. Oberg also seized two incidental otter taken by a beaver trapper. Time was spent working turkey hunters and shore anglers. ATV enforcement was also worked with some registration issues being addressed. Firearms safety talks were given at Gopher Campfire, Lester Prairie Sportsman’s Club, and Green Isle Sportsman’s Club. Two instructors received 30 year awards at the Green Isle class.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) completed commercial activity checks. He also attended a safety committee meeting. The rest of the week was spent on fishing and ATV activity.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers, ATV operators, and following up on a previous investigation. Beckmann attended hardware demonstrations held in St. Paul for the upcoming Records Management System implementation and attended the Tracy Area Sportsmen Outdoors Show to work the DNR booth.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing and turkey hunters. Gruhlke also followed up on a TIP call concerning big game. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including the Iowa/Minnesota border water opener, the Minnesota inland water opener, and invasive species.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the spring ATV class in Fairmont and taught the rules and regulations portion of the class. Approximately 31 juveniles attended the class. Investigations were performed for illegal activity in public waters. Anglers were checked on local lakes. ATVs were checked on area trails.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling activity. Crappies are being caught in their traditional spring locations. CO Howe spoke to a Firearms Safety class regarding laws and ethics. Spring otter that were incidental catches were collected from a beaver trapper.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, turkey hunters, and ATV operators. A law and ethics presentation was given to a local FAS class, as well as a presentation to an ATV safety class.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV operators. Turkey hunting activity was also monitored with hunters having some success.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked turkey hunting activity. Hunters reporting mixed success. Assistance was given to a local sheriff’s department on river boat operation. A firearms safety class was attended where the officer gave a law and ethics presentation.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, angling, small game, & big game activity. The officer also responded to various calls from the public regarding turkeys and deer. The officer also took a complaint of dogs running loose in a wildlife management area.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, and recreational vehicle activity. A littering complaint was investigated and resolved. A law and ethics presentation was given at a firearms safety class in Grand Meadow. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) checked early season boaters for AIS violations. Compliance has started out great. Officer Siems was also entertained by some participating in the 24 Cold Water Challenge spreading across Facebook.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports hearing good news from turkey hunters. The river continues to be high which has changed fishing but people are still catching fish. He followed up on an ATV complaint and a fishing complaint. Hemker also attended a firearms safety field day for an on-line course.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking turkey hunters, anglers and ATV operators. He is still finding ATVs in the road ditch and other ATV issues. Enforcement action included a number of ATV violations and failure to tag turkey and validate tags.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked turkey hunters and anglers during the week. Various turkey hunting violations and complaints were received including trespass, using ATVs in closed area, and hunting in wrong area. Heyn also spoke to an ATV class in Plainview.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking turkey hunters and anglers. Fishing has been good. Turkey hunters have also been doing better. One hunter reported jumping a hen from her nest. A youth hunt in Chester Woods Park in Olmsted County yielded four turkeys. Hunting was fair to good despite the poor weather on Sunday. CO Boyum is investigating a trespass complaint and ATV complaints as well.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports turkey hunters had a good week despite some rainy weather. Trout fishermen are catching good numbers of fish. The Mississippi River remains high and fishing is poor. He attended the annual Sheldon Sportsmen trout fishing event for kids. Most anglers caught fish. He did check several fishermen without license and enforcement actions were taken.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers, turkey hunters and ATV activity. Fishing success on the Mississippi River remains slow and turkey hunters were dealing with some windy, wet weather until the last day of their season.
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 a week of flight training and hangar maintenance items. Jensen flew a marten/fisher/wolf telemetry flight and a WCA photo flight in east central Minnesota. Jensen also assisted with an ATV detail in NE Minnesota. Poor weather made time for working on an aviation safety plan and an FAA approved class at the Brainerd Airport.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time in aviation training in Grand Rapids/Brainerd with Jensen. Suspected wetland violation flights were flown in Chisago and Washington counties. An ATV detail was also flown. Aircraft maintenance issues were addressed.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) started the statewide helicopter goose survey and finished all the plots south of a line from Brainerd.