District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated a call of a dead bald eagle near Roseau. Station equipment was readied for the upcoming fishing opener. CO Huener went on air on a local radio station to discuss trapping and angling. Time was spent instructing at the academy for Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted in training new cadets attending the Conservation Officer Training Academy at Camp Ripley; training in the usage of compass, GPS, and aerial mapping software. Areas were patrolled for sucker spearing and bow fishing. A report of a turkey taken illegally was investigated.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked ATV activity taught the laws and ethics portion of an ATV Safety Class in Grygla. Turkey hunting activity was worked with hunters having success. CO Warren attended annual training at Camp Ripley.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored spring beaver trapping activity, spring fish run activity and several accidentally caught otter were seized throughout the week. A deceased collared swan was seized and turned over to the regional non-game division of Wildlife. The collar information was researched and the swan had migrated from a research site in Wisconsin. Time was spent holding a make-up FAS field day, attending the MTA Trapper Education Field Day and Division training was attended Camp Ripley.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Sturgeon anglers continue to report good success on the Rainy River and 4 Mile Bay. CO Gorecki assisted with teaching new Conservation Officers at the academy and assisted at annual training. Enforcement action was also taken for littering and fishing violations.
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on livestock depredation complaints involving possible wolf and bear kills. Time was also spent checking anglers, ATV operators, and assisting the Plummer firearms safety class. Wetland and public water violation sites were also checked.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored leech trappers, anglers and fish run activity. He prepared for the upcoming angling opener and had a call of a suspicious raft stuck out on lake ice after a windy day. Spring wildlife complaints have increased including problem bear, wolf, coyote and beaver.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, trappers, and assisted at the annual CO in-service at Camp Ripley.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Time was spent monitoring spring fish run activity and patrolling closed forest roads and trails for off-road vehicle traffic. Trapping complaints were received and investigated. Spring beaver trappers were checked.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling, spearing, trapping, and ATV activity throughout the week. An illegal trapping investigation was completed and enforcement action was taken. CO Holt also attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement activity for the week included angling license violations as well as ATV and trapping violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers pursuing suckers and panfish from shore. Turkey hunters in the area are finding moderate success as the weather has improved for hunting. Calls about feral cats and dogs at large were also taken and nuisance beaver permits were issued.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended spring in-service training, responded to a wildfire and a report of a dead swan that was possibly killed. The end of the fish run was also worked.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and turkey hunters. Crappie action has started to pick up some. Time was also spent on fishing TIPs and following up on a report of a cougar by a residence.
WREO Joe Stattelman continued to follow up on public waters and wetland complaints in the area. He also assisted with the CO annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received reports of incidental caught otter during the last week of beaver season. Numerous anglers were checked from shore and out on the water. As water temperatures increase so has the fishing success on crappies and bluegills. Bow fishermen were also checked with very few fish in possession. Richards gave a law & ethics presentation for the Elizabeth FAS class. The officer also presented a 30 year FAS volunteer award to a local instructor. The volunteer instructors provide such a vital role in the success of the required training programs and can’t be thanked enough!
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week checking turkey hunters and monitoring fish run activity. ATV activity has increased as well. Plautz followed up on some littering violations and checked some sucker spear fishermen.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and boaters in the vacant Wheaton station. Beaver complaints and wetland issues were handled as well.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fish run activity in area streams and lakes. Nuisance beaver complaints were received and investigated. A range day in Millerville was attended with a large class of students shooting and handling firearms.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent part of the week training at Camp Ripley as well as monitoring shore anglers who are having better panfish success than last week with the slightly warmer water temps. ATV activity was also monitored with two separate incidents encountered, both involving parents allowing the illegal operation of ATVs by their juvenile children. In addition, Lawler attended the annual Safety Day Camp for every 5th grader in school district 206, and along with neighboring officers taught the firearms safety sections. Equipment preparation was completed as fishing opener approaches.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing, spearing, and fish run activity throughout the week. Several fishing related complaints were investigated, including the apprehension of two juveniles caught spearing northern pike at the Lake Osakis outlet. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters, working ATV and fire enforcement, and wrapping up spring FAS classes. A trapping investigation was closed out with enforcement action taken for take/possess otter during the closed season and fail to report accidental catch otter. The trapper had caught an incidental otter during spring beaver trapping and attempted to pass it off as a legal catch during the open fall season. A presentation was given at the Osakis Lake Association annual meeting and several days were spent at Camp Ripley instructing use of force training for Division Conservation Officers.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. Baumbarger attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley, spoke to a large group of kids at a safety day camp in Alexandria, and was a presenter at the Pope County hunter education class.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked beaver trappers, watercraft operators and people spearing suckers. Most lakes in the area are completely ice free. CO Parthun reminds anglers to check the registration and safety equipment on their boats before launching on the walleye opener. Additionally, remember aquatic invasive species regulations and remove the drain plug when transporting the boat. Enforcement action was taken on watercraft registration violations and lack of personal floatation devices.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV’ers. Fire danger remains high even with the recent rain. Officer Hunter pulled over a young man in a closed forest who stated that he was trying to locate his friend who was lost. When CO Hunter called the cell phone of the lost friend, the friend admitted that he was in fact not lost, nor was he out driving around at all and stated he was sitting on his couch watching TV. Enforcement action was taken on the driver in the closed forest.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked at the training unit during annual training and for firearms armoring duties. Anglers and spear anglers were checked as well. A trapper called to report several traps stolen and an otter was seized from a spring beaver trapper.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on angling activity and monitoring state forest road closures. Assistance was provided at a Firearms Safety field day. Annual training was attended and numerous questions were answered during the week on leased land to nuisance beaver. A complaint of a nuisance bear was received.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) monitored streams containing spawning walleye. Sucker anglers and beaver trappers were also checked. Large lakes in the area are still mostly ice covered but most if not all areas on the lakes should be ice free by fishing opener. CO Mathy followed up on walleye over limit and illegal beaver take complaints.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) reports that area lakes are opening with just a few deeper lakes still having some ice cover. Annual training was attended at Camp Ripley. Follow up was done on beaver issues, illegal dumping, questions on the bear lottery, road kill deer, nuisance bear, possible sale of migratory bird and a stolen boat. Enforcement action taken for illegal deposit of garbage.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated a deer that was shot with a rifle north of Staples. Anyone with information please call TIP. Area anglers were checked, ATV activity monitored, and spring fish run activity was worked. Enforcement activity for the week included ATV registration and illegal operation on roads
CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. A number of calls were responded to including wildfire calls, injured animal complaints, ATV’s in public waters and closed forests. Most area lakes are now open and rivers and creeks are still running strong.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala attended annual training at Camp Ripley.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) attended annual in- service training at Camp Ripley. Remainder of time was spent monitoring sturgeon fishing activity on the Rainy River.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring outdoor activities, lakes remain ice covered, public access sites were monitored. Very little outdoor activities noted over the week. Work planning is on-going. Equipment prep continues.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the area large lakes are still covered in ice. Even the shallow bays of Lake Vermilion are ice covered. It will take rain, wind, and warm temperatures in the next few days to even make the public accesses open for the fishing opener. Training was attended at Camp Ripley and area rivers and streams were monitored for spring fish run activity.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) taught wildlife identification to the Conservation Academy and attended officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer also worked anglers in Morrison County, stream trout anglers in the Hibbing area, beaver trapping activity and ATVs. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license and a number of ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) gave a presentation on furbearers to a local Boy Scout den meeting with pelts donated by the Minnesota Trappers Association through the Tanned Fur Project. The scouts enjoyed the chance to see and feel the pelts up close but were apprehensive about getting close to the skunk pelt. Ice out activity is closely being monitored. Many smaller lakes had the ice come off over the weekend but larger lakes will take a little longer. Local lake shore owners on the larger lakes are optimistic about their chances of seeing open water on opening day. Fish run activity is very slow with cooler temps.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) took care of a bear cub that was hit and killed on the road. Fredin responded to two bald eagles locked together at the cemetery in Hoyt Lakes. Fredin noticed the talons of their legs were locked together and before he could reach down to separate they broke free, flying away. A ditching complaint was looked into with more investigation to follow. Lakes with river current are ice free except for some bays; others lakes the ice is dark and breaking up, looking promising for the opener.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that the race is on and it’s unclear which if any of the larger lakes in the Ely area will be free of ice for the upcoming walleye opener. Although warmer weather is in the forecast, lakes like Shagawa and Burntside are still almost completely covered with ice. Violations included insufficient floatation devices in a watercraft and operation of an unregistered watercraft.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) watched the spawning areas for illegal activity. The ice is showing signs of going in places, but it will be hard pressed to open up before opener. Remember to get the registrations on the boats and have the life jackets readily accessible.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that on May 4th he was still checking snowmobilers. Folks claim they could find plenty of snow for riding, but with the upcoming warmer weather, this could be the last weekend. Devil Track Lake was checked and it looked more like mid-March than the first week of May. Much of the ice hasn’t even begun to pull away from shore. The CO checked North Shore rivers and found the water too fast and the fishing too slow for some. The unplowed Forest Service roads are still impassable due to snow.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley instructing at the division’s statewide firearms and tactics training. While returning from Ripley, the officer assisted CO Wahlstrom with an ATV stop on the state highway; several young riders were educated regarding legal locations for operation. CO Manning also checked anglers along the shore, river tributaries and state parks.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training at Camp Ripley. A big game violation was reported to another officer. Spring fish run was monitored.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley instructing at officer in-service training. The rivers along the North Shore are flowing fast and very murky. ATV complaints were handled and equipment maintenance was completed.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked spring beaver trapping and ATV activity during the week. Several calls of injured deer were received and spring fish run activities were monitored. Some area lakes are starting to become ice free while others are still mostly ice covered.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended training at Camp Ripley, processed accidentally caught otter, monitored area fish run activity, prepared boats for open water, and helped with a trapper education field day.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) attended training and assisted with training at Camp Ripley, checked anglers, and patrolled for ATV activity. He answered questions about ATV/watercraft laws for an owner of an Argo, and also answered wildlife questions.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 detection training this week.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended annual training this last week. She conducted a site visit at a possible wetlands violation location. She worked ATV activity locally. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV operation.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity over the past week with many outdoor enthusiasts getting out and about. CO Sutherland also attended yearly in-service training over the past week. Much of the area ice has deteriorated and ice out should be by opener on most lakes.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers and ATVs. He also attended several days of training during the week.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) followed up ATV complaints, and checked fish run activity. CO Velsvaag also took a litter complaint and several calls on the extended beaver season.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked north shore and river anglers. Few fish are being caught and river temperatures are still low. Beaver traps and trappers were checked and most trappers are reporting a difficult spring with fluctuating water and ice. ATV complaints continue and problem areas were worked. The officer taught at a firearms safety class in Hermantown. Several calls regarding ATV injury crashes occurred over the weekend and the officer assisted St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Squad.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported some of the smaller lakes in the area most likely will be ice free by this coming opener. Call your local sporting goods stores for up to date info about a specific lake. Lots of time was spent doing ATV patrol this past week. Many first of the year contacts were made. There were several ATV injuries the officer responded to and assisted with getting these people to medical help. Be careful! Several calls about a deer with a bucket stuck on his head were received. So far the deer has eluded help. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent much of the week checking anglers along the North Shore rivers. Water levels are high and most anglers were reporting little success. Smelt anglers were also checked but yet to see any smelt captured. Handled ATV complaints and injured animal complaints.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a fur committee meeting in Brainerd and taught a trapping enforcement class at the annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given in helping to training two of our newest K9s in detection training in the metro area. A talk was given to an ATV safety class in Barnum and some ATV enforcement activity was worked in the Moose Lake area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a state trail and noise violations. Calls on injured wildlife were handled over the phone.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast Region) checked steelhead anglers on the North Shore. Slow bite still reported with fish seen on a stringer. Cold water and ice still hampered the fishing on the North Shore. Officer Scott attended a two day conference on “State of the Waters” in Brainerd. Topics discussed were related to Aquatic Invasive Species issues, concerns and how to best deal with current AIS issues. Many lake associations from around the state were in attendance for this training learning what more they can do to combat these AIS issues. Spring beaver trappers were checked where open water was found but with the high fast moving water, several trappers stated it was hard going this year.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time checking North Shore anglers on the rivers in the Duluth and Two Harbors area. He handled a call on a litter complaint. The Officer assisted the sheriff’s office with a call in Canosia Twp., fielded questions on the smelt regulations and dealt with ATV violations in Rice Lake Twp.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers during a busy weekend. Water temps remain cold, and few fish were seen despite many anglers giving it a try. A few smelters were checked late at night with no silver fish seen for their efforts. One river angler approached the officer to present his angling license with his marijuana pipe sticking very visibly out of the pocket of his fly vest. Most boat accesses are now open on the big lake. A local law enforcement student rode with the officer for a day, and state park activity was checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling, controlled substance, and public access violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) attended spring in-service at Camp Ripley. The rest of the week was spent checking anglers along Lake Superior. Some time was also spent on ATV, litter, and OHM enforcement. Some trying for smelt, but not seeing any yet. Starting to see some fish in the rivers. Enforcement action was taken for traffic violation.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled the station for angling activity and prepared equipment for the upcoming open water angling season. Officer Guida spent time monitoring fish run, a TIP complaint, and assisted with training of division staff at Camp Ripley. Officer Guida also worked with the local prosecutor on some case outcomes and plea agreements.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports annual training at Camp Ripley, working fish run, responding to miscellaneous calls and complaints including trespass and injured / nuisance wildlife, taking in incidental otter, and speaking with students on trapping rules and issues at a youth trapper education certification class.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports spending time at Camp Ripley for annual in service training. CO Peterson also checked turkey hunters and patrolled area streams for spring fish run.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) answered questions on sucker spearing, beaver trapping, and seasonal closures of state forests. Nuisance beaver permits were issued for flooded areas, anglers and turkey hunters were checked, and rough fish spearing was monitored. A call of unchecked leech traps was also investigated.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for angling activity. Numerous boaters and anglers were out enjoying ice free lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) spent most of the week attending yearly in-service training. Fish run was monitored, along with some fishermen that found success with suckers. Turkey season issues were addressed, along with FAS class wrap up. Incidental otter, mink, and muskrat from spring beaver season were also taken care of. CO Starr also took some time off to introduce a youth to turkey hunting who would not otherwise had the opportunity to go. The youth did not harvest a bird, but did get to hear some gobbles and see some birds. Calls from the Tower station are also being taken care of or referred to D5 officers.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended an ATV safety class in Isle. The class had 22 students and the Driftskippers did a great job hosting the class. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Several trespassing complaints were addressed as residents had issues with people sucker spearing from their private property. Please be cognizant of gaining legal access to public waters and the properties that border the waters. Leaving those waters could lead to being on private property and result in trespassing violations. A TIP call was investigated regarding an over limit of crappies. Enforcement action was taken trespassing and spearing without a fishing license.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls of beaver complaints, ATV complaints, and other nuisance animal complaints. He spent time checking areas for ATV activity and also spent time working the St. Croix River opener with a WI Conservation Officer. Water levels on the river were very high, and activity was down from previous years.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had another complaint of wolves harassing livestock. After the investigation, evidence and tracks showed that adult gray wolves attacked and killed a newborn, black angus bull calf. A bald eagle was found injured along the roadside and was captured and brought to a rehabilitation facility. An injured pelican was also found on an area lake. The pelican’s injuries were unfortunately very severe and the pelican had to be put down. Time was also spent checking shore anglers during the St. Croix River fishing opener. River fishing activity was fairly slow due to high water and very fast moving water conditions.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a call of failing to tend traps, wanton waste and taking animals during a closed season. Further investigation will be conducted. Speldrich attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. She also received calls of sickly deer and questions regarding legal ATV routes.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working around Mille Lacs Lake for the Tribal netting and spearing season. The Officer also checked fishermen who were trying to locate some suckers in local streams. Several calls of trespassing were fielded when parties who were spearing for suckers wandered up on posted private land. Please remember to look at the trespass law before venturing out and crossing private land. Lots of fishing, trapping, ATV and boating questions were fielded throughout the week. The Officer also assisted in armoring division guns during the annual in-service at Camp Ripley. The Officer took a call of a family camping in the Solana State Forest with two small children and they were stranded being their vehicle battery was dead. The Officer responded and was able to get their vehicle going. A possible waters violation was also investigated during the week. Enforcement action for the week included fishing and trespass violations.
WREO Rob Haberman attended the State of the Waters conference over the week that was held in the Brainerd area. Many local units of government and lake association members attended the conference learning about watersheds and invasive species. WREO Haberman also helped area officers with illegal spearing complaints. WREO Haberman continued to follow up on wetland conservation act cases in his assigned work area.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. Several incidental otter were turned in and turkey hunting was also monitored.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports nearly all the ice is off small lakes resulting in an increased amount of anglers. Rough fish harvesting was also picking up and resulted in complaints regarding trespass and wanton waste. Verkuilen also monitored tribal harvest, checked some beaver trappers wrapping up the season, and kept an eye on plugs as boats started moving around.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) provided instruction at the CO Academy taking place at Camp Ripley. CO Kuske addressed a number of issues dealing with individuals that either purchased or was sold the wrong turkey license. CO Kuske conducted maintenance boat trailers and duty firearms.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended division training at Camp Ripley. CO Silgjord also received the first complaint regarding dumped rough fish in the road right of way. CO Silgjord would like to strongly remind bow fishermen that a suitable location to dispose of rough should be found prior to heading out on the water. The first boaters of the season were seen on area lakes. A watercraft safety check on one of the boats revealed the operator was short a throwable cushion as well as a fire extinguisher. Late night bowfishermen were checked on Sauk Lake with high success being found and a report of many fish being seen.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for Grey Eagle FAS. A few people launched boats. Creeks and rivers are still high and running fast. Burning incidents were handled. Investigations continued on WCA violations. A bear made headlines in Clarissa, as the public kept it treed from morning until after dark. Luckily, public interference did not create a tragic outcome!
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) work at academy 15.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS, attending training, and serving wetland restoration orders. Anglers, turkey hunters, ATV operators, and leech trappers were also checked. WREO Bertram and CO Johanson completed an investigation were a beaver trapper illegally took and sold an otter during closed season.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, turkey hunters and ATV activity. Thesing assisted with the field day at the Albany firearms safety class. A few crappies have been found in some bays.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) time was spent on working carp shooting activity in the area with many shooters stating they are seeing very few carp but are seeing plenty of game fish in the shallows. Shore fishing has started in the area. Training was attended as well.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies spent time on fish run. CO Mies CO Mies had a complaint on the Hwy 55 carp trap and some fish grates causing flooding. CO Mies worked on a litter complaint.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) took a call of a dead coyote with its legs tied up in a ditch along a wildlife management area. It ended up being a dog which CO Kuske removed from the road right of way. Annual in-service training at Camp Ripley was attended during the week and sucker fishermen were checked at area creeks. Calls taken during the week were mostly turkey hunting questions with the most asked question being does an adult have to be licensed to go along with their child who is turkey hunting? If the adult is only going to call they do not need to be licensed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers where enforcement action was taken for illegally taken or attempting to take fish in a closed season. He assisted the Dayton Fire Department with boat operation training on the Mississippi River. He checked a number of turkey hunters with some success. He answered a number of ATV question in the Agriculture Zone. He checked on a possible injured swan. He followed up on a number of litter complaints with charges pending. CO Sladek wants everyone to leave all baby animals alone the parents are close by and will not abandon them.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with training at Camp Ripley for the new CO Academy. CO Musatov also spoke at a youth firearms safety class. CO Musatov checked anglers, made a case for litter on a WMA, and investigated a calf predation.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) was a guest speaker at Maple Lake High School for Career Day. The spring crappie bite is sporadic this year with several good days followed by slow days. Several animal calls were handled this week and a 30 year volunteer award was presented to a snowmobile instructor in Buffalo.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley for three days over the week, attended the Isanti County Sportsman’s Club youth day and a Becoming an Outdoors Women event. Officer Londgren responded to calls of nuisance beavers, trespassing, checked anglers and turkey hunters.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a very slow St. Croix River border opener. The river had extremely high water that was moving very fast. The National Park Service had closed down the major southern access out of Osceola. The few fishermen that braved the water did not find any luck and did not stay very long. CO Langevin also assisted the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV that was left in the Sunrise River at Kost dam.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin and Anoka counties for angling activity. CO Salzer attended division training with other COs. CO Salzer also checked commercial fishermen and enforcement action was taken for violations.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and attended in-service training. CO Grewe handled nuisance beaver complaints. Violations included license issues.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) assisted with in-service training. He patrolled metro lakes and rivers for fishermen. CO Neitzke patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park. He also returned calls regarding animal complaints.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore fishermen and boaters in the metro area lakes and rivers. He patrolled state parks, state trails, and responded to animal complaints. He issued a car kill deer permit in Scott County and attended the in-service training at Camp Ripley.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked the Wisconsin fishing opener on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. CO Arntzen spoke to a firearms safety class in Lake Elmo and attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. He also did OHM enforcement, AIS enforcement, patrolled William O’Brien State Park and issued a possession tag for a turkey. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license, no license in possession, illegal length walleye and PFD violations.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he received assistance from Anoka County Deputies on a taking waterfowl out of season investigation. He cited an individual for taking a mallard out of season with a bow and arrow in Andover. CO Johnson spoke to an ATV safety class in East Bethel and a firearms safety class in Oak Grove. He attended an open house at Northwest Passage High School in Coon Rapids. CO Johnson completed annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the St. Croix River opener and checked several anglers fishing from boats over the weekend. He attended the three day in-service training at Camp Ripley. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in Shakopee and handled a couple of dead animal complaints.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) assisted a WI Warden with a fishing case and attended a boat and water meeting in St. Paul. She checked turkey hunters, worked ORV and WMA enforcement in Anoka County and handled a road kill otter. CO Kruse continued mentoring three students at Century College, handled TIP calls and checked anglers on area lakes and streams.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley for divisional training. Time was also spent on wetland restoration orders and preparing for upcoming training. Calls regarding bow fishing were received during the week.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer also assisted with the Worthington all-day FAS range day and responded to a call of a great horned owl entangled in a batting cage net at an area college. With the assistance of the college’s grounds keepers, the owl was released unharmed.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Rough fish are stacking up in local streams. Weather looks fine for the upcoming fishing opener with good predictions for Murray County lakes.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) contributed to a local radio call-in show. Lake Hendricks has produces some fish in the evening hours. ATV registration has been a problem.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported persistent rain was a problem for turkey hunters and fishermen during the week. Public accesses were patrolled for litter, damage, and other illegal activities. Assistance was given to DNR Waters with a public waters violation in Lyon County. The law and ethics portion of firearms safety classes were taught in Balaton and Tracy.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that more people were seen out turkey hunting with better weather conditions. ORV traffic is increasing at the Appleton ATV Park. Remember you need to have registration when driving in the park.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling and boating activity on Big Stone Lake. Shore angling activity was also monitored in: Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, and Swift counties. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given with a Firearms Safety Class in Ortonville.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training in Brooklyn Park and Buffalo areas. AIS info and education was issued on the Mississippi River and several area lakes.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. He received requests for nuisance beaver permits and also followed up on a trapping complaint. Denz also checked shore anglers and noted overall light fishing pressure.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. She issued a special beaver permit. Mueller also addressed lake shore issues and answered questions regarding hunting within 500 feet of another person’s property.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson-East) followed up on illegal trapping complaints. He also spent time talking to students at an all-day range and field day in Lester Prairie. Oberg also completed instructing at Camp Ripley as part of officer in-service.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) completed commercial activity checks. He also attended annual in-service training. The majority of his time was spent working angling, turkey hunting, ATV and invasive species activities.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week instructing at the division’s spring in-service training at Camp Ripley. Anglers were checked with some shore anglers having good luck with catfish on the Des Moines River. Beckmann also spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Windom and an ATV Safety Class in Windom. DNR Fisheries reports that some of the station lakes were hit hard with winter kill, but that some of the lakes are still in good shape with good numbers of game fish that survived the winter.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing, border water opening, turkey hunters and ATVs. The border water opener was slow with few participants and fewer fish. Gruhlke also worked AIS enforcement. He presented a FAS instructor with a 30 year award in Jackson County.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) taught the law portion of the Fairmont spring firearms safety class. Approximately 52 students attended. ATV activity was monitored especially on GIA trails. Operators and owners are reminded that ATV’s need to be registered in some way to be legal and parents are responsible for illegal activity by their child. Angling activity was checked on area lakes with emphasis on the Minnesota/Iowa border opener. Invasive species education was reminded on public accesses.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked ATV and angling activity. Time was spent at Youth Day at Key Cities Conservation Club, as well as armoring Division pistols at Camp Ripley. A wetland complaint was investigated.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, turkey hunters, and ATV operators. Several complaints were investigated involving litter at public water accesses and wildlife management areas.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) spent time checking anglers, turkey hunters, and ATV operators. TIP calls were investigated and calls regarding nuisance beaver issues were addressed. Enforcement action was taken including taking fish by snagging and ATV registration violations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports turkey hunters are finding mixed success. Angling activity is on the rise with the nicer weather. The officer also assisted in training at Camp Ripley.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, small game, AIS, and boat & water activity during the week. The officer also responded to various calls from the public.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, and recreational vehicle activity. A trespassing complaint was investigated and resolved. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) attended annual in-service.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking turkey hunters in the area. Success varied and compliance was high. Dumping complaints were investigated as well with citations being issued. A trespass case was also investigated with enforcement action taken.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Some trout anglers were doing well with limits and overlimits seen taken. The Mississippi River had mixed results with the high water.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and turkey hunting enforcement. The high water has made fishing on the big river a little tough but the trout fishermen are finding a few fish. Turkey hunters experienced some success as they dodge the rain showers. Finally, several investigations were completed with charges being worked on.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking anglers, turkey hunters, ATV activity, and monitoring exotics activity. The river remains high and fast in the area and the fishing is slow. Turkey hunters have been enjoying some nicer weather and were reporting getting some birds. Some fishing and exotics violations were detected.
CO Phil George (Rochester) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley, took calls about anglers and watercraft on reservoirs. Enforcement action included not displaying current registration on watercraft, angling without a license, and no PFDs onboard watercraft.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the high river water has changed fishing in the area with walleye being caught in parking lots. The turkey hunting pressure has dropped off considerably with very few hunters out. He also received several wildlife nuisance complaints.
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 Bob Geving attended in-service training. He also flew photo missions for possible wetland violations and prepared for the upcoming waterfowl survey.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the statewide goose survey.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley/Brainerd attending academy training and aviation training.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of mostly administrative work including pilot training and equipment ordering. Poor weather halted all flight ops. Jensen did fly a fisher telemetry flight and a WCA photo flight when the sun finally broke through at the end of the week.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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
NE RTO Shelly Patten provided instruction at Camp Ripley for in-service last week. Training wrapped up for the Officers throughout the state. Training was given for handguns, rifles, defensive tactics and various scenarios. Patten also changed the location of the upcoming Trail Ambassador training from Camp Ripley to Grand Rapids; all attendees are from the Grand Rapids area. Patten took phone calls for the upcoming Bear Outfitter training.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports teaching firearms, scenarios and defensive tactics at Officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. He also completed instructor background checks and investigated a complaint regarding an instructor not submitting class rosters. Saturday he helped facilitate a field day for online students at St. Cloud PD Range. At the St. Cloud PD range he also provided instructor certification training to two new firearms safety/hunter education instructor candidates.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted other RTOs with Conservation Officers annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. RTO Lawrence assisted with a firearms safety field day for a small group of youth at the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area field day site. RTO Lawrence answered emails about turkey hunting options for the spring season.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez spent some time at Camp Ripley conducting in-service training for COs. The RTO also assisted with the retirees and their annual qualification shoot. Many recently retired COs along with some COs that have been retired for many years were present.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with CO in-service training. Time was also spent putting on an HEFAS Field Day for disabled students that will be going on a mentored turkey hunt on May 3 and 4.
NW RTO Jon Paurus spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with officer training. Assistance to local field officers was provided on various calls. Background check paperwork for new instructors was also completed.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted two days at annual in-service at Camp Ripley. He also took care of planning an ATV instructor class, end of the month items and responded to calls and emails.