District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Rainy River and portions of open water on Lake of the Woods for the opening weekend of Minnesota’s fishing season. Angling success was good, with lots of large walleyes being caught. Big pike are being reported on the Warroad River. Ice-out is anticipated to occur later this week. Violations for the weekend include possession of illegal length walleyes, possession of marijuana, no license and registration violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended a regional safety committee meeting and answered trapping questions. Good weather and good fishing made for a fun walleye opener on Lake of the Woods. Numerous anglers commented that they had caught and released trophy sized fish. Enforcement action for the week included boating equipment and registration violations, possess small amount of marijuana, possess illegal length fish, and fail to register turkey.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored turkey hunting areas for activity. Division online training was completed. The law and ethics portion of a Firearms Safety Class was taught in Thief River Falls. CO Warren worked a detail on Upper Red Lake for the angling opener. Anglers reported great fishing. Enforcement action included failure to have fire extinguisher, fishing in closed area, and walleye taken within the protected slot.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked the busy fishing opening weekend on Upper Red Lake. The weather was excellent and so was the bite. Time was spent monitoring spring spawning run on area lakes and rivers, spring beaver trapping activity and wolf depredation reports were investigated throughout the week. CO Regas assisted District 2 officers with the execution of a search warrant. Enforcement action for the week included possession of illegal length walleyes, fishing in closed waters and boating violations.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers on Upper Red Lake reported excellent fishing success throughout the entire fishing opener weekend. Calls were handled throughout the week ranging from nuisance animal calls to fishing TIP calls. Enforcement action taken during the week included over limit of walleye, illegal length walleye, burning violations, ATV violations, and boating safety and registration violations.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working a busy fishing opener. Many boater and angler contacts were made. Boaters were also reminded about AIS related rules. Time was also spent assisting other officers with a search warrant at a commercial business and helping instructors with a firearms safety class in Fertile. Various boating and fishing violations were found this week.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) planned FAS classes, monitored leechers and took a forestry trespass complaint. Multiple wildlife concerns calls were dealt with. He assisted with a DNR investigation and other law enforcement agencies. Few anglers and less fish were observed during the fishing opener despite the nice weather.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and trout fishermen.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy fishing opener. Anglers enjoyed the great weather and good bite. Most lakes are ice free with a small raft of ice remaining on Lake Bemidji. CO Vollbrecht assisted other COs with a search warrant and follow up interviews were conducted during the week.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked a busy fishing opener in the Bemidji area with CO Vollbrecht. Lake Bemidji still had some ice but many other smaller lakes were ice free. The officers worked the Cass chain of lakes including Lake Andrusia, Big Wolf and the Mississippi River. Time was also spent on Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park. Enforcement activity for the week included angling license violations, boat and water safety violations, and watercraft registration violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Troy Richards with an inspection of a commercial minnow dealer and checking several anglers seining minnows for their own use. Fishing opener greeted anglers with frost and slow fishing for most. Pan fishing was good on many lakes. Violations of walleyes in the protected slot, no PFDs, expired watercraft registration and no proof of lake service provider training.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports the walleye opener had less activity than expected. Shore anglers seemed to have more walleyes than boating anglers. CO Peterson responded to a collared wolf kill that was killed to protect livestock.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports the opener was spotty for the walleye bite. A few fishermen were catching fish, while most others did not. The crappie bite was good over the weekend with many fishermen catching limits. Time was also spent working fishing tips, talking at firearms safety class and attended a public input meeting in regards to uses for several Scientific and Natural Areas.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS and WCA activity. Time was also spent following up on TIP calls and fishing complaints in the Detroit Lakes station. ATV contacts were made. Use of Force was taught at the CO Academy. Fishing opener was worked in the Cormorant Lakes area. A very nice opening day had fishermen happy, but few walleye were caught.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) concentrated enforcement efforts on the fishing opener. Numerous anglers were checked on the opener with most access areas full of rigs. Anglers reported slow activity on most lakes. Over limit information was taken with follow-up to continue. CO’s Richards and Plautz assisted with a DWI stop on the eve of fishing opener. Enforcement action was taken for commercial minnow dealing and angling violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked turkey hunters throughout the week and found several bow fishermen out in the evenings. The fishing opener was worked with fishermen having minimal success due to cool water temperatures. Nuisance beaver permits were issued and ATV enforcement was monitored.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen, boaters and reminding boaters about AIS regulations. Minnow dealers were checked and questions were handled from fishermen as to how to transport their bait legally. Complaints were handled regarding nuisance beaver and an injured hawk. Nelson met with local FAS instructors as well.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen on the opener. Water temperature is low on most lakes limiting the action. A few back bays have warmed and the panfish are moving into the shallows. Osborne took calls regarding fishing licenses, firearm questions and shooting complaints.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on fishing opener this past week as anglers took to the many Alexandria area lakes. Boat traffic was high on numerous lakes but walleye success was limited. Overall it was a good opener with everybody staying safe amongst the frigid waters. Lawler assisted the Douglas Co Sheriff’s Office when two juveniles generated several citizen complaints while operating their ATVs in a careless manner throughout an entire township. After they were located, enforcement action was taken and both sets of parents were thankful that neither child nor any passerby was injured.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports working a busy fishing opening weekend on area waterways. Angling success was spotty, and some fishing and boating violations were detected, including two men passing around a marijuana joint while out in the boat fishing. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters and working ATV and fire enforcement. A day was spent instructing the new CO recruits at Camp Ripley.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the fishing opener, boating activity, and AIS transportation laws along with wetlands violations. Lots of anglers found fish willing to bite as well. The officer assisted the Stevens SWCD with site visit of a wetlands filling violation. RPNs were issued for illegal fill in a wetland. A presentation was given to the Hancock area firearms safety class. Minnow transportation permits were issued along with calls handled regarding a fox, turkey hunting and a DNR boat ramp in need of repair.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports the fishing opener in the Glenwood area was busy, but fishing success was spotty at best. The officer checked fishermen, ATV operators, monitored AIS compliance, and checked boaters for B&W safety equipment. While checking fishermen at an access the night before the fishing opener, Baumbarger encountered a fisherman who pulled into the access with expired registration, and transporting his boat with the drain plug in. When the officers spoke with the individual, it was discovered that he failed to remove the ammunition from his uncased rifle that was on the front seat of his truck. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm and failing to remove his drain plug from his boat.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a pleasant walleye opener. Water temperatures were in the low 40’s but air temps were very nice and the sunshine was fabulous. Most anglers reported a slow opener saying the fish were there but weren’t that active. A few lucky youngsters wearing their PFDs were rewarded with a coupon for a treat at the Dairy Queen. Enforcement action was taken on watercraft registration violations, lack of personal floatation devices and no state trout stamps.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV activity. Fishing compliance was good over opening weekend of fishing. Numerous ATV complaints were received.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked many anglers over the fishing opener weekend. Compliance was generally very good, although enforcement action was taken on no licenses in possession, PFD violations and boat registration. Anglers were very good about the AIS requirements with drain plugs and weed removal. Some anglers using minnows were reminded of the requirement to change the water from lake water to fresh water.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked fishing, boating safety, and AIS activity. A nuisance beaver complaint and a complaint of someone spearing suckers after hours and using lights were received. A complaint of suckers dumped on a road was investigated as well.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked angling and invasive species compliance. Walleye fishing for the opener was remarkably poor on the areas big lakes; some fish were found in the connected river systems. A nuisance bear and lake excavation complaint were handled. CO Mathy assisted with a search warrant on a commercial business and trained recruits at the Conservation Officer Academy. Enforcement action was taken for angling, invasive species, and ATV violations.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) worked the opening weekend of fishing where nicer than forecasted greater greeted the anglers. Fishing success was variable. Boaters and anglers are reminded that boat plugs have to be removed when trailering boats, this is not new. Enforcement action was taken for failure to have PFD on watercraft, failure to display valid watercraft registration, no license in possession, and transport JV passengers on ATV w/o a helmet.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and ATV activity. Anglers fishing the opener in the Longville area yielded poor success. CO Broughten checked compliance with aquatic invasive species laws. CO Broughten also investigated numerous nuisance beaver complaints and attended a meeting with the Woman Lake Water Patrol. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession and failure to display watercraft registration.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the fishing opener. Pan fishing had the best action. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove boat plugs, failure to display current boat registration, and operate ATV on roadway. A number of nuisance beaver calls were handled. A presentation was given at “Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs” in Menahga and a presentation was given to the Kennedy School 4th graders on fishing.
CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) assisted with CO Academy training and worked on seasonal equipment preparations. Most forests are open for vehicle travel and routine patrol of area forests and trails began in earnest. The weather cooperated for a nice fishing opener. Anglers checked were successful with some very nice fish being caught.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala worked the fishing opener enforcing aquatic invasive species laws and checking anglers. Success was limited, but a few nice walleye, northern, and perch were seen. A reminder to boaters to remove the drain plug and drain all water, including bait containers, prior to transporting watercraft, as well as visually inspecting and removing any attached aquatic plants. Violations encountered for the week included failing to remove drain plug prior to transport and operating off highway motorcycle on a public road.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) handled several animal complaints throughout the week. Fishing opener was relatively quite as Rainy Lake was still iced up except for Black Bay and other smaller bays where ice was away from shore. However lots of people enjoying the nice weather on the Rainy River. The high water and cold water temps kept fishing success at a minimum. Enforcement action for week involved no angling license in possession and some boating safety violations.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working on equipment, continued work planning and monitoring public access sites. Fishing activities were monitored with very few anglers observed.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports assisting with a firearms safety class and preparing for and working the 2014 fishing opener. The smaller lakes in the area were ice free; however, Lake Vermilion still has plenty of ice floating around. A couple public accesses were completely blocked with ice and unusable. The folks that were able to gain access caught some fish. Area rivers were checked and they are flowing fast.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the fishing opener and reports uncooperative fish; however, the weather was exceptionally nice for a change. The Officer worked three separate large amounts of litter complaints, investigated a reportedly poisoned deer, which turned out to be road kill, and worked ATVs and OHMs. Enforcement action was taken on angling license, extra lines, OHM, and ATV violations
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) monitored fish run activity on Virginia and Tower area streams. One angler eager for an early walleye dinner decided it would be a good idea to grab two spawning walleyes from the stream the CO was watching. The young angler quickly learned it was not a good idea when CO Frericks met him at his vehicle. The angler was issued a citation. Area lakes cooperated and had ice come off just in time for fishing opener. Nice weather on opening day brought out large numbers of anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PDFs.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports many of the lakes that were completely iced over early in the week, were nearly ice free by the beginning of the walleye opener thanks to three days of constant rain and mild temperatures late in the week. The opener fishing report started slow on most lakes, but by afternoon the amount of fish being seen steadily increased. Violations included failure to remove the plug on water related equipment, unmeasurable fish, and transporting walleyes without a skin patch.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent the better part of the past week or more monitoring the walleye spawning beds around Ely. The walleyes were still spawning below the bridges as the fishermen waited for the crack of midnight to begin on Saturday. But tragedy was averted because the walleyes didn’t fall for it. As far as Stage knew, not a walleye was landed at the local bridges on opener night. State and 1854 Tribal officers worked a fishing detail on a popular BWCAW portage and found fishing to be surprisingly slow in there as well. It was interesting to the officers that nearly a hundred percent of the fishermen coming across portages were hauling the minnows and or fish with water still in the containers. None of the plugs had been removed from the boats that did have removable plugs. In the ongoing effort to thwart or stall the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussel, faucet snails, and other harmful species, legislators have passed laws making these things illegal now for the past several years. Yet every group that was spoken to about it claimed they had no idea about it or had never heard of such a requirement.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some Forest Service Roads were still impassable due to snow during the opening weekend of the fishing season. All the lakes were iced over and it’s a good bet that most will be open along with the roads for the second weekend of fishing. Some floating ice could still be present so use caution. It also should be noted that some forest roads will have washouts. Spring beaver trapping activity was monitored and boats readied for when the lakes finally come open. The CO also responded to a nuisance bear call. The bear was attracted by sunflower seeds used to attract birds and bears.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked steelhead anglers in Cook and Lake counties; catching of fish is starting to pick up some as the water clears and warms up. CO Manning worked fishing opener in both counties as well finding few lakes with enough open water to cast a line. One hardy angler did manage to hook a fish through the ice from shore; he tried to use a float tube to try to get to the fish, but lost it right near the surface. The officer also checked spring beaver traps, performed invasive species checks, and conducted boating enforcement where boats could be found. Folks in the woods are reminded that spring beaver season has been extended until May 15 in the northern third of the state.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the walleye opener. Spring fish run was monitored throughout the week. The officer received a call from a concerned citizen about a loon that appeared injured on the New Tomahawk Road. It turned out the loon was ‘grounded’, was far from water, and therefore couldn’t fly. The officer and the citizen captured the loon with fishing nets, returning it to water unharmed. Enforcement action for the week included walleye over limit, angle with an unattended line, possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia, expired boat registration, expired ATV registration, no fishing license in possession, PFD violations, and failure to comply with restrictions of a limited driver’s license.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore and a few fisherman searching for open water during the opening weekend. Most lakes in the Cook County area are still ice covered. The Officer worked AIS, did a commercial minnow inspection, ATV enforcement and completed equipment maintenance on his patrol vehicle.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing opener activities and ATV trail enforcement over the weekend. Most lakes in the area became ice free just days before the fishing opener with just a few still holding ice at this time. Enforcement action was taken for various registration and equipment violations.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked fish run activity, attended a district meeting, performed equipment maintenance, and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and taking an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, minnow trapping, and patrolled for ATV activity. He also completed a trapping case. Violations included angling without a license, take over-limit of walleye, operate without watercraft registration, take fisher in closed season, fail to tend traps, wanton waste, and leave traps in the field after the season.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 training, checked anglers and worked boat and water. Angler success was on the high side for opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling in a closed area and no angling license in possession.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling and boating activity this past week on several lakes in the area. Activity was pretty good considering recent ice out conditions. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and various boating equipment violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy opening fishing weekend with many anglers getting out on the newly ice free lakes. Angler success was fair to good over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling for walleyes before the open season, angling without a license and failing to register a watercraft. Enforcement action was also taken over the past week for road vehicles in a wetland on a state trail, ATV’s operating down the side of a state highway, unregistered ATVs and for OHM’s operating in the road right-of-way.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked fishermen, ATVs, spring beaver trappers and watercraft. He also attended a district meeting and completed required department training during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week preparing for the upcoming fishing opener. Wichmann attended a district meeting and checked anglers over the weekend.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) tracked wetland and public waters inventory restoration cases, readied boating equipment, attended a D-7 meeting, and worked spring fish run activities. CO Arhart also worked a busy angling opener checking anglers and water related equipment. Aquatic Invasive Species compliance was good in the area. Angler success varied from lake to lake, with the larger streams producing the most fish early. As some lakes warmed, the walleye bite improved there as well. Bait shortages and cold water complaints were heard. Enforcement action was taken for state park violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week checking shore anglers along the north shore and smelters in the evening. Few fish were seen as water temperatures remained low and water flow high. Opening weekend fishing was very slow and very few fish seen. Most anglers on the St. Louis River were lucky to have a bite and most boats did not land a fish. Although fishing was poor, spirits were up with beautiful weather for an opener.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports it was a very busy weekend on area lakes as the ice left and beautiful weather moved in. Unfortunately not a lot of fish seen in livewells, but everyone was happy being out on the water again. Thanks to a local animal rehabber and several volunteers a deer with a large plastic bucket on its head was cornered and the bucket removed. A few incidentally caught otters where turned in. No lifejacket, no watercraft registration, no helmet on juvenile while operating an ATV and no angling license in possession are a few of the violations encountered.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time preparing for the fishing opener. He handled wildlife complaints and fishing opener was worked on area lakes over the weekend. Beautiful weather made for a busy opener on area lakes. Many people were checked from shore and water. Time was also spent working invasive species enforcement at local access.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey focused on fishing activity over opening weekend. Anglers were enjoying the weather but reported slow fishing. Late ice, cold, and high water were being blamed. CO Humphrey continued working on an area trapping investigation. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails continue to be closed to motorized vehicle use. Several nuisance animal calls were received including beaver and bears. CO Humphrey, with assistance from Carlton County deputies, responded to an ongoing timber trespass on public land where charges are pending. CO Humphrey responded to a complaint of a possible winter kill of numerous fish on an area lake near Cromwell. Area fisheries and waters staff were notified. Angling, boating and burning violations were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended the national detector dog trials in Bloomington this past week where the team was certified on the national level as a detector dog. Fishing opener was slower than previous years with very few fish being caught in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license in possession, watercraft registration violations, and taking bass out of season. K9 assistance was given to the Cloquet Police Dept. for searching an area for a knife that young kids were playing with in a remote wooded area and also with a search for a lost elderly person in the city. Cases from last fall continue to be worked as well as a litter case in the area.
WREO Mike Scott checked anglers on the St. Louis River in Duluth for fishing opener. High fast moving muddy water teamed up for a slow fishing experience for the opener. Talking with dozens of anglers no one was catching anything except one shore angler who had two walleyes. Checked anglers on Sunday on area lakes with CO Randy Hanzal; enforcement action was taken for no life preservers, fail to display current registration. Work on Honor guard team for the LE Memorial for the Law Enforcement Week in St. Paul on May 15 honoring Minnesota fallen officers.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the nice weather had many anglers on the waters. One of the warmer openers this officer can remember. The overall catch rates were down considerably. North Shore rivers are running fast. Rain will continue to keep rivers swift. Lake Superior is still partially ice covered on the Duluth end. The McQuade safe harbor is ice free and was busy with boats. Olson responded to a call with Duluth PD and FD of a kayaker that had tipped in Lake Superior. He was able to self-rescue and was close to shore. Although, he did lose some equipment out of the kayak. He assisted St. Louis County SO with a possible burglary in progress call.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on a bright but slow opener. One boat found adrift with a malfunctioning motor was found to have no life jackets on board. In checking close to a hundred boats, not a single fish was seen. Phone calls were fielded on regulation changes and shelters were checked but having no success. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) continues to work the north shore streams and Lake Superior anglers. Rivers are still slow for fish, some shore anglers are picking up some rainbows and a few salmon. Lots of boats were out on Lake Superior over the weekend with some success. Smelters are showing up but not seeing success yet. The officer also helped the inland officers with the walleye opener. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and OHM violations over the week.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) responded to issues of wolves threatening livestock, garbage dumping, trespass, and numerous issues relating to the fishing opener. A commercial rough fish removal permit was monitored on one area lake. Spring pan fish bites and the 2014 fishing opener were worked with angling success on walleye and pike found to be low on most lakes, while panfish activity was found to be slow to good in some places as waters slowly warm. Numerous contacts were made for miscellaneous boating registration and equipment violations.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports the cold water temps made the fishing slow. Some pan fish have moved in to the warm bays but still reluctant to bite. Violations he observed were no license in possession, expired registration, in sufficient PFDs and taking bass out of season. He spent time in the Pillsbury Forest where he found vehicles operating on closed forest roads and causing damage. He checked a few turkey hunters and they report seeing and hearing a fair amount turkeys. He stopped a boat with the plug still in it. He found water and fish in a livewell along with aquatic vegetation in the boat.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) helped out checking sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River, fielded complaints of illegal activities with commercial leech trappers, worked with CO Posner on Gull Lake over the busy Governor’s Opener, and responded to complaints of possible fish overlimits and keeping largemouth bass out of season.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports assisting with training at Camp Ripley for Academy 15, investigating a complaint of ATV’s in a wetland, and working fishing opener on area lakes. The weather was nothing to complain about and several anglers were successful at landing some nice walleye and northern.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy opening weekend on area lakes. Anglers checked reported mixed success, but enjoyed nice weather over the weekend. CO McGowan also patrolled Cass County for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, fishing, and boating violations.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and turkey hunters during the week. Calls were taken on a blocked stream, dogs chasing deer and a dead eagle. Several contacts were made involving juveniles with spears near water after sunset.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who reported a so-so bite for walleye. Officer Lee received a call of anglers fishing from the shoreline before the midnight opening hour, along with keeping the walleye they were catching. Upon arrival to the location Officer Lee heard the suspected parties arguing with anglers that were in watercraft near shore. Their attention was not on the shoreline, which made it possible for Officer Lee to walk up to the parties and observe the walleye in their net. The party was issued citations for no angling license and taking walleye out of season, and possible charges for fishing under license revocation. Officer Lee also received a call in regards to bear doing damage to a vehicle and shed. Officer Lee also assisted with training at Academy 15 this past week. Enforcement actions taken this past week included boat registration issues, boating safety violations and ATV operation violations.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, boating safety and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area. He also assisted with the Governor’s Fishing Opener on Gull Lake.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked as assigned to the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener. Guida addressed numerous registration violations and gave out safe boating awards to youth wearing their personal floatation devices. A couple of crappie bites were monitored and folks were reminded about their possession limits at home. Officer Guida addressed a license violation after it was learned that the angler had not purchased a new 2014 angling license.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the fishing opener on Mille Lacs Lake. There was a fair amount of fishermen but the bite was fairly sluggish. Most fishermen were happy with the nice weather after the long winter. A complaint of crop damage was worked on along with DNR Wildlife staff during the week. A meeting was attended with Aitkin County in regards to an ongoing wetlands issue. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with checking fishermen on a local lake where the pan fish bite had increased. A call regarding a question on bow fishing regulations was fielded and several other ATV and boating questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a beaver doing damage was fielded and a permit was issued for the nuisance beaver. Please remember to drain your live wells, clean all vegetation off from your boats and leave your drain plug out before transporting your watercraft down the road. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license in possession, insufficient PFDs, failure to display valid watercraft registration, and no fire extinguisher on watercraft.
WREO Rob Haberman assisted officers in the Brainerd area with the Governor’s Opener on Gull Lake. WREO Haberman spoke to hundreds of citizens at the DNR’s AIS booth in Nisswa for the community picnic event and conducted AIS enforcement around the Brainerd area for the opener weekend. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in Aitkin County.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Mille Lacs and Big Sandy over the weekend. A number a fishermen caught and released large walleye. A few keepers were also seen. Water temps in the low 40’s made fishing difficult on Mille Lacs. Fishing success on Big Sandy was steady with a fair amount of 16 inch fish seen. A reminder for fishermen on Mille Lacs to avoid hanging on to zebra mussels and transporting them to landings for disposal. Please return them to the lake. Nuisance beaver and bear complaints were also handled. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and boating violations.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled several complaints that included ATV’s trespassing and damaging private property, anglers taking too many crappies and black bears hanging around residences. Homeowners that had hungry bears hanging around were instructed to put away bird feeders and lock up garbage cans and dog food inside a building. Bears are only interested in filling their empty bellies and these efforts usually cause them to move on and not come back. A firearms safety class was also held and the 2014 fishing opener was worked. Anglers that were out for the opener enjoyed some of the nicest weather conditions in years, but many struggled getting fish to bite in the cold water temperatures.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including very nice weather for opening weekend. Fishing success was “hit and miss” with typical proportions of anglers lacking licenses and required boating equipment. Sun and warm conditions also brought out ATV traffic where inexperienced riders “just up at the cabin” equated to safety and registration violations. Verkuilen also monitored tribal harvest, responded to a wolf depredation, constantly watched for boat plugs.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked the Minnesota fishing opener. She encountered lots of anglers, but very few fish. Anglers were reporting cold muddy colored water and were blaming these factors as the reason they didn’t catch fish. Officer Speldrich also received several ATV complaints in her station. While handling these complaints, she encountered several violators that had already been issued citations from another officer who was working a nearby state forest. She continued to check shore anglers around the area, as well as accesses. Several incoming watercraft were found to have plugs still in when arriving at the accesses. Enforcement actions were taken on those watercraft. A trapper was cited after admitting to knowingly leaving traps out after the close of the season and failing to tend traps. The excuse that was given was that the traps were frozen in the ground and under snow. When he was reminded that the snow and ice have been gone for a few weeks he stated that he was just too busy to pull the traps. Speldrich also received a report of beaver dumped on local state property. An investigation is pending.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked the week checking anglers, boaters and monitoring water levels on the St. Croix River. He spent time checking ATV complaints, worked on a complaint of a possible deer shot out of season, and spent time getting equipment ready for the fishing opener. Beautiful weather over the opening weekend found many fishermen out, but few fish caught. Numerous anglers were checked and fishing success was very spotty with some walleye and panfish seen in livewells. The most common violation encountered over the week was failing to display valid registration on watercraft.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) noted that floating ice made boat travel harsh on Mille Lacs Lake. Very few walleye were caught, but some nice pike showed up in the creel. Enforcement action was taken for illegal fires, ATV activity, no fishing license, take fish in closed season, expired boat registration, transport boat with plug in, insufficient PFD, and no fire extinguisher in boat. A trespass situation and rude fishing behavior calls were taken. Some fishermen thought it OK to cast across several other fishermen’s lines and tangle everyone. T The victims thought it was on purpose, to gain sole ownership of the fishing spot. An
investigation is pending on a bait dealer who does not have a commercial license.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking bowfishermen. One bow fisherman was caught with two illegally taken northern pike at an area dam. The pike were seized and enforcement action was taken. CO Silgjord spent time checking anglers on the midnight opener at area shore fishing spots. Low water temperatures made for a slow bite throughout the weekend. Violations for the week included no throwable device aboard watercraft, no fire extinguisher, possession of bass out of season, no angling license, fail to remove drain plug while transporting a watercraft, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and fail to display valid watercraft registration.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Stearns, Kanabec, and Isanti counties. Enforcement action was taken for no license, no boat registration, insufficient safety equipment, AIS violations, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Several wetland restoration orders were also served.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working anglers and turkey hunters. Vehicle maintenance was performed on several trailers. The officer also assisted with academy activities.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a moderate turnout for fishing opener. Weather wise, it was the nicest opener in a few years. Angling success, however, was poor. A few crappies and small northern pike bit. As usual, bass were a bit feisty. Nuisance bear and nuisance beaver complaints were handled. Recreational vehicle activity was monitored. An orphaned raccoon report was resolved.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week working anglers and boating safety issues. Game fish opener had many out trying their luck. The fish bite was not the best, but some people were able to boat a few trout, northern and walleye. Aquatic invasive species enforcement was worked at a few boat accesses with several people still traveling with boat plugs in. A TIP call of a guy shooting a fox with pups was handled with enforcement action taken. Enforcement action for the week included expired boat registration, no PFD, no fire extinguisher, no license in possession, transport boat with boat plug in, and take fox out of season.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued a special trapping beaver permits. Calls came in of a bear chasing a deer and a number of calls of bears tearing down people’s bird feeders. Officer Kuske asked if there was any other food or garbage that would bring the bears to their house and the homeowner said that they did have a bear on their deck eating the pound of butter they had left out. It’s that time of year to put away the bird feeders and any pet food/garbage if you have bears around. Local anglers are out catching the crappies and a few walleyes on the Mississippi River. A father on an ATV was stopped with his two young boys on mini dirt bikes within the city limits of Little Falls. Enforcement action was taken for the adult illegally allowing youth to operate the dirt bikes on public roads. The father was upset that they were stopped and talked to about it and stated that on this day didn’t the officer have better things to do.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) completed an investigation of a depredation complaint which involved a wolf killing a calf. A compensation claim was completed and a control area opened for a trapper to come in and dispose of the problem wolf. Snapping turtle season is closed during the months of May and June; one individual was reported picking up a roadside snapper last week. Fishing opener found most folks looking for crappies, most found them, others found out it is a good idea to check the boat for a new license and PFDs before you get to the landing to go fishing. Several people were very surprised to hear that you can’t leave your boat plug in when going from lake to lake. Some other folks were surprised to hear that since 1969 it has been illegal to burn garbage in a burn barrel. Two more folks that moved up north from the metro area were educated that you need a burning permit, even if it is just leaves and branches.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers all week working on tip calls. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Annandale firearms safety class. CO Mies gave fur/trapping talks at Ney park field day in Maple Lake.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) reports a busy fishing opener but very few walleye or northern pike taken on local lakes. Officer Londgren also patrolled lakes with no wake ordinances, checked ATVs, checked turkey hunters, and investigated illegal fires. Enforcement action was taken on: angling without license, no life jackets/throwable, no fire extinguisher, and no registration.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers where he issued summonses and written warnings for over limits of crappies, taking bass out of season angling w/o fishing license, angling w/o fishing license in possession, no fire extinguisher, no life jacket and throw cushion. CO Sladek took enforcement action on an illegal burn and also followed up on a number of animals calls. Officer Sladek assisted Wright County with a fur talk at Ney Park where 300-400 5th graders attended from area schools.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) found the fishing opener to be very good for anglers targeting northern pike and crappies, but slow for the walleyes anglers in the area. Most said they were still happy to be out on the open water. Time was spent helping out at the academy with the new recruits. Enforcement action was taken for taking on an over limit of crappies, taking bass out of season, possession of drug paraphernalia and no life jacket on board watercraft.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATVs. Violations were found for no license, extra lines, no registration, no life jackets, and possession of drug paraphernalia. CO Musatov also assisted with training for the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy opening fishing weekend. Most area lakes had full accesses. Many anglers hit the local lakes but did not find much success. Other than a few northerns, most anglers only caught panfish. All boats were found with the required safety equipment.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the fishing opener on Carver County lakes finding good success on pan fish but not so good on walleye. Turkey hunters were checked still finding birds responding to calls. Boaters were checked for safety equipment, transporting invasive species and drain plug removal. Enforcement action was taken for leaving hunting blinds on WMAs, failure to display watercraft registration, operate unregistered watercraft, fishing license violations, no personal flotation device, angling with extra lines and take bass during closed season.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. Very few fish were seen in boats during the opener. CO Salzer observed several violations during the opener weekend with enforcement action being taken.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and spoke at a firearms safety class. Opener was spent on Lake Minnetonka with a neighboring officer. Lots of success catching crappies. Violations included no fishing license, overlimits of crappies and taking bass out of season.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota and Scott counties for ATVs, ORVs, and OHMs. He patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park complaint areas. CO Neitzke worked fishing opener with CO Johnson in Anoka County. He also checked boaters at Dakota County lakes.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener in Scott County area lakes. He worked with CO Pril in Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington County lakes and rivers. CO Lee talked to a youth firearms safety class in Prior Lake and responded to animal complaints. Violations encountered were fishing without angling license, expired boat registration, and no fishing license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in West Metro area. He worked the 2014 Fishing Opener with CO Walter on Lake Waconia. Enforcement action was taken for no type IV PFD, failure to display valid boat registration, and no angling license in possession.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener and checked many anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He investigated a possible big game violation in South Saint Paul. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in Saint Paul and handled animal calls during the week.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) instructed at the DNR sponsored Basic Boating School, which was attended by Sheriff’s Deputies from across the state. WREO Block patrolled the St. Croix River on the fishing opener; the high water created a slow fishing experience for most. WREO Block testified at a court hearing regarding a boating under the influence arrest from last summer, attended a meeting with other DNR staff regarding land management practices and completed an interview with a media outlet regarding the fishing opener. Violations encountered included slow no wake violations, overloaded watercraft, no angling license and failure to remove drain plug from watercraft prior to transport.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to a firearms safety class at the Kraus-Hartig VFW in Spring Lake Park. She handled a litter case in which garbage was thrown in a WMA, assisted a South Dakota Warden with a license fraud case and did equipment maintenance. CO Kruse gathered information for the New Brighton PD, handled various TIP calls and checked numerous anglers during the fishing opener. Violations encountered included no fishing license, insufficient number of life jackets, no boat registration, two year old without a life jacket, no license in possession and no throwable (type IV) PFD.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked area lakes for the fishing opener. There were many anglers out with a few of them reporting success. CO Arntzen also spent time doing equipment maintenance, handling TIP calls, fielding questions about the upcoming opener and patrolled WMAs for off-road vehicle activity. Enforcement action for the week included registration violations, fishing with extra lines, no license in possession, and life jacket violations.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports he worked the fishing opener in Anoka County with CO Neitzke. The weather was nice, but the fishing was slow. Enforcement action was taken for a number of violations including no angling license, no throwable PFD, and failure to display boat registration. CO Johnson responded to a call of 4WD trucks off-road at Bearman WMA in Nowthen. Three individuals were cited for driving off-road beyond posted signs prohibiting travel. He also went to a call of an injured Bald Eagle at Coon Lake.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working pre-fishing complaints leading up to the opener. The 2014 Fishing Opener saw quite a bit of activity but boat numbers were down from previous years. Most fishermen struggled to catch fish. AIS continues to be a main enforcement focus during the annual fishing and boating season. Assistance was given to DNR Parks and Trails and time was also spent teaching at the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports numerous anglers on area lakes for the 2014 fishing opener. The bite turned on and off as a wide variety weather conditions rolled through the area throughout the weekend. Activity included fishing without a license and unlawful use of treble hooks.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Fish Opener seemed a little slower than normal with anglers enjoying only a fair walleye bite. Area campgrounds appeared full with families enjoying the first spring-like days.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, boating, and ATV activity during the week. The inland fishing opener was busy, with anglers having moderate success. An investigation involving out-of-season fur bearer activity was handled in the Appleton area.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing was overall slow. A couple anglers were able to find the walleyes in their “secret” spots. Enforcement action was taken on a variety of boating and AIS concerns.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted with instruction at the DNR Enforcement Academy. The firearms safety class in Pipestone had a great turn out for youth numbers. AIS continues to be worked on area lakes. Fishing activities were high despite the windy conditions that occurred on the opener.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) checked fishermen and water related equipment on area lakes and rivers for AIS. An RPN was issued for a WCA violation in Sibley County. Enforcement action was taken for AIS issues along with angling and boating activities.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked the fishing opener and noted a very slow bite overall. He issued a nuisance beaver permit and followed up on a trapping complaint. Denz also spoke on a local radio program about the upcoming fishing opener and AIS laws. He also monitored local OHM and ATV activity in addition to checking boats for compliance with AIS laws.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers and boaters during the fishing opener. She received a TIP on a couple who kept a large mouth bass out of season. They were located and still in possession of the bass. An unattended fire with prohibited materials burning is still being investigated. She, along with another officer, checked an OHM and an ATV driver during the weekend operating on a county road. Mueller saw 100 percent compliance on AIS enforcement during the opener weekend.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a spotty fishing opener. While most anglers enjoyed the weather, fish were few and far between. Oberg also worked AIS enforcement with excellent overall compliance. Time was also spent working recreational vehicle enforcement in the area.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked primarily fishing and AIS activities. He also completed commercial inspections, investigated a sick deer complaint, assisted landowners with loose cattle, worked with local law enforcement on an ORV incident and investigated a theft of property from a WMA. The local walleyes were especially elusive during the season opener. Northern, catfish and bullhead anglers had better success.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers. The weather for the fishing opener was fair on Saturday and mostly rainy and overcast on Sunday. Anglers reported slow activity with only a few walleyes being caught. A volunteer safety instructor appreciation banquet for instructors in Watonwan and Martin counties was held in St. James. Officer Schettler, Lt. Rezac, and Officer Beckmann all attended to thank the instructors for their efforts and years of service.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing opener, turkey hunters and ATVs. Gruhlke also worked AIS enforcement. The area lakes did not produce many walleye. Gruhlke completed his weekly radio program discussing topics including AIS, boating safety and fishing opener.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) instructed license and registration week for the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. An instructor banquet was held for Martin and Watonwan County volunteer safety instructors in St. James. A 30 year firearms safety award was presented. Fishing opener kicked off strong with many anglers hitting the water. AIS education and inspection with boaters and anglers was heavy and AIS compliance was very high.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
WREO Julie Siems (SE) instructed AIS education at the annual boat and water school for sheriff’s deputies. She assisted at Lake Service Provider training. Completed the National Certification for Game Detection with K9 Brady. WREO Siems also worked an AIS information booth at the Governor’s Opener Community Picnic.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on angling activity and AIS work. Angling activity was high on opener, but anglers checked were greeted with only fair success. Sunday of opening weekend was very slow. Howe also patrolled a state park, worked illegal ATV activity, and assisted the State Patrol with a traffic violation.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the majority of his time checking anglers and turkey hunters. TIP calls as well as other complaints involving these activities were also investigated.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, turkey hunting, and ATV activity. Fishing opener brought out numerous anglers, but success was limited. Calls from the public were also handled and nuisance beaver issues were addressed.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy fishing opener. The weather allowed for an enjoyable day. Walleye success was limited. The officer is investigating a trapping complaint and continues to work turkey hunting activity
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity for the fishing opener. The officer also worked off-highway motorcycle activity and checked turkey hunters. Violations encountered included angling without a license, trespassing, and operating off highway motorcycles on a public road right of way.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, and recreational vehicle activity, in addition to the walleye / northern pike opener over the weekend. Requests from the public seeking information were returned. A few beaver causing damage complaints were received and nuisance wildlife permits were issued.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) worked the fishing opening opener with District 13 in the Faribault area and found plenty of people but poor fishing success. He found good fishing on the Mississippi as the river dropped during the week. He also followed up on pollution and ATV complaints.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports turkey hunting success seems to have slowed down. Baby animal calls have started to come in. Time was spent on dogs chasing deer complaints as well as ATV complaints. Folks are out looking for the first morels of the season. They are reminded that they need permission on posted and agriculture lands.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working on several investigations, as well as working the inland fishing opener and turkey hunters. CO Prodzinski also spent time on the Mississippi River and began seeing the fishing improve as the water dropped over the weekend. Some boating and fishing related violation were detected.
CO Phil George (Rochester) taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class, took calls related to watercraft and anglers, and checked anglers and ATV operators. Enforcement action taken on a couple of sunfish over limits, angling without a license, and no watercraft registration.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Fishing on the river was still slower with the high water. Heyn also checked on a waters violation and handled other calls.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports turkey hunters are having a better week with the weather. On average a group of five hunters harvested one bird. The Mississippi remains at flood stage. Fishing is poor. Trout streams are in good fishing condition.
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 conducted some training flights. Although weathered out for most of the week, Geving also began the nesting waterfowl survey flights in the southern part of the state.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of various survey and enforcement flights. Jensen flew a moose calf location flight in NE Minnesota to locate calves with cow moose. Jensen then flew a recon mission to see which lakes in the NE portion of the state were ice-free so ground officers could plan patrol efforts. Jensen then started summer creel counts on Leech and Vermilion lakes. Cloudy and rainy weather is impacting flight opportunities.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley/Brainerd attending academy training and aviation training.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and prepared for the sand hill crane survey in NW Minnesota, which was delayed due to weather.
NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew boat count surveys on Lake Vermilion and Leech Lake.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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.
NE RTO Shelly Patten completed instructor backgrounds. Patten worked on Instructor complaints and scheduled new instructor training. Patten also worked on action items for the Conflict Management Team.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports providing training introducing DNR Safety Training Programs to COC Academy. He also planned for upcoming instructor clinics, assisted Instructors with equipment needs, and worked on instructor background checks. Calls were also returned regarding regulation questions.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended a youth firearms safety class for a presentation at the Oakdale Gun Club. RTO Lawrence completed follow-up on instructor training applications. During opening of the walleye – northern pike fishing season, RTO Lawrence patrolled fishing areas and boat access sites along St. Croix River from Bayport up to Pine City area checking for angling activity and invasive species. Anglers found limited success to perch, pan fish, and rough fish. RTO Lawrence issued citation to boat owner for failing to drain water from live well after leaving infested waters (Eurasian milfoil and known tributary with zebra mussels).
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez delivered some equipment for the Gander Mountain Academy FAS Instructor group in Lakeville. The RTO also worked on backgrounds from a past Volunteer FAS Instructor Clinic. RTO Gutierrez worked the fishing opener with CO Arntzen, several PFD violations were found, along with registration and extra line violations. Fishing was OK, with few walleyes seen, the crappie bite was much better.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week worked fishing opener. Success was marginal. Violations witnessed included short life jackets and fail to display watercraft registration. Owens also attended the Minnesota Safety & Health conference for two days in Minneapolis. He worked on academy training plans and answered numerous email and phone calls.