CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored angling activity on the Warroad River and Lake of the Woods. ATV and OHM contacts were made around Roseau and Kittson counties.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling and boating activity on area rivers. A complaint of anglers taking illegal fish is under investigation. Boats and trailers were monitored for AIS compliance. CO Warren spoke with a lake association president in regards to topics and issues for upcoming speaking engagement.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent investigating various wildlife calls, wolf depredation, nuisance beaver and one caller reported a suspicious death of a deer which was determined to have been a result of predation by coyotes. CO Regas responded to a report of an injured pelican. The pelican was found entangled in a landing net which appeared to have come detached from its handle while an angler was landing a northern pike. CO Regas cut the pelican from the netting. The pelican appeared not to have been injured and was eager to return to cruising about Blackduck Lake. A littering issue was addressed with one angler who discarded the entrails of his catch at a public access.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and ATV activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report excellent fishing on Upper Red Lake. While monitoring fishing activity CO Gorecki observed an angler catch what appeared to be an illegal length fish and place it in a compartment in the front of the boat. After watching for a while longer CO Gorecki eventually approached the boat and checked the anglers. They reported a couple of walleye and opened a livewell in the back of the boat which contained a couple legal walleye. CO Gorecki had them open the dry storage compartments in the front of the boat and found three illegal length pre-spawn female walleye underneath the life jackets in the compartment. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports focusing time on checking anglers and boaters. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and talking to boaters about AIS laws. Follow-up work was also done on a wetland impact site and a wolf case from the 2013 trapping season.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted other agencies, attended a Law Enforcement Memorial and participated in a radio talk show. Angling, leeching, boating and beaver problems were monitored.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and ATVers. ATVers and boaters are reminded to check their machines for current registration.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting mixed success. CO Vollbrecht investigated a complaint of an illegally set trap and a possible wolf depredation. Boaters were checked for safety equipment compliance. Time was spent patrolling area trails and closed forest roads for ATV activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking angling and sucker spearing activity. A good number of boaters and anglers were checked in Itasca State Park. Time was also spent at public accesses speaking with boaters about aquatic invasive species. A complaint regarding an injured deer was handled and a nuisance beaver permit was issued.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and discussing AIS concerns with boaters. Nuisance beaver permits were also issued. TIP calls of possible over limits were investigated.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored fishing activity, assisted at the academy and helped Menahga Fire Department with taking 75 fourth graders out for the “Hooked on Fishing” event.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. Activity is picking up with the better weather. Time was also spent working fishing TIPs and teaching ATV class in the vacant Moorhead station. A dead eagle call was investigated and turkey hunters were checked.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on WCA and AIS activity. Time was spent on site visits and issuing Cease and Desist Orders for WCA violations. Time was also spent on Use of Force training for the CO Academy. Fishermen and boaters were checked for AIS law compliance at public access points. Training was set up with local law enforcement for AIS law training for newly hired officers.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) seized incidental caught fur during the beaver season. Questions were answered about invasive species regulations. Richards participated in Law Enforcement Day at the Fergus Falls Police Department displaying furs, wings, racks, and turkey parts for elementary students. Violations addressed during the week included, angling, AIS, ATV, and boat safety issues.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted CO Oldakowski with “hooked on fishing not on drugs” detail taking approximately 77 fourth graders out fishing for two hours over the weekend. Plautz worked a booth on boat and water safety education during a family fun night in the Verndale area teaching kids and parents the importance of boat safety and wearing a life jacket. Fish overlimit complaints were investigated throughout the week. Officers Plautz and Richards watched two anglers using two lines each and both parties were cited for the violations. Plautz also cited an ATV operator for operating an ATV with expired registration.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on AIS, fishing and boating enforcement. Additional time was spent handling complaints on nuisance beaver, litter and ATV complaints. Time was spent on minnow dealer issues regarding shiner minnow transportation. Several questions have been handled on fishing regulations and transportation of water and vegetation.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and boating activity on area lakes. Water temperature is still very cool and fishing success is low with the cool temperatures. ATV and OHM complaint areas were worked along with AIS enforcement. So far this spring AIS compliance has been good.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports lots of fishing activity on all station lakes. Walleyes are still slow but panfish are steady with lots of good shore fishing success observed. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and a boat with multiple fishermen without any PFDs onboard.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. AIS compliance has been very good so far this open water season. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement, patrolling for turkey hunting activity, and following up on a litter violation. CO’s Johanson and Lawler used their ATVs to assist the Douglas County SO during an active search for a burglary suspect that fled to a rural area.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on fishing, boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes. CO Anderson assisted North Dakota Game and Fish with the investigation of a complaint generated from internet social media postings about an overlimit of fish taken in ND. Anderson assisted ND trying to locate the individual in question. Minnow transportation permits were issued along with calls handled regarding a sick raccoon and turkey hunting questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitored AIS compliance this past week. Additional time was spent investigating a complaint of people harassing geese, and a complaint of someone blocking a culvert. The officer assisted the Pope Co. Sheriff’s Office with a motorcycle accident.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, followed up on a wetland violation and took care of some equipment maintenance. Remote lakes and camping sites were checked and a complaint involving OHVs was taken.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter assisted in the Hooked on Fishing event held in Menahga where the entire fourth grade class learned about fishing. CO Hunter took two of the fourth grade boys out in her boat and aided them in fishing while answering fishing, wildlife and DNR related questions the youngsters had. Though CO Hunter was successful in dodging dare devil lures, the fishing for the two boys was less than a success. One of the students brought to the officers attention that the reason he didn’t catch any fish was clearly because he was fishing with a girl (Officer Hunter).
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked anglers over the week and noted fewer anglers on the water. A “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” event was attended with 75 fourth graders on the water fishing. A good time was had by anglers and mentors. An illegal otter case was investigated and time was spent at the Law Enforcement Memorial for fallen officers.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, ATVs, boaters, and invasive species law compliance. Animal complaints such as harassing coyotes, nuisance beaver, and nuisance bear were handled. CO Mathy also went to a fire and missing person call. Enforcement action was taken for ATV in a wetland, angle without license, no PFD, and invasive species violations.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) focused on fishing, boating and AIS issues during the week. Anglers are reminded that portable bait containers should be drained before leaving a PWA. An illegal dumping complaint was investigated and enforcement action taken. Other enforcement action included extra lines, unattended lines, illegal operation of OHMs and no license in possession.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and ATV activity. Angling success varied. CO Broughten investigated multiple public waters violations and nuisance beaver complaints. CO Broughten also assisted with a fire that ignited multiple structures and approximately 40 acres. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no personal floatation device, no type IV PFD, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked AIS and angling activity. High water has created bog problems on Lake Alex. Beaver and bear complaints were handled.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala followed up with a site visit to a public waters violation where the landowner hauled in fill to create more shoreline. The landowner will be required to bring the lakeshore back to pre-existing condition. He also worked on AIS enforcement planning for the summer. Assistance was given at a local Hooked on Fishing event for area fourth graders. Officer Siltala took three kids out in his boat and taught them the basics of fishing. Time was also given to AIS enforcement on area lakes. Overall compliance was good. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing activity on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama, ice is finally out on Kabetogama while Rainy is still iced up on the main part of the lake. ATV operating complaints along with beaver trapping issues were handled also.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored angling activities, researched equipment, checked public access sites and worked on administrative items.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working Lake Vermilion and area rivers for angling activity throughout the week. The rivers continue to flow very fast and no angling activity was observed. Lake Vermilion has water levels very high also, however the large walleyes are biting but catching a few fish below the slot limit has been a challenge.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked boaters, anglers, ATVs, and closed out a multiple furbearer carcass dumping case with a citation. The officer was having a hard time finding anglers one weekday; however the officer located a few anglers (on two separate lakes) that had wished they had stayed home. Two were cited for no angling license and one was using an extra line (who also made an obscene gesture to a helicopter pilot flying by). The other lake harbored an angler that opened up bass season over a week early, keeping a four- pounder. Other enforcement action was taken on boat registration and a number of ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) served as an honor guard at the fallen peace officer memorial on May 15 in St Paul. Area lakes and rivers were patrolled and anglers and boaters were checked. Shore fishermen report little success and those using boats are only fairing slightly better. Violations include no type 4 PFD and no lights after sunset. Boaters need to realize that lights are required to be turned on for all watercraft after sunset, not when it gets dark.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fair weather gave many anglers ample opportunity to make it out on the lakes in the Ely area. Although success was difficult for some, most anglers did well with both walleyes and northerns. Violations included possessing an illegal length fish, fail to display boat registration, and angling without a license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen throughout the week. The walleyes are still spawning in the creeks and are still vulnerable a week after fishing opener. Unregistered canoes are flooding into the area and people are reminded that watercraft over 10 feet in length require registration even if you are just borrowing it from a friend or relative.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that on the second weekend of the fishing season, a few Cook County Lakes had ice cover. The big part of Saganaga was still iced over. If you cut through the islands you could get down to American Point. People found plenty of open campsites and fishable water on Sag. Ice was still on Devil Track and it should be out soon. The ice on Devil Track stole the sea plane base dock and took off with it. Not many people took advantage of the open water and nice temps inland. Those that did caught some nice fish. A couple of walleyes in the high 20 inch class and one over 30 inches were reported to the CO. The CO did a quick paddle into the BWCA and found a few paddlers out and about.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped volunteer safety instructors with ATV Safety class in Grand Marais. CO Manning seized several untagged minnow traps from one small lake. Anglers are reminded to check page 76 of the 2014 Fishing Regulations booklet for specifics on minnow trapping for personal use. The officer also checked anglers on Lake Superior tributaries and inland lakes; some ice was still seen on the inland lakes.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) had a busy week of enforcement activity. One night while monitoring a local spawning creek an individual was observed dip netting the spawning walleyes. Upon apprehension he was found to be without a fishing license and in possession of more than one fish over 20 inches, including a 24 inch walleye still full of eggs. Unfortunately the fish was unable to be returned to the water, wasting the potential for many fish to be added to the future population. Later research also revealed the individual had made false application for husband/wife angling licenses in the past. Another noteworthy incident included an individual transporting a live walleye in water in the livewell from another area lake which is infested with invasive species and driving his vehicle while having a cancelled inimical to public safety driving status. Other enforcement action for the week included possession of illegal length northern pike, possession of un-measurable fillets on a special regulation lake, transporting watercraft with the drain plug in place, and litter.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and boating activity on area lakes in Cook and Lake counties. The Officer helped teach at an ATV safety class where the students demonstrated their skills at riding an ATV. Wahlstrom monitored ATV activity and checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity in the area and followed up on trapping investigations. Late spring fish run activities were monitored and the officer responded to a grass fire likely started by a train.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, worked spring fish run activity, and investigated complaints on litter; possible overlimits; beavers; and extra lines.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, minnow trapping, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included fail to display registration, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) completed fish and game detection training with his K-9 partner Si, checked anglers and worked boat and water safety. Angler success with good. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable device on board water craft and angling license issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activities in the area with the walleye fishing beginning to heat up. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a slot walleye, angling without a license, failure to register a watercraft and for not having enough lifesaving devices on board a watercraft.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also taught an ATV safety class during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity. Wichmann attended boating enforcement training and attended a lake association meeting.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species efforts checking anglers, boaters and their equipment. CO Arhart also investigated ATV travel in wetlands and assisted Deer River PD with a solid waste complaint. Enforcement action was taken for possessing slot sized walleye, as well as angling and state park violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement throughout the week. Anglers continued to report slow catch rates on area lakes. CO Humphrey assisted on the shore in the Duluth area checking anglers and smelters. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails continued to be closed to motorized vehicle use. Several more nuisance bear calls were received. Most involved bears foraging at bird feeders or in garbage. CO Humphrey spoke to 20+ students and answered questions at a firearms safety class held at Cromwell School. CO Humphrey received a report of a winter related fish kill on a second area lake near Cromwell. Angling, boating, and taking fuel wood without a permit violations were encountered.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing enforcement. Area lakes were checked and lots of time spent on Lake Superior tributaries for the steelhead and smelt runs. A few bear and wolf complaints were taken during the week. One day was spent assisting the US Border Patrol. Time was also worked on invasive species enforcement.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers. Anglers are still finding a slow bite with little success. Smelt netters were worked and smelters are having some luck. Wolf depredation calls are starting to come in and one complaint was investigated in Meadowlands. The officer spoke at the Twin Ports Walleye Association rules meeting for their annual tournament on the St. Louis River. Wildlife complaints are plentiful with bears looking for food and one report of an aggressive grouse.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported another busy week in the station with lots of anglers and ATV users out taking advantage of the better weather conditions. Boating safety requirements were concentrated on during the week and reports good compliance. A person attempted to convince the officer that he was only checking water depth of a local stream with the use of a spear. A citation was issued for attempting to take, angling/spearing, without a license. Burning without a permit and burning of prohibited materials violations were also encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a jury trial on a stolen ATV case that was worked with Moose Lake PD and the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office. K9 training was attended in the metro area with K9 Schody. With nicer weather, fishing activity has picked up in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line, no license in possession, and a person under 21 in possession of alcohol. A talk was given to a firearm safety class in Barnum.
WREO Mike Scott participated in the 2014 Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul honoring all fallen officers in Minnesota as well as 18 fallen Conservation Officers. An honor guard of seven Conservation Officers participated in the memorial. Anglers were checked on area lakes with fishing still spotty but signs of improvement were seen. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, no life jackets and failure to display current registration. Smelters were checked on area rivers, streams, and Park Point. Sunday night saw the best smelting yet with everyone participating filling coolers, five gallon pails and some even garbage bags. All participating were enjoying the catch but not the cold wind and water.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and smelters in North Shore tributaries who were still waiting for the water to warm. Season prep was completed on big lake issues for the coming summer, and questions answered regarding commercial activity. The LEMA Police Memorial event in St Paul was attended along with other COs. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working river and lake anglers. He also worked smelt netters and rivers for illegal netting. One person was caught netting a looper while smelt netting. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with anglers reporting a so-so bite on walleyes and pretty good on crappies. This past week Officer Lee assisted with CO Academy training dealing with alcohol enforcement training, and use of force training to the new Conservation Officer Candidates. Officer Lee also assisted with ATV training in Ironton. Officer Lee spoke to youth as well as parents about ATV rules, and regulations along with explaining Conservation Officer duties.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent most of the week checking crappie anglers as the bite has been fast and furious. Several TIP calls of overlimits and multiple trips per day were investigated with several violations found of too many crappies and sunfish and keeping bass out of season. Reports of ATV’s in a wetland and unchecked leech traps were also looked into with charges pending.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports attending Boating Under the Influence e (BUI) enforcement training. CO Peterson also inspected sites with wetland violations and investigated several ATV complaints. She checked several anglers some finding success, but the bite remains slow in most areas.
CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) patrolled station for angling activity. A crappie bite received extra attention and with help from other area Officers over limits were addressed. Officer Guida spent time at boat and water training in the metro which dealt primarily with the detection and arrest of impaired boat operators.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including monitoring spring panfish and trout bites, work on a shooting or possibly a deer poaching complaint, and speaking to students on laws and ethics at the firearms safety program at Cuyuna Range Elementary school.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and turkey hunters during the week. Invasive species work and ATV activity was also monitored. The officer assisted Aitkin Fisheries Staff with a presentation to Rippleside Elementary fourth graders. Anglers continue to be uninformed and/or unwilling to transfer minnow and leech water after returning to accesses.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out in full force and report the walleye bite is fair. The pan fish have also been cooperative and over limit complaints have been investigated. Violations he observed were bow fishing without a license, over limit of crappie and sunfish. Reports of trespassing by shore anglers on Gull Lake were received and warnings issued. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. Most boaters are doing well cleaning, pulling plugs and draining live wells. Reports of very large floating cattail bogs have been reported. A large bog was blocking the channel connecting Gull to Margret Lake. He checked turkey hunters who are having success and still seeing turkeys.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling enforcement. Numerous anglers were checked over the weekend and most anglers were finding a few crappies. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug from boat when transporting on a roadway, angle without a license, boating violations, and several crappie over limits.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time checking anglers and boaters during the week. He spent time assisting Mille Lacs officers with work around the lake, spent time checking and following up on ATV complaints, and spent time checking anglers in the Mora area. High water is still a problem for people in the Pine City area making launching boats at some accesses difficult. Panfish seem to be the most targeted species in the area with fish still not wanting to bite consistently.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted with academy training for alcohol week at Camp Ripley. Candidates were trained to administer Field Sobriety Tests and report writing. The training included the use of actor based scenarios to test proficiency. Residents on an area lake expressed concerns of high water due to run off and drainage problems. Plans of meeting with appropriate DNR staff were discussed. Time was spent teaching ethics and laws to a firearms safety class at Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club. Thank you to the volunteer instructors who put on an excellent course. Mille Lacs and area lakes still seem to have a sluggish walleye bite. Several parties had good luck with northern pike. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and boating violations.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked some anglers that were starting to find a few crappies and sunfish and handled several ATV complaints. Nuisance bear complaints also started to come in. A few bears trying to cross roads were hit by cars so drivers need to be aware of that also. A gray wolf depredation complaint was finished up and two wolves were removed from a farm where cattle were being harassed and a calf was killed.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checked fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and weekend and also working the night ban on the lake. A few keepers were seen and most reported catching some fish but most were protected slot fish. The Officer assisted at Camp Ripley training new Conservation Officers during the week also. Assistance was given to the State Patrol on an accident with injuries and assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department on a disturbance call. Several county and state land areas were checked for ATV traffic over the weekend. Tribal Harvest on Mille Lacs Lake was monitored and a nuisance beaver permit was issued to a landowner. Invasive species enforcement was worked throughout the Malmo station and some equipment maintenance was done on station equipment. Lots of fishing, trapping, boating, and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included the following: violations of mille lacs lake night ban, no fishing license in possession, insufficient PFDs and no fire extinguisher on watercraft.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling and boating activity. Catch rates are still slow possibly due the late spring and cold water temperatures. Verkuilen also worked ATV traffic, investigated a wetland complaint, and enforced burning restrictions.
WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses. WREO Haberman checked lake service providers and watercraft coming to access and leaving infested waters. WREO Haberman also checked fishermen at shore fishing spots. Some anglers were having success. WREO Haberman also conducted site visits of wetland violations in Aitkin County.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing activities and ATV traffic. A mother was cited for riding an ATV on a busy tar county road and having a very young passenger without a helmet. A boat registration issue was followed up on, as well as assistance given to an individual who could not buy a fishing license. A wetland issue was also worked on with other officers. An over limit of turkey case is currently being worked on.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial service as part of the LEMA Honor Guard. At the service, they remembered fallen State of Minnesota Peace Officers. Also during the week, she worked anglers, ATVers, responded to calls regarding nuisance beaver issues, injured animals and assisted area parents with obtaining Firearms Safety Certificates. She completed an investigation of illegal trapping and issued citations for failing to tend traps. Officer Speldrich also made contact with prosecutors regarding a complaint from last fall. She patrolled closed state forest roads and investigated the illegal dumping of 45 beaver carcasses. The investigation is ongoing. Enforcement contacts were made with an OHM operator who was illegally operating his OHM on a roadway, illegal travel in a limited state forest and failing to transfer title on OHMs. Speldrich checked anglers and saw a few fish but the bite remains rather slow. Anglers were reminded pull their plugs and remove weeds.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) spoke with local business/resort owners, the Mille Lacs Messenger and at the Wahkon City Council meeting regarding Invasive Species laws and enforcement. The officer requested assistance in public education regarding the laws to assist in reducing the spread of invasive species and curb enforcement action. ATV traffic picked up in the area; please pay attention where you operating your ATVs and pay close attention to ATV signs. Angling activity was monitored on several lakes to include Knife Lake where several over-limits of crappies were seized. Mille Lacs Lake produced a few keeper fish as the water slowly starts to warm up. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration, failure to display ATV registration, expired OHM registration, failure to transfer OHM ownership, illegal length walleye & pike, angling without a license, angle with extra line, no throwable device, navigation lights, no fire extinguisher on a boat and angling while revoked.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) conducted angling checks throughout the week. Angling success appeared to rise with the temperature towards the end of the week. CO Silgjord, with assistance from 2nd Lt. Bertram, investigated a wetlands violation. Time was also spent working boating safety with PFD violations being found. CO Silgjord assisted with an AIS work detail on the Horseshoe Chain. Compliance was high and boaters/anglers seemed very aware of Minnesota’s AIS laws. Most questions revolved around the transportation of bait after coming off the lake. Anglers were advised to leave freshwater from home in their vehicle so minnows or leeches can be swapped out after loading the boat. Other enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines and angling without a license.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked angling enforcement along with boat and water patrol. An aquatic invasive species work crew was worked in the Richmond area. Thesing assisted with the CO academy. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, expired boat registration, failure to remove drain plug and various boating equipment violations.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) attended training, worked with the county attorney, and held an AIS detail in his station. Anglers in the area are starting to find more fish. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation, no fishing license in possession and failing to display valid boat registration.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an AIS work crew. Most people checked were knowledgeable about AIS laws and in compliance. Angling success was poor. Areas were patrolled for recreational vehicle activity. Nuisance beaver complaints were addressed. Possible WCA violations are under investigation.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports that 30 year instructor awards were given to three Randall area DNR Volunteer Firearm Safety Instructors and CO Kuske participated in an AIS work crew in Stearns County. Most boaters where familiar with the law on transporting their boat with the drain plug out with enforcement action taken on a few that had left their drain plugs in. One conscientious boater had even brought buckets of fresh water with to rinse out the livewells and bilge before leaving. One family who were very proud of the fish (smallmouth bass) they caught (and kept) where surprised to hear that bass season in the area did not open until May 24.
WREO Keith Bertram was working AIS enforcement at a public access when a fisherman walked through the parking lot near the uniformed officer. WREO Bertram watched as the fisherman angled with an extra line from the access dock. The fisherman, who admitted knowing he should only use one line, was very upset to receive a citation from the “sneaky officer”.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found the panfish bite on area lakes to be spotty at best. When the fish did bite some really nice crappies were caught. CO Kuske assisted with an AIS work detail and still found individuals that did not know the boat plug law. A number of nuisance beaver complaints were handled, along with finding trappers to remove the problem animals. CO Kuske provided instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers working on tip calls. CO Mies took part in the Kimball career job shadow program. CO Mies also checked boaters and ATVs, along with working an AIS work crew.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) had a student from Buffalo High School ride along on a job shadow. Anglers are still having success with a fair crappie bite on area lakes. A follow up interview was done on a possible bear hunting violation. Enforcement action was taken for over limit crappies.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. A wetland violation was investigated and several animal complaints were handled. An interview was done on a fish over limit case.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) attended youth day at Braham Sportsman’s Club, Isanti County Conservation Day, and youth ATV classes. Officer Londgren also checked anglers and turkey hunters, took complaints on nuisance bears, followed up on wetland violations, and worked ATV enforcement.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving numerous bear complaints. Bears are still active and looking for food in the area. Homeowners are reminded to remove all food sources near their homes. Several car killed bears were also reported in the area. Fishing success picked up over the weekend with the nice weather. The St. Croix river is still under a slow no wake zone due to water levels.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) continues to check anglers on area lakes and rivers. CO Sladek patrolled wildlife management areas and checked turkey hunters with some success. Officer Sladek received several calls on “abandoned” young animals. Please do not try to help these animals or remove them from the wild, the mother is close by and will take care of them when you leave.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a career presentation to students at Norwood Young America High School. Boaters were checked for AIS violations at lake access sites. Anglers were checked all week on area lakes and rivers. Enforcement action was taken for illegal parking at lake access, giving false information to officer, no angling license or trout stamps in possession, angling without first procuring a license, angle in designated trout lake without first procuring a trout stamp and several violations for angling with extra lines.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. CO Salzer also received a wildlife complaint in Maple Grove. Salzer also dealt with some equipment issues.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the checking anglers and spoke at a firearms safety class. CO Grewe did some equipment maintenance and took an intern on a ride along. V Violations included fishing with a revoked fishing license.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota and Scott counties for ATVs, OHMs, and ORVs. He talked to a firearms safety class. CO Neitzke checked fishermen and boaters, and assisted CO Johnson with a fishing complaint. He also did AIS enforcement in Dakota County.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) followed up with a couple of zebra mussel transportation violations in Prior Lake and worked shore fishermen in the metro area lakes and rivers. He monitored the lasershot at the Take Aim Summer Fun event for kids, and participated group photo shoot at Ft. Snelling State Park. He worked on scheduling the FAS classes in the Hmong community for the summer and responded to animal complaints in Scott County.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers and spent time working aquatic invasive species enforcement at some of the metro lake accesses and talked to several boaters. He also worked at the “Take Aim at Summer Fun” event at the DNR regional headquarters where they taught kids and their parents how to shoot and handle firearms safely. CO Pril handled miscellaneous animals during the week, attended a photo shoot for the COPREP and spoke at a firearms safety class in Saint Paul.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he heard a new excuse for not having a fishing license recently. An individual said that his cell phone died when he was trying to make an online license purchase. Of course that same individual had been observed fishing prior to his attempt to purchase a license. He was attempting to make his purchase as officers approached in their boat. CO Johnson attended the Pheasants Forever Youth Day hosted by the Beaverbrook Sportsman’s Club. He worked on an over limit complaint. CO Johnson received calls on new deer fawns.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) attended BUI training in Ramsey County. He spent time checking watercraft, anglers, and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen also handled several TIP calls, investigated a public waters violation, and responded to an injured animal call. Enforcement action for the week included failure to remove drain plug, angle with extra line and possession of drug paraphernalia.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent part of the week at Camp Ripley instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy. WREO Block followed up on aquatic invasive species (AIS) complaints and worked AIS activity around the metro area. WREO Block also spoke with a group in Eagan regarding aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) helped represent the DNR Division of Enforcement at the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony in St. Paul. She handled various TIP calls and nuisance animal calls and worked invasive species enforcement at area accesses. CO Kruse checked anglers and boaters on area lakes, worked ATV and ORV enforcement in Anoka County and continued working on a litter case.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, state park, and ATV enforcement. The walleye bite has slowed with the colder than normal temperatures. Most of the success has been on Lake Sarah and Lake Benton in the evenings. Special beaver permits were issued in problem areas. Assistance was also given with an ATV safety class in Redwood Falls.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, boating, and AIS activity during the week. Angling success improved during the week! An ATV class was taught in Montevideo.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that fishing activities were good on area lakes. Two wetland violations were investigated resulting in action being taken.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Angling success seems only fair from both shore and boat. A tournament at Shetek reported a very slow bite for the 65 boats entered.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections on watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement action was taken in reference to boating and AIS violations.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports the first batches of baby Canadian geese were seen. Fishing has picked up on some lakes since the opener. A few trailered boats were detected traveling down local highways with the drain plugs still installed.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued an extension on a WCA violation in Pipestone County. Follow-up was completed on several WCA and Public Waters cases. AIS checks were completed with information issued to several fishermen and boaters on several lakes and rivers.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check angling and bow fishing activity. He followed up on nuisance beaver complaints. He checked boats for compliance with AIS laws at a bow fishing tournament. Denz also followed up on a shoreline violation.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) focused on boat and water safety and AIS compliance during week. Fishing in the area is still slow, with a few walleyes being caught. ATV patrol was done during the weekend. Action was taken on anglers that left garbage at their fishing site. Mueller also assisted McLeod County with an assault that occurred.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued working angling and AIS enforcement. The fish bite is still waiting to pick up in the area. A deer investigation was started this past week dealing with wanton waste. ATV enforcement was worked in the Minnesota River Valley
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) represented the Division at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in St. Paul. He received calls reporting deer stands on State property and taking raccoons during the closed season. The walleye bite remains slow on area lakes. Some river walleyes are being caught.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers. The weather continued to be colder than usual and fishing success was slow. Beckmann instructed at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. AIS compliance was monitored and it was discovered that some are still forgetting to keep drain plugs removed for transport of watercraft. Beckmann also presented information to a very inquisitive firearms safety class in St. James.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked AIS at a local fishing tournament. He also worked anglers, commercial minnows, public waters issues and patrolled Kilen Woods State Park.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. Angler success remains mixed. ATV riders are reminded that the ditches in the Ag Zone are closed to recreational riding until August 1. CO Howe presented the Wall of Shame at the Lura Lake Fair.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, ATV operators and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent investigating possible wetland and public waters violations. Officer Ihnen also patrolled for AIS violations.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV operators. A trapping complaint was investigated. Time was also spent monitoring turkey hunting activity.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports the warming weather has brought more activity to area lakes and rivers. Trespassing issues are being handled. A trapping violation case was also wrapped up.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity. The officer also responded to TIP calls & calls from the public. A Firearms Safety Range Day was attended. The officer talked to the wildlife class at the Kasson High School about AIS and careers in the DNR. Several violations were encountered regarding angling issues and underage consumption of alcohol.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, AIS enforcement, and recreational vehicle activity. An increasing number of litter complaints were received and investigated. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) instructed at the current CO academy and represented the department for Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Day.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports baby wild animal calls have started with one caller advising a fawn followed their dog home. The river is very high and access continues to be limited but bank fishing continues to be very good. Turkey hunters are seeing turkeys but getting them has been challenging.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Things were slower on the Mississippi with the high water. Heyn also attended meetings and talked with a number of the morel hunters who were out in force over the weekend.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly fishing and off-road vehicle enforcement as well as catching up on a few outstanding investigations. The big river is finally beginning to drop and a few more fish are being caught but a warm up should help improve things. A few turkeys and trout are also being taken along with some up the first mushrooms of the year. ATV enforcement and training were also conducted.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the Mississippi River is at flood stage. Remember you’re responsible for your wake. Multiple agencies dealt with a large bass tournament where many wake complaints were called in. Tournament fishermen did very well and kept wakes to a minimum. He assisted multiple agencies with landowner whom allegedly was shot at by a trespassing turkey hunter. The landowner was lacking sleep and was imagining the alleged violation. There were no hunters. Many calls came in about new fawns. In all cases the folks took the fawns back out to where they were found. The doe showed up in a short time. Le Leave all newborn fawns where you find them. Morel mushrooms finally started showing up. You have to have permission to pick mushrooms on private land. Enforcement for the week included no fish license in possession, wake violation and no boat registration.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, watercraft operators, and ATV operators. Officer George had a watercraft inspector ride along as well. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappies and expired registration on a watercraft.
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 continued to fly the nesting waterfowl survey throughout the week. The survey has progressed to the central part of the state and is about half completed.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time in Bemidji flying missions. A wolf and moose telemetry mission was flown for the National Park Service in Voyageurs National Park. Daily creel survey flights were flown over Leech Lake and a wetlands flight was flown in Red Lake and Polk counties. Training was received from John Heineman and CO Pilot Jensen introduced Lofstuen to seaplane operations on a creel survey flight over Lake Vermillion.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew two marten flights and one fisher flight. Jensen also flew a lake creel survey over Lake Vermilion and stopped to check on some anglers on local lakes from the seaplane. Jensen attended an active shooter meeting at the Brainerd Airport since he is sometimes the closest officer to the airport. Training tasks were also accomplished with the new CO pilot.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the sandhill crane survey in northwest Minnesota and provided training on a Leech Lake creel survey to new CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen. Heineman also prepared for upcoming sandhill crane survey in east central Minnesota.
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 prepared for upcoming clinics and Trail Ambassador training. MBEP Instructor training is coming up and PowerPoint was updated. Patten completed background checks for new instructors. Patten worked on a new video for MVSIA YouTube channel. A new FAS online instructor team was organized in the Duluth area.
NW RTO Jon Paurus attended a monthly meeting at Camp Ripley. An instructor clinic was provided to volunteers wanting to teach youth firearms safety. Updates to training materials was worked on and assistance to the local field officers was provided during the week also.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week planning HEFAS instructor training classes and attended an RTO meeting via LYNC.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac taught an ATV, Snowmobile and Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Instructor certification clinics during the week. On Wednesday he attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. Instructor certification training was also done for Vo-Ag Advanced hunter education. Late/missing Student Roster issues were also resolved.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence was in Twig, Minnesota to train volunteers to become ATV safety instructors and snowmobile safety instructors. Class consisted of members belonging to area ATV clubs and individuals interested to help out within local area classes. RTO Lawrence worked on instructor safety class scheduling for fall 2014. RTO Lawrence answered emails and phone messages relating to safety training. RTO Lawrence participated in the monthly RTO meeting.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez attended a monthly RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. While there the RTO acquired some equipment and props for upcoming online hunter safety training field days. RTO Gutierrez also hosted a Volunteer Hunter Ed – Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic in St Paul. Several more high school clay trap league coaches were present to get certified.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week took part in the monthly Regional Training Officers meeting. He also worked on reviewing related training materials and updated training PowerPoints. The Trail Ambassador newsletter was put together and he also spent time on the outdoor recreation safety promotions process. Owens worked the field one day as well checking turkey hunters and anglers, violations witnessed included dogs in an SNA, and no angling license in possession.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens 763-753-1887 firstname.lastname@example.org
NE RTO Shelly Patten 218-244-8051
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549 email@example.com
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence651-674-6184 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Dan McBroom507-843-2032 email@example.com
NW RTO Jon Paurus218-298-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez651-464-7773 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant