District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers in the Warroad, Rocky Point, Long Point, and Buffalo Point areas of Lake of the Woods. Walleye angling has been fair to slow, but with many 21 to 26 inch fish being reported. Enforcement action was taken for several illegal length fish.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor area fishing and boating activity seeing walleye success slow as the season progresses. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department was assisted with ongoing investigations. A possible over limit of walleye TIP complaint was investigated and training on wetland laws was attended. Enforcement action for the week included ATV operation, registration violations and multiple angles without valid license violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity, boating, and AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Time was spent working with area cattlemen who reported wolves stalking livestock and reports of an injured swan and nuisance beaver were handled. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office attempting to locate a suspicious vehicle and possible burglary suspect. CO Regas taught an ATV Safety Class in Blackduck and ATV, OHM and OHV activity was monitored on area trails. CO Regas assisted Blackduck Forestry on investigation of a couple of wildfires with enforcement action taken for burning without a permit.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, ATV, and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report good fishing, but it has slowed as water temperatures increased greatly during the warm week. ATV activity has increased and several nuisance beaver complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken during the week included fishing, boating, and ATV violations.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class at the Crookston Gun Club. Time was further spent investigating complaints regarding illegal draining/filling of wetlands. Anglers and watercraft operators were also checked. Several fish over-limit cases were encountered.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling and boating activities. He assisted other agencies and took several calls about wildlife problems/concerns.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, minnow/leech trappers and a few ATVs.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes throughout the week. Time was spent checking boaters for safety equipment and compliance with AIS regulations. Follow up interviews stemming from a taxidermy inspection were conducted during the week. Officer Vollbrecht patrolled area trails and roads for ATV and OHM activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored area angling, boating and ATV activity. The officer also spent time working AIS and following up on an ongoing investigation. Complaints about nuisance geese were taken. Enforcement activity for the week included state park violations and boat and water safety violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting the CO Academy with teaching Emergency Vehicle Operation (EVOC) and radar. TIPs of dumping of fish and possible over limits were investigated.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, boaters and assisted a CO in removing a navigational hazard. CO Peterson also worked ATV enforcement and assisted in attempting to locate a theft suspect in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports fishing activity slowed with the wet weather conditions. Time was spent checking fishermen, working fishing and ATV complaints, following up on leech trapping trespass complaints and working AIS.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking AIS compliance. Time was spent checking fishermen and boaters. WCA complaints were investigated and a PCA complaint forwarded to the appropriate offices and staff. Paperwork was filed on WCA and public waters cases.
Moorhead – vacant.
Detroit Lakes – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports spring fishing tactics will quickly turn to early summer with rapidly increasing water temperatures. Over limit complaints were received and investigated. Richards assisted CO Plautz with an ATV safety class in Battle Lake. A shoreline development was visited with potential charges pending.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) held an ATV safety training class certifying 12 students. Plautz checked several fishermen and boaters through the week and continues to work on numerous fishing complaints. An earth dam has broken loose dropping water on a private lake several feet causing concern with landowners. A report of a bald eagle hit on a highway was handled.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused activity on fishing, boating and AIS enforcement. The vacant Wheaton station was worked and several questions regarding water transportation continue to be received. Complaints were handled regarding litter, burning and public access issues.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked fishermen, AIS enforcement and ATVs. Osborne investigated complaints of fish over limits, night bow fishermen, and a deer carcass at a public access. Littering complaint areas were investigated and equipment maintenance was performed.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy boating and fishing activity as water temps are getting closer to summer norms. Several calls for service were investigated including a possible overlimit of walleye, double tripping, angling without a license and ducks being trapped in a sewer drain. Another call resulted in enforcement action after a citizen observed an employee of a local golf course chase, run over, and kill three goose goslings with a lawnmower while mowing the fairway. The suspect was located, interviewed, and cited for the violation. He was advised to coexist with them as they are abundant on every course in the county and his actions were illegal. Additionally, CO Lawler spoke to a class at Jefferson High School about natural resource enforcement.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work primarily fishing, boating, and AIS activity on and around area waterways. Several fishing related complaints were received and investigated. One man was found fishing without a license. The man said he tried to buy a license but was unable to because he has not paid a fine from a previous fishing without a license citation. The man went fishing anyways and received more citations. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement, and attending a Division meeting in St Cloud.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boating, fishing and AIS enforcement. The officer handled a situation where a person had a burning permit, but was burning prohibited materials. The officer pointed out on the individual’s permit it says burning those materials is prohibited. Complaints of individuals shooting from motor vehicles are being investigated as well as a TIP call on a possible fish overlimit on Lake Traverse. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as handling questions about hunting and fishing from the public.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen and boaters. Additional time was spent investigating a TIP complaint, issuing beaver permits, and monitoring commercial minnow trapping.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked boat and water, angling, state parks and ATVs. Enforcement action included youth related ATV violations, equipment violations for watercraft and excessive speed in a state park.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked watercraft and aquatic invasive enforcement. An off highway motorcycle Enduro race was worked with a large number of riders participating. An illegal water appropriations case is still under investigation.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity. A complaint of possible illegal work in public waters was received. Information on a gill net with decayed dead fish in it was referred to a Tribal CO. CO Sommers attended weigh-in at the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament and dealt with protected slot fish violations.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake)) primarily checked angling, boating, and invasive species law compliance. Fire activity was high as two fires in the area were started by suspected arsonists. Complaints of unattended children jumping in front of boats being launched and loaded at a public water access and nuisance bears reports were also handled. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, fire, and invasive species violations.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) handled calls regarding illegal dumping, various wildlife calls and a wildfire. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement and a local convenience store in locating a party who forgot to pay for his fuel. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and unattended line.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success has been slow across the Longville and Leech Lake area. CO Broughten continued to receive complaints of nuisance beaver and continued to follow up on open public waters and aquatic plant violations. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession and operate OHM on roadway.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked AIS and angling activity. Bass are biting well. Complaints on irrigation well violations, bear and beaver complaints, and floating bog issues were received.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala reports working on additional wetland violation cases which resulted in a Restoration Order being issued to restore an illegal ditching project. Time was spent performing AIS enforcement at area public accesses and checking anglers. Overall compliance for AIS laws continues to be good. Walleye success has been picking up on some lakes with some limits being harvested. Enforcement action was taken for drain plug violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on ATV enforcement and held the riding component portion of an ATV Youth Safety Class. Remainder of week was spent at Camp Ripley training the new Conservation Officer Candidates and other officer’s emergency vehicle operations.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports patrolling area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity and area public accesses reminding boaters to remove drain plugs, weeds and water from their equipment. Large amounts of rain later in the week kept most folks indoors. The young of the year critters are starting to show up. Please leave them alone and let nature takes it intended course.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, invasive species, state park enforcement, and OHVs. A trapping, abandoned property and littering case was closed with enforcement action forthcoming. Other enforcement action was taken on angling license, invasive species, no state park permit, and trapping violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continues to handle numerous beaver complaints from frustrated landowners. Permits to remove the beaver were issued. A person walking along the Mesabi Bike Trail in Virginia contacted CO Frericks and advised him about a deer head that was discarded along the side of the trail. When the CO located the deer head it was covered in maggots but a site tag was found. The owner of the site tag said he wanted to let nature take its course on the deer head so he could later do a European mount with the skull. After a little bit of digging CO Frericks learned the deer had never been registered and had been shot by another person. Citations were issued for failure to register a big game animal and unlawful party hunting. Complaints of loud boat traffic on Lake Vermilion continue to come in from frustrated lakeshore owners.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing and boating activities throughout the week. Fishing for the most part was slow on area lakes; some walleye were seen while working Lake Vermilion. High waters and nuisance beavers are causing flooding in areas so permits have been issues for their removal. Time was also spent working AIS boat checks at accesses, compliance was very good.
I. Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Memorial Day holiday was spent working with area officers on a special aquatic invasive species work detail on Fall Lake. Compliance and existing knowledge of the regulations was excellent. Officer Williams also assisted a Conservation Officer Pilot with stocking of walleyes on Stuart Lake by float plane. Violations included angling without a license in possession, fail to have legal lifesaving device aboard a watercraft, and fail to drain water related equipment.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCA and encountered some ATV violations. ATV operators are reminded that children under 18 that are on an ATV need to wear a helmet for safety reasons, but also to avoid a costly citation.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers during the week. When on group was asked where they were going, they told the CO they were going to shore to get some snow to put in their cooler. Sure enough, there was snow under some cedars on the south shore of the lake. Cheaper than buying ice. CO Murray and CO Fagerman were eating dinner one night at a picnic table when along came a trouble maker bear. He was snapping his teeth and circling around hoping the COs would run off and he would then finish their dinner, but too bad for him the CO’s stood their ground and he wouldn’t get a picnic basket on this night. It was a very enjoyable moment which will be remembered for a long time.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area forest roads and trails on ATV. CO Manning assisted CO Wahlstrom with a complaint of coyote pups living under a cabin; the mother apparently decided the area was a bit busy and relocated the animals herself. The officer also assisted US Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection Officers in locating a party who illegally entered the country at a remote location.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports assistance was given on a Memorial Day work detail which focused on AIS and checking anglers coming out of the BWCA. One non-resident angler who was checked fishing without a license said they just arrived, and since he had never been checked in 40 years they decided to stop and fish on the way to town where they were going to purchase licenses. Violations encountered throughout the week included walleye over limit, angling without a license, expired watercraft registration, AIS violations, and no fishing license in possession. Nuisance bear reports have also been coming in.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, paddlers on remote lakes and ATV riders. The Officer assisted the county with an arrest of an unwanted person. Wahlstrom responded to calls and spoke with the County Attorney about a big game case.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and invasive species enforcement activity during the week. Boaters and anglers are reminded to drain all water related equipment prior to leaving the lake access. Murray also followed up on a trapping complaint and monitored ATV activity.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, enforced invasive species laws, and assisted with an investigation on a wildfire. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft without removing plugs.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, AIS, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included expired registration, fail to display registration, operate ATV on roadway, fail to drain water related equipment, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints and investigated a fire.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught EVOC at the academy, checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and worked AIS. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si assisted the county with a search for a suspect that fled into a swamp. K-9 Si was used to track the suspect through the waist deep water. The suspect was later found in a residence, where he was taken into custody. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug, angling license violations and possess illegal length walleye.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked at area public accesses this past week educating boaters and anglers on invasive species regulations. Many people are aware of the law that they can’t transport their boat with the plug in. There were a few people that had questions as to how they can legally transport their bait. One individual had suggested we carry PH testers so we can test the bait water and prove where it came from, the lake or the bait shop.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers the past week with numerous sportsmen on the water especially since bass season is now open. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, failing to have enough lifesaving devices on board a watercraft, failure to pull the plugs of a watercraft while transporting on a public highway, operating an ATV on a public highway and for angling in a closed area.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also investigated a waters complaint and trespass violation during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing activity. Wichmann also assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) followed up on illegal motorized use on the Mesabi Bike Trail. Enforcement action was taken on ATVs and OHMs. CO Velsvaag also helped out training at Ripley and took a trespass complaint. CO Velsvaag took several calls on pike regulations and border waters walleye regulations.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, boating and wildfire investigation efforts. He also assisted with ATV instruction. Anglers continue to catch pan fish. Surface water temps reached 70’F on many area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for transport boats with plugs in. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order and tracked other wetland, public waters and aquatic plant management restoration orders.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, ATV, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey investigated illegal burning causing a grass fire which resulted in damage to a structure. CO Humphrey also investigated a fawn deer taken unlawfully by a motorist. Charges are pending. Aquatic invasive compliance checks were done. CO Humphrey followed up on a trapping complaint which was unfounded. Boating, ATV, and burning violations were encountered during the past week.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with training at the academy. ATV laws and operation classes and emergency vehicle operator’s course were taught. Officer Schmidt worked aquatic invasive species in the Duluth area. Time was also spent on Lake Vermilion working anglers and watercraft.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes and North Shore tributaries. Time was also spent talking with fishermen about invasive species regulations. Officer Duncan returned several calls from the public and followed up on a couple TIP calls. Guidance was given on a couple nuisance animal complaints. An enforcement contact involved illegal netting of rainbow trout from a North Shore tributary.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received several nuisance animal complaints in the area. Most of the complaints consisted of bears destroying bird feeders. People are reminded to put their feeders and garbage away if they do not want bears in their yards. The deer are dropping their fawns right now and people are reminded to leave them alone if they see them. It is not unusual for the mothers to leave them alone for extended periods of time. One case was worked where some people picked up a fawn and took it home and did not call anyone. Charges are pending. Permits were issued for car kill bear and bobcat. Time was spent working invasive species enforcement in the area. Most were compliant with the regulations. After healing from an injury, K9 training has resumed with K9 Schody.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) followed up on WCA violations in Grand Marais working with the local LGU and county attorney office on the case. Anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers. Fishing is starting to pick up and folks are catching more fish. Enforcement action was taken for no registration, failure to display current registration, no fishing license and no license in possession. The 19th annual ALS Walleye fishing contest to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease was attended with 162 boats that were entered in the contest. Even though the weather was not great, all participants had a great time with lots of fish caught. A TIP call was fielded and is under investigation.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a TIP complaint with Officer Duncan. He attended a court hearing with Lt. Speldrich. He checked anglers on the North Shore streams. Inland stream trout anglers were also checked. ATV complaint followed up on.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. He also instructed EVOC to the academy. He handled a loon stuck on a road by capturing and releasing it in an area lake. He handled some nuisance bear calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with so-so success being reported from walleye to crappie. Officer assisted with Emergency Vehicle Operations Training to Academy Cadets this past week. Cadets completed course ranging from backing trailers to evasive steering and braking and pursuit courses. Officer Lee received a call of a gray wolf coming very close to buildings and cattle. The reporting party had cattle killed last year in this same area, and due to the circumstances a state trapper was notified. Officer Lee also assisted with a Kids Outdoor and Fishing event held at Lum Park in Brainerd. Even with the rainy conditions it was well attended. The kids enjoyed learning about fish and their habitat, boating safety, invasive species, the fundamentals of fishing, and then were served a lunch and went fishing.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including patrol of fishing, boating, OHV, and state forest activity, investigating a large wildfire in the Nisswa area, responding to complaints of garbage dumping, suspected fish over limit, nuisance beaver, and a sow bear with cubs running around causing commotion in a private campground.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked angling and ATV enforcement. Officer Guida had a college student participate in a ride along where numerous contacts were made. Three young anglers were given PFD panda awards for wearing their life jackets. As Officer Guida drove away, one youngster exclaimed, “Dad, those guys were nice!” Various boating violations were detected and addressed during this past week. Officer Guida also assisted with traffic control after a large tree had fallen on the roadway.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) assisted at Camp Ripley training the new Conservation Officer recruits. CO McGowan also spoke at the Pine River elementary school regarding fishing and boating regulations. CO McGowan also spent time checking anglers, and patrolling for invasive species violations.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored ATV activity in the Foothills State Forest, spent time at public accesses on AIS enforcement, and checked boater and anglers. Complaints of bears taking down bird feeders and a skid loader working in the lake were handled. The Officer also investigated a wolf depredation complaint of wolves killing a young calf.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working area lakes and the Mississippi River where fishing activity was slow as the mosquito population kept most anglers indoors. CO Peterson spoke at an ATV class and responded to a complaint of nuisance beavers as well as a wetland dumping complaint.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is getting better the walleye and northern have been more cooperative. The most active fish have been the bass. Violations he found were no license, and trespassing. He worked on complaints of shoreline violations with a report of a track hoe driving in the lake to remove a cattail bog. A permit had been issued and no violation was found. He worked with AIS inspectors on gull checking boats for violations. Some of the violations observed were aquatic vegetation on trailers and plugs in the boat while transporting. Complaints of litter and illegal camping in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored AIS compliance, angling, boating safety and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked boating, fishing and AIS enforcement during the week. He also assisted State Patrol with a car/moose accident south of McGregor.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters in the Pine City area. CO Wynn spent time checking the local state forests, took numerous calls regarding nuisance bears, and spent time educating boaters about AIS laws. Fishing has picked up in the area for those willing to fight the rain storms to find fish.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) received and investigated various TIP calls throughout the week. The officer also assisted Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office with Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs. Students from Isle and Onamia took a day to go fishing on Smith Lake. The kids enjoyed the day and couldn’t wait to get back on the water to do some fishing.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a large increase in nuisance black bear complaints throughout the week. In all cases, black bears were showing up near people’s doorsteps because the home or cabin owner had bird feeders or deer feeders or garbage cans out and available to the bears. With natural foods still limited, property owners that do not want bears showing up for a free meal need to simply put the feeders and garbage cans away for a while.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen throughout the week and weekend. A few walleyes area being seen and some nice small mouth bass were also seen on Mille Lacs Lake. ATV activity was monitored throughout the Malmo station and state and county land was patrolled for forestry and ATV activity. The Officer assisted at Camp Ripley with training new Conservation Officers. A TIP call on a fishing violation was investigated and a nuisance beaver call was handled. Please remember as you go out to area lakes to drain your live wells, pull and leave your drain plug out and clean off any vegetation before going to and leaving the access. Not only is it the law but we all must do our part to protect our lakes.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department with the Hooked on Fishing not Drugs event. Students from Onamia and Isle were given an opportunity to go fishing on an area lake with the assistance of private and law enforcement boat operators. Time was also spent assisting with academy training at Camp Ripley. Actor based scenarios were used to teach ATV laws. It seems that bears are out looking for free lunches with complaints of bird feeder damage. Please pull in food sources as soon as possible if you have issues. The smallmouth bass bite has picked up on Mille Lacs and pan fish remain steady on area lakes.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including an improved sunfish and bass bite. Many boats were still hitting the water for the first time which sometimes meant expired registration, missing PFDs, and burned out lights. Verkuilen also assisted with a kids fishing event, patrolled off-highway vehicle trails, and responded to trespassing issues.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work a slow fishing bite on Mille Lacs Lake and some panfish action on other lakes. A kids’ fishing event was attended with other district officers. Turkey season came to end, with some success for those who continued to put forth effort. Assistance was giving to a motorist whose boat motor had been scraping on the tar for many miles. The lower unit was worn down right to the gear case and most of the prop was gone. ATV and goose depredation issues were also worked on. Mushroom hunters were found to be out in full force.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area state forests. She documented issues she found within the state forests and turned them over to trails or forestry for work. These patrols also produced several enforcement contacts. They ranged from illegal ATV/OHM operation, to parent allowing illegal use, to registration issues to operation of an ATV in closed areas. She also issued several minor consumption citations in the General Andrews State Forest. Officer Speldrich met with the area hydrologist on a possible wetland violation and spoke with SWCD about several issues turned into her. She completed a fire investigation where 13.5 acres were burned. Speldrich was able to track down the suspect who initially left the scene before being identified. The suspect was cited for several violations involving the illegal fire and fire suppression costs. Speldrich also worked boating and AIS enforcement.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers, boaters and ATVs. Violations for the week included no navigation lights, insufficient PFDs, fail to renew ATV registration, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, no angling license, angle with an extra line, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, operate a class 1 ATV on a public highway, operate an ATV without a valid safety certificate, and fail to remove drain plug from a watercraft before transport.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at the CO Academy.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) work anglers and carp shooters. Carp shot by archers are becoming litter issues again this year. If you plan on shooting carp make plans for usage of those fish, plenty of outlets that will take them if you plan ahead.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, and invasive species enforcement. T Thesing assisted at the academy with focus on ATV enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra line, transport boat with plug in and transport weeds on boat trailer. Life jacket issues were dealt with on paddle boards. Reminder: all paddle boards and kayaks need a life jacket.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Todd, and Kanabec counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, extra lines, and over limit of crappies. Time was also spent working wetland cases and checking road construction operations for water appropriation permits.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call of a deer with two broken legs in a farmer’s alfalfa field, an injured eagle and calls of nuisance raccoons in the Little Falls city limits. CO Kuske focused enforcement efforts on invasive species boat checks at area public access with compliance being good for removing boat plugs and checking for weeds on trailers.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on tip calls on over limits cases. CO Mies worked AIS work crew. CO Mies checked boaters and handled nuisance animal calls dealing with loons, bear and beaver.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) provided an opportunity for a 4th grade boy from Pierz Elementary to be an actor in a training scenario at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. The scenario involved the common enforcement situation of a parent allowing a juvenile to illegally operate an ATV. The boy was excused from school for a day to participate, but will in turn do a presentation for his classmates on his experience of what happens when you get caught operating an ATV illegally and the safety rules that go with ATV riding. This little ambassador for the DNR will send a good message to the kids right before school gets out for the summer.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled a variety of calls, including littering; nuisance beaver; questions regarding two public accesses; possible over limit of crappie; and trespass. A bear caught public attention as it meandered through the Long Prairie area. Weather limited weekend activity
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers, and boaters for invasive species compliance on local lakes and rivers. Officer Londgren also had a ride along, patrolled state and federal lands, checked wetland violations, and conducted a game farm inspection. Enforcement action was taken on: failure to remove boat drain plug, no license in possession, and PFD violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. Several animal complaints were handled.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. The anglers that were brave enough to battle the mosquitos were starting to find some luck with the panfish in shallow water. CO Langevin also worked several wetland and public waters complaints. One cease and desist order was issued for a landowner digging a trench to drain one wetland into another.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and river. Officer Sladek followed up on a number of bear complaints and issued permits for nuisance beaver. CO Sladek investigated bow fishermen dumping carp in the area of Big Lake. He also checked on a wetland and public waters complaint.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to several calls of bow fishermen dumping carp on private property, road ditches and even in the middle of roads. Watercraft operators were checked for safety equipment, drain plug removal and transportation of invasive species. Several animal calls were handled reminding people to leave young animals alone.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with AIS violations. CO Grewe responded to TIP complaints received as well.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen on metro lakes and rivers. He did boating and AIS enforcement including checking lake service providers. CO Neitzke patrolled for ATV enforcement. He also returned calls and answered questions for the public and other law enforcement agencies.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore fishermen and boaters in Scott and Ramsey county area lakes and rivers. He followed up with some AIS violations and responded to a dog chasing wildlife in Shakopee. He also took calls on animal complaints in Scott County and took enforcement action for fishing without angling license and no license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) answered calls for wild animals running loose in the West Metro area. He also checked anglers, boaters and did AIS work.
Bloomington – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and watercraft users. CO Arntzen assisted a neighboring Law Enforcement Agency with a DWI and locating a suicidal person. He also assisted in executing a search warrant for game violations, responded to several TIP complaints, answered questions about trespassing, and fielded calls about nuisance animals.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Pril worked the St. Croix River bridge detail with CO Scott Arntzen. CO Pril also responded to calls and questions during the week.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related enforcement. WREO Block also instructed emergency vehicle operations at the conservation officer academy during the week. Time was also spent patrolling the St. Croix River near Stillwater in the construction zone of the new bridge project.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he assisted other COs from outstate with investigations in the metro. One involved a deer fawn taken illegally, and one a fish over limit. CO Johnson spoke to a firearms safety class in Ramsey. He investigated a wetlands complaint in Blaine and cutting aquatic vegetation on Crooked Lake. CO Johnson received numerous calls regarding new born deer fawns. His advice was to leave them be.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled various TIP calls and nuisance animal complaints. She worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and continued working on a bear hunting case. CO Kruse worked ATV and WMA enforcement in Anoka County and worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes and Rice Creek.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given to CO Lage working a fishing tournament on Lake Benton. Calls continue to be received dealing with baby fawns. The public is asked to leave them alone because mom is most likely close by.
CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) contributed to a weekly outdoors program on local radio. Enforcement action was taken on a variety of boating safety violations. Weather is slow down some area fishing.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections on watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement for the week included equipment and license violations.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling and boating activity during the week. Time was spent at the Appleton OHV Park. Visitors to the park are reminded that this is a State Grant-in-Aid trail system. OHVs need to be registered and safety certification is required for most riders.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Walleye numbers have increased marginally. ATV operators are reminded to not operate on restricted highways.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing has picked up with warmer water temps. Bow fishing for carp is becoming more popular this year. Remember that it is unlawful to leave carp on shore or to put them back after you shot them. Extra enforcement has been given for shore fishermen who leave their garbage behind.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with a work detail on Mille Lacs Lake where enforcement action was taken for several AIS issues. A site visit was completed on a large public waters violation in Lyon County with where two cease and desist orders were issued and enforcement action was taken. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and rivers.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters and noted an increase in fishing success. He checked ATV activity and continued to educate boaters about AIS laws. Denz also received calls about injured and orphaned wildlife.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked boat and water safety on Memorial Day. A complaint was taken about carp left on shore after being taken by bow fishermen. ATV enforcement was done with operating without current registration being the most common violation. Anglers were also checked along the MN River.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time checking anglers along the MN River. More people seemed to be out mushroom hunting than fishing. ATV and AIS enforcement was also worked in the MN River Valley.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls with inquiries regarding ATV regulations. He spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement activities. Some nice flathead catfish were caught.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent checking minnow traps. The final wild turkey season wrapped up with some hunters bagging some last minute birds.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, ATVs, boat and water safety, and turkey hunters this week. Gruhlke continues to take calls concerning suspected abandoned/injured fawn deer. In many cases they are not either injured or abandoned and he asks that the fawn be left alone to be cared for by their own.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boat and water activity with emphasis on safety and AIS compliance. Angling activity was high but the game fish catch was very low. Public water accesses were patrolled for illegal activity, litter and usage.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling, boating, and AIS enforcement. Boaters continue to be found with obvious weeds on their trailers. Sunfish are being taken off their beds on some lakes; other lakes are running a little behind. The Minnesota River continues to experience high water levels due to recent rains.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for anglers, boaters, as well as ATV and OHM operators. Additional time was spent checking boaters and anglers for AIS compliance.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on angling, boating, and AIS activity. Various calls from the public were handled. An AIS checkpoint was worked on Lake Elysian with neighboring officers.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. An AIS detail was worked. A wetland complaint was investigated.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity. The officer also worked an AIS check station with other district officers & investigated a wetlands complaint. Violations included angling, AIS, & game violations.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trout fishing and recreational vehicle activity. An AIS checkpoint was worked over the weekend with neighboring officers. A few nuisance beaver permits were issued. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA violations and restoration orders. AIS enforcement and a check station were also conducted.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Heyn followed up on a few cases of people who were found by watercraft inspectors to be transporting zebra mussels. Heyn also attended radiological emergency preparedness training.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river is finally going down. Fishing has picked up and saw walleye, sauger, northern and bluegills being caught. Once again leave the fawns and young birds where you find them. Do not pick them up.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving multiple fawn deer calls. Time was also spent on nuisance beaver complaints. Trout anglers were out and having some success. Mushroom hunters having been doing good as well. CO Boyum worked ATV and OHM complaint areas and assisted the Fillmore CO Sheriff’s Department with a confused subject.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the accesses and fishing locations are back open and fishing has been good. While working an access for AIS violations he observed a person dump a pickup load of brush at the access. Hemker also responded to ATV complaints.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling and boating activity. Anglers are doing well in the area. Time was also spent responding to numerous calls for baby animals and enforcing invasive species laws. Some fishing violations were detected.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Conservation Officer Cadets spent much of the week receiving training in ATV and snowmobile enforcement, snowmobile and ATV maintenance, and ATV safety training from the academy Recreational Vehicle Team. COCs participated in motor vehicle stops and attended the emergency vehicle operation courses. The class was also introduced to Radar and performed radar practical exercises.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two Leech Lake surveys and an instrument training flight. Low ceilings and rain canceled weekend Leech surveys. Heineman also attended to aircraft maintenance.
CO Pilot Bob Geving flew some training flights and attended to aircraft maintenance issues. Geving also flew photo missions for suspected public waters violations.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent several days at the academy in the EVOC course. Time was spent in aviation training and the move to the home station in Bemidji was accomplished on days off.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a boat creel count flight over Leech Lake. Jensen then stocked rainbow trout, lake trout and walleye at various lakes within the BWCA. On these flights, campsites and angling activities were also monitored. Jensen received an instrument currency check flight from another CO pilot to maintain instrument flight privileges. An OHM and WCA photo flight was also flown over Aitkin and Carlton county areas. On this flight, Jensen landed on a couple area lakes to check anglers from the floatplane.
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 taught at the CO Academy during Recreational Vehicle Week. Patten taught the classroom portion and applied practice of the vehicle stops, and also taught ATV technical riding, maintenance and safety. Patten hosted an ATV Trail Ambassador training session in Grand Rapids where eight people attended. Patten completed end of the month and end of the year paperwork. Patten complete background checks for ATV instructors.
NW RTO Jon Paurus spent much of the week assisting with Academy training. Most of the training focused on ATV operation and squad driving techniques. Props for field days were relayed to volunteer instructor groups. Paperwork for certification of volunteer instructors was also completed.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week on preparing for training COCs at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming HEFAS instructor training. Over the weekend fishing activity was checked in Wabasha, Olmsted, and Goodhue counties. Friday and Saturday had a lot of people out enjoying the weather and fishing pressure was high. Sunday brought lots of rain and very few people out.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with Academy 15 conservation officer training with ATV safety, ATV maintenance and patrol tactics. RTO Lawrence met with a firearms safety instructor to go over field day site at Carlos Avery WMA for an upcoming youth firearms safety field day. RTO Lawrence checked anglers and answered questions on fishing equipment used for rough fish harvesting, and wildlife related complaint on raccoons.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez spent the week reviewing and completing background packets from a Volunteer FAS Instructor Clinic held in St Paul. The RTO received a few calls regarding angling questions and more specifically AIS and water transportation.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted with Off-Highway Vehicle law and practical training for the recruits at the academy for two days. He also responded to a number of OHV related email, took care of Trail Ambassador program items and worked on end of the month reports.