District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement contacts were made over the weekend regarding Class 2 ATVs being operated with kids with no helmets. Multiple drivers were contacted for failing to pull the drain plug from the boat they were transporting. Other enforcement action for the week included possession of over limit of walleye, possess illegal length walleye, and angling without a license.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to two cases where young fawns were taken by individuals who thought the fawns were abandoned. The public is reminded that it is unlawful to take or possess wild deer and all wild baby animals should be left in the wild. A possible gray wolf depredation was investigated and watercraft safety and PFD use and fitting were taught for the Thief River Falls Youth Safety Camp. Enforcement action included taking fish without license and use illegal net to take fish.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity on Upper Red Lake, special regulation lakes and AIS compliance throughout the week. Time was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints, handling nuisance beaver complaints and patrolling ATV, OHM and ORV trail areas. Assistance was given to a neighboring CO with a gross-over limit investigation and the district AIS detail. CO Regas attended the Northern Beltrami County Sportsman’s Club Trap Shooting league season opener and presented awards to volunteer Firearms Safety Instructors in recognition for 30 years of service to the communities of Blackduck and Kelliher. Enforcement action for the week included illegal length walleyes, boating and AIS violations.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and ATV activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report good fishing on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Time was spent checking boaters and anglers at the Northwest Angle with CO Huener. An Aquatic Invasive Species detail was worked and good compliance was found overall. Enforcement action was taken during the week included fishing violations.
Baudette #1 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and boaters. A problem bear call was received. Boaters were reminded about various invasive species related laws. Violations included no angling license, angling with extra lines, no watercraft registration, and fail to remove watercraft drain plug.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked angling, ATVs, and public access issues. He also planned FAS and ATV classes. Wolf depredations were confirmed and multiple bear complaints were received ranging from beehive and property damage to trying to get into a home. A continued dispute over beaver dams, water levels and trespass is an ongoing issue.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and bait harvesters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity in the area. An AIS detail was worked in the Baudette area. CO Vollbrecht assisted the Bemidji Police Department with a call of a nuisance animal. Area forest roads and trails were monitored for ATV and OHM time.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked ATVs, anglers, and boaters. Time was also spent working an AIS check station. CO Holt assisted a neighboring officer with group of anglers in possession of a significant over limit of walleyes. Enforcement activity for the week included AIS and angling violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for watercraft safety violations and conducting AIS checks. CO Vinton met with County and DNR watercraft inspectors and received a report of good compliance. CO Vinton had contact with a juvenile on an OHM riding in the ditch of a county highway on his way home from work. CO Vinton transported the juvenile and his bike home to have a discussion with his parents regarding OHM operation.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at the CO Academy, worked ATV enforcement, wildlife complaints and fire enforcement.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports angling success picking up over the past week. CO Forsberg investigated complaints of stolen traps, wanton waste of fish, and burning without a permit. CO Forsberg conducted AIS checks at public accesses. CO Forsberg reminds ATV owners to review laws on juvenile operation. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable PFD, failure to remove drain plug, illegal length fish, expired boat registration, and no angling license.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) began her first week of patrol in the Detroit Lakes station. CO Warren met with members of wildlife, fisheries and SWCD departments as well as meeting local AIS inspectors. Angling activity, boating safety checks and AIS inspections were conducted. CO Warren responded to complaints of wetland drainage/ stream alteration, aquatic vegetation removal, and unlawful solid waste disposal. A permit for a car hit deer was issued.
Moorhead – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked boaters, anglers, and commercial bait traps. Richards met with other divisions within the DNR on a shoreline issue. Enforcement action was taken for aforementioned activities.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked on waters violations throughout the week and also worked some AIS checks on boats. Plautz checked several fishermen having good success. ATV operators were stopped failing to have license displayed and operating with a child not wearing a helmet. Over limit complaints continue to be worked on. Nuisance bear complaints were received and investigated.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on goose shooting permits, complaints on fishermen in the vacant Wheaton station and litter this past week. Additional time was spent enforcing fishing and boating regulations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement this past week. Lake activity has been heavy. One set of shore anglers claimed to be married and had purchased a combination fishing license. After certain things didn’t make sense such as different last names, no wedding rings, and different addresses on their driver’s licenses, they eventually admitted they’re just dating. A ten dollar savings on licenses will end up costing them much more. An investigation into an illegal minnow trapping and selling case was conducted with several violations found and enforcement action pending.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing, boating, and AIS activity. The high water on area lakes is causing multiple floating bog issues. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement and complaints regarding shoreline alteration and wetland filling were handled.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boaters, fishermen and AIS transportation laws. After finishing his investigation, Anderson issued citations to two persons for shooting from a vehicle at a deer. A TIP call was worked about a possible over limit of fish on Lake Traverse. The TIP was found to be unsubstantiated. Anderson also received a complaint call about too many deer at a farm near Chokio. The person was referred to DNR Wildlife staff for advice about how to lessen deer impacts at his farm. Minnow transportation permits were issues as well as calls handled from the public regarding boating regulations and issues with a goose shooting permit.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing activity around the area has been high lately. Enforcement efforts included checking fishermen, boaters, monitoring AIS compliance, and investigating illegal ATV operation complaints. Baumbarger attended a TEP meeting and spoke to a group of kids about boat and water safety at the annual Lake Minnewaska “Take a Kid Fishing” day. Additional time was spent on injured animal complaints and investigating a complaint at a public access.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, worked an AIS detail, spent a day in training and assisted with a Take a Kid Fishing event.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) worked at an AIS detail near Leech Lake. Compliance was good. An injured loon and nuisance bear were reported. A reminder to leave baby animals in the woods. Please do not touch them or move them as their mother is probably near and will come back for them. CO Hunter worked with the sheriff’s department on ATV issues in the state forest.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating activity, AIS, and ORV activity. Numerous calls of a loon entangled in fishing line were received. An AIS detail was worked.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. An invasive species check station was also worked with district officers. Fish are biting very well on the area lakes. They bit so well that one group was found had an over limit of walleye. Enforcement action was taken for invasive species, ATV, and angling violations.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) worked fishing, boating and ATV activity. Assistance was provided to a neighboring officer with attempting to locate a suspect in an OHM case. An AIS detail was worked and assistance was provided to DNR Forestry on ORV issues. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove a livewell plug.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked an AIS detail at Federal Dam. Area angles are doing well. CO Halverson assisted at the academy held at Camp Ripley. Complaints on bear, beaver, and floating bog issues were taken.
Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala investigated two complaints of wetland violations. One investigation revealed a landowner had filled in excess of 5,000 square feet of wetland adjacent to public water. A Cease and Desist Order was served and the landowner will be required to remove the fill and restore to the previous condition. Lakeshore owners are reminded wetlands in close proximity to lakes and rivers are very important as they help filter water that eventually end up in the lake and helps keep our waters healthy. A large aquatic plant violation that occurred last year was also inspected. The landowner had cleared over 200 feet of shoreline of emergent vegetation. Vegetation is very important to our lakes as it is vital habitat for fish and other aquatic life. It also prevents erosion and helps regulate water nutrients. The site was observed to be undisturbed this year and the vegetation was growing back. CO Siltala attended a TEP meeting with CO Baumbarger and other SWCD staff to discuss wetland alteration activity. An additional public water violation was also inspected and it was found the landowner had removed the illegal fill that was placed in the water, restoring it back to the condition it was in. Not only is fill placed in a public water illegal, the erosion that occurs from lack of controls, results in the fill being washed into the lake, causing further disturbances to water quality. An AIS detail was worked near Leech Lake and Lake Winnie. Overall compliance was good; however, one boater had failed to drain a livewell, resulting in enforcement action. Time was also spent on area lakes checking for AIS compliance. Enforcement action was taken for drain plug violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of water in the big lakes with Lake Kabetogama and Ash River at its highest in 15 years. There are reports of people losing docks and a lot of debris floating around. People are urged to use extra caution and be observant while travelling on the water. Fishing, boat and water safety, and ATV enforcement rounded out the week with enforcement action taken for no angling licenses in possession, and operating ATV with passenger under 18 YOA without a helmet. A wolf depredation complaint was also investigated.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, public accesses, camping, boating, and ATV activities over the week. Heavy rain and thick bugs kept outdoor activities to a minimum. Forest road repair is on-going after the rain event.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports quite a few muskie anglers were trying their luck on Lake Vermilion over the opening weekend. Pan fishing anglers were catching a few crappies and sunfish. Water levels remain very high. The biting bugs are out in full force.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, AT’s, invasive species and various complaints. The officer taught species identification and wildlife complaints classes to new officers at the Conservation Officer Academy. When checking an angler on a fishing pier, the angler said that he had 4 northern pike (1 over the limit). His $1.50 stringer only held 50 percent of what he claimed he had caught as it broke releasing all but 2. The guy fishing next to him had no fishing license. Enforcement action for the week consisted of no fishing license, angling with extra lines and no ATV registration.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a very busy weekend on Virginia and Tower area lakes. With nice weather high numbers of boaters were seen out on both days. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered watercraft. Upon learning he was going to be cited, one boater who received a citation for failure to display a current registration decal swore at CO Frericks with enough variety to make the saltiest Navy Chief or Marine Gunnery Sergeant blush. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a person who received a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia called the CO “a good guy” and stated the CO was just doing his job. Complaints of boats with loud exhaust were taken from lake shore owners on Lake Vermilion. The loud boat in question was located and enforcement action was taken.
International Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing success has increased with many anglers reporting a very good walleye bite on several area lakes. Unfortunately so has the volume of biting insects with the higher than average water levels. Violations included operating an unregistered OHM, fail to display ATV registration, and angle without a license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked OHM and fishermen throughout the week. There has been a lot of rain lately so the mosquitos, gnats, and ‘no see ums’ are out in force. Don’t forget to bring your bug dope.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers and did boat safety checks during the week. The CO took a complaint on a nuisance bear. Remote areas and designated trout lakes were also checked.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) participated in an ATV work detail in the Hill City Area during the Quadna Mud Nationals. The officer also met with the County Attorney regarding ongoing investigations and assisted Cook County Sheriff’s Office on a reported burglary in progress.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent some time patrolling lakes in the Silver Bay and Babbitt stations. A nuisance bear got progressively braver and more aggressive in the South Kawishiwi Campground and had to be put down. Enforcement action included walleye over limit, no angling license in possession, expired watercraft registration, no navigation lights after sunset, and no type IV PFD. A resort was dealt with for many watercraft registration violations on their rental boats. There were areas and times where the mosquitoes couldn’t get much thicker.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Murray also investigated a road damage complaint on state forest lands and followed up on a report of a nuisance wolf chasing cars in the Silver Bay station.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced invasive species regulations, and worked ORV enforcement laws. Investigated complaints related to wolves, litter, angling over limits, and problem beavers. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a public roadway and failure to remove drain plugs while transporting watercraft.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, AIS, and assisted with an ATV event in Hill City. 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 Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time working invasive species enforcement this past week. She also helped teach training at Camp Ripley to the new Conservation Officers Candidates. She worked ORV, OHM, and ATV activity over the weekend at the Quadna Mud Nationals. Enforcement action was taken for equipment, alcohol, and juvenile operation violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked pan fishing activity with the bite becoming very good in the area. Enforcement was taken for an overlimit of bluegills, angling without a license and for operating an unregistered watercraft. CO Sutherland also worked an ATV detail with multiple officers.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked a special ATV detail during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity. Time was spent working the Quadna Mud Nationals in Hill City over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for DWI on ATV, operating ATV in wetland and failure to stop at stop signs.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region 2 ATV officer) assisted with enforcement in the Hill City area for the Mud Nationals event.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, boating, angling, water quality activities. Compliance was good. CO Arhart also finished some wild fire activities, attended an OHV meeting at Third River Town Hall and he tracked Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders. Suspect leech trappers were also tracked. The Squaw Lake Take-A-Kid Fishing event was attended, with about 20 youth participating. Many nice walleye were caught and a nice fish fry resulted.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked public accesses along area lakes and rivers for AIS violations. ATV complaints continue and patrol efforts have been focused on problem areas. The officer assisted St. Louis County Rescue and US Coast Guard with search and rescue efforts involving a plane crash on Lake Superior.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports the fishing has been very good on most inland lakes in the area. The majority of the week was spent checking anglers and ATV users. Time was also spent educating and enforcing laws related to slowing the spread of invasive species. Improper display, angling without license and angling with extra lines were a few of the violations encountered during the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing, boating, and water recreation enforcement on area lakes. Time was also spent working invasive species enforcement. Several calls from the public were answered and returned.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, Invasive species, and OHV enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey assisted on a work detail in the Ely and Tower area. CO Humphrey conducted aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. CO Humphrey also followed up on prior big game investigation. Boating, ATV, and unlawful burning violations were encountered during the week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody conducted a K9 demo for elementary students at the Cromwell Elementary School. As always, K9 training continues. A K9 detection trial was held in the metro area where two of the DNR’s newest K9s became certified in wildlife detection through the United States Police Canine Association. A restoration order was served on a wetland violation in the Scanlon area and ATV trespassing complaints were taken and are under investigation. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated in the Wrenshall area where it was determined that a sheep was killed and eaten by a gray wolf. A special detail was worked in the northern St. Louis County area where boater and anglers were checked on lakes in and near the BWCA. A complaint of someone stating they are going to kill a bobcat is under investigation.
WREO Mike Scott investigated a TIP complaint where a person had purchased chemicals to put into the lake at their cabin to kill the aquatic vegetation. After locating the cabin owner information was passed on to them reference the issues with the application of chemicals into the lake they live on. Also located at that residence was a new weedroller installed in public waters by them for aquatic vegetation control as well. The weedroller device was not permitted and enforcement action was taken for the issues at hand. Anglers and boaters were checked in the area and fishing is still very good on some lakes. Assistance was given to the Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Duluth Fire Department in attempting to locate a body in an area river.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a public waters complaint on Fish Lake. Assisted the USCG and the St. Louis S.O. with an aircraft accident on Lake Superior and a possible drowning in the Lester River. Fellow District 8 officers spent nearly 10 hours on Lake Superior assisting the USCG on the aircraft accident. Assisted the St. Louis S.O. with an underage drinking party in Normanna Twp. Fielded several calls on abandoned deer fawn around the Duluth area.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers at accesses and on Superior where lake trout are starting to show up more frequently in the box. Local ATV issues were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working AIS, fishing, boating, and ATV enforcement. A stolen ATV was also recovered. Assistance was provided on a plane crash into Lake Superior.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports assisting with training Academy 15 at Camp Ripley in Use of Force and Firearms training, as well as working an ATV detail in the Hill City area where she observed several ATV violations including one operator who failed to stop for a stop sign and was arrested for driving while intoxicated. CO Peterson checked local lakes to find the bite slow in most areas but some anglers finding some luck. CO Peterson handled several calls regarding nuisance bears. She reminded callers to keep bird feeders and other food items where a bear cannot access them.
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 Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Anglers are out in full force and report the walleye bite is fair. The pan fish have also been cooperative and limits have been reported. Violations he worked on were bow fishermen out at night with loud generators and lights shining in houses. Reports of trespassing by shore anglers on the Gull River were received. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull and Crow Wing River. Most boaters are doing a good job pulling plugs but need to improve picking aquatic vegetation off their trailers. He also investigated littering in the Pillsbury Forest. Burned tires, beer cans, a mattress and other house hold garbage was found.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and boating enforcement. Anglers were found angling without angling licenses and other boat and violations were detected. A license fraud case is being investigated. Officer Guida also assisted with the Annual Outdoor Youth Expo in which 280 youth participated.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, ATV, and aquatic invasive species throughout the week. He also District 7 at an ATV event at Hill City. Time was also spent checking lakeshore for aquatic vegetation removal.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a so-so bite for walleye and pan fish on area lakes. Officer Lee received numerous complaints of bears damaging bird feeders and tearing up garbage cans. In one incident a bear came up onto a party’s deck and was rummaging through the garbage that had been placed out there that evening. While looking through the garbage it awoke the owner who was a little upset about the garbage mess, but went from mad to panic as the bear leaned up against a front door that does not latch well and sat down partially inside the home. After a short time and a lot yelling at the bear, the bear got up and wondered into the woods to the much relief of the homeowner. Officer Lee assisted with CO Academy training of new cadets this past week in firearms and use of force.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including work on an ongoing wildfire investigation, responding to miscellaneous wildlife complaints including nuisance bear, beaver, and woodpeckers, patrol of the Crow Wing state forest for recreational use and OHV activity, patrolling ATV activity and area lakes for boating and fishing activity. Enforcement contacts were made for illegal ATV operation, overlimit of sunfish, water and aquatic plant transportation, and miscellaneous boating equipment issues.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling enforcement. Anglers are reporting a fair bite in the area for panfish. CO McGowan also prepared court documents for an upcoming trial regarding a waterfowl hunting violation from last fall. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, expired boat registration, unattended lines, and failure to remove drain plug when transporting a boat.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attempted to save a fawn that was separated from its mother due to the flooding Rum River; however, the fawn was too fast. Fishing and ATV issues were addressed. Fishing without a license and failing to register a turkey were just a couple violations that were found. Some smallmouth bass are showing up on Mille Lacs. An ongoing investigation of illegal dumping continues.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked ATV complaints over the week. She handled a wolf depredation complaint where a wolf attacked a dog. The dog survived the attack. Speldrich received numerous complaints from cabin owners on a local lake regarding a new cabin going in and work along the shoreline. It was determined that no violations regarding DNR jurisdiction had occurred. Speldrich received complaints of individuals camping in a state forest day use area which is not allowed. She also completed a wild land grass fire investigation. The suspect in this case was issued a citation and it was also determined that the suspect was in violation of a probation order for being at the location of the fire. CO Speldrich enforced AIS laws throughout the week. One stop was made on an individual pulling boat with the plug still in place as it was traveling down the road. When the plug was pulled several gallons of murky water drained from the boat. The driver was cited.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) began a wetlands investigation. The Officer will work with many individuals to determine if the property owner has wetland violations present or not. An ATV safety class was attended to ensure that students understood laws and regulations of ATV operation. Night ban for Mille Lacs Lake was closely monitored.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time during the week working anglers and boaters in the Pine City area. He spent time working ATV complaint areas, spent time finishing up some required training, and answered numerous questions about nuisance animals and high water in the area. Recent rains have brought water levels back up in the Pine City area. Those venturing down any of the local rivers by canoe or kayak should use extreme caution with the high water levels. Bear complaints have increased in the last week. A majority of those complaints are bears getting into garbage or bird feeders. Put these and other attractants away for several weeks and bears will generally move on.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake during the week and weekend. The walleye bite varies and the small mouth bass have really picked up. The Officer fielded several phone calls reference fawns being found by parties. Please remember to leave these young fawns alone being the mother is usually not too far away and will come back for their young. The Officer assisted other agencies with vehicles blocking traffic and a search for a suspect in a burglary case. ATV patrol was done in several areas of state and county land and lots of fishing, ATV and trapping questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of muskrats doing damage to shoreline and property was investigated the Officer gave a law presentation to a youth ATV class. The Officer also helped out at Camp Ripley in training new conservation officers. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, boating and ATV violations.
WREO Rob Haberman assisted officers with an AIS check station south of Brainerd over the weekend. Several violations were found during the check station. WREO Haberman also followed up on WCA cases in his assigned work area.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent much of the week at area farms where wolves continued to harass cattle. Several area livestock owners expressed concern about wolf tracks they’ve been finding and wolves they have had to chase away from calving areas. A couple of farmers lost calves due to wolf attacks and federal trappers were able to remove some wolves from the same farms. Time was also spent checking anglers and boaters and responding to a large number of nuisance bear complaints.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity which appears to be picking up as the water warms. Although we are a month into season some people still haven’t found time to buy a fishing license or get an accurate fish measuring device. Recreational boating is also increasing with a lot of tubing and PWC activity. Verkuilen also monitored ATV traffic, responded to wildlife complaints, and kept up the search for boat plugs and aquatic vegetation on the highways.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled Mille Lacs Lake and area lakes. Anglers are having good success with northern pike and small mouth bass. Some walleye were also seen. Time was spent patrolling area WMAs and State Forest. TIP complaints of extra lines in an area state park were investigated. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and boating violations.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time working angling activity throughout the area. Anglers were having success with panfish on most area lakes. A dumping complaint involving carp was handled. The carp were located on private property and in the road right of way near an area creek. It was an unsightly mess that proved to be less than fragrant. Area bow fishermen were checked and reminded to find a suitable area for disposal for their take. Boat and water safety checks were conducted during the weekend. Some boaters were found to be missing some of their required equipment. Violations for the week included angling without a license, fail to obtain a burning permit, burning of prohibited materials, failure to display watercraft registration, no legal lifesaving device, no fire extinguisher and fail to remove plug before transporting a watercraft.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working anglers, ATVs, boaters, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. An AIS road check was worked with a 30 percent violation rate found. Thesing assisted at the academy. Enforcement action for the week included expired ATV registration, drive ATV in road ditch, transport weeds, transport boat with plug, transport zebra mussels and no pfd.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an AIS work crew. Reports are under investigation of unlawful dumping and possible poaching.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Todd, and Crow Wing counties. Assistance was given at a District 11 AIS check station and a District 3 minnow investigation. Enforcement action was also taken for no angling license and insufficient boating safety equipment.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) handled wildlife complaints that included wolves and bears preying on cattle; and geese and cranes damaging crops. CO Kuske participated in an AIS road check in southern Crow Wing County. During the check one boat was found with a zebra mussel attached and overall a 30 percent violation rate was experienced during the check. An area resort owner told CO Kuske he has been seeing a high number of boats coming into his resort with zebra mussels. While at a public water access an individual approached CO Kuske to share his concern about AIS being spread into the lake but failed to see the importance of registering the ATV he was driving. An operator of a Class 2 ATV was stopped for not displaying registration. The driver also had an open alcoholic container and no ATV safety certificate. CO Kuske provided instruction at the CO Academy on enforcement of open burning regulations. Candidates were given classroom training and real life scenario situations that included live fire and burnt lands as well as dealing with the people that were responsible for the illegal activity. CO Kuske initiated an investigation of a wetland violation involving an individual ditching to drain several wetland areas. While on patrol CO Kuske observed a family having a nice outing on a lake, they so diligently had their small children wearing PFDs but forgot to bring some for themselves. Fishing has been good, panfish and northern pike, one individual was cited for angling with an extra line and no type IV PFD aboard his boat. Two individuals trying to get their boat started at the access had their plans changed when CO Kuske found them to be without PFDs and expired registration on the boat.
Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at Academy 15, took TIP calls, and checked ATV operators and anglers during the past week.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked AIS checks along with ATV checks. CO Mies checked night bow fishermen and found violations.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked an AIS detail in his station. The officer also performed vehicle maintenance as administrative monthly duties. Rough fish archers were worked due to increased findings of shot carp that are littered.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. Several animal complaints were handled. A TIP call was investigated of a person shooting a goose out of season.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) checked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on a number of nuisance beaver complaints. He checked boats at boat accesses for invasive species, vegetation and transportation of water. He received a number of calls of black bears. CO Sladek advised homeowners to take down all bird feeders and keep all garbage inside. He also advised them if they felt personally threatened to contact him or their local police department.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers/boaters, ATVs, and issued car kill deer tags. Officer Londgren handled calls on nuisance bears, injured fawn, and ATV trespass. CO Londgren also did site inspections on shoreline and wetland violations. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, PFD violations, no license in possession, and dogs chasing deer.
Cambridge – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated a person moving floating bogs due to the high water on Lake Waconia. He provided a ride along for an intern who is interested in becoming a Conservation Officer. A TIP call in Victoria was responded to on kids shooting song birds. A beaver trapping permit was issued in Dahlgren Township causing flooding and a fawn deer in Belle Plaine was picked up by a farmer cutting hay. He was told to put it back where it was found and the doe returned. Animal nuisance call of raccoons killing domestic ducks in Sibley County and trap tampering case were handled. The muskie opener was worked and AIS inspections were done at lake access sites.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also had a ride along. Salzer also assisted at the academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe responded to a complaint of a beaver taken out of season and presented at a Minnetonka boating club meeting. Violations included no fishing license in possession and failure to display valid boat registration.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled for fishing activity. He worked on reports and returned phone calls. CO Neitzke also attended a meeting.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore anglers, boaters, and AIS in the metro area. He took calls on animal and fishing complaints. He also answered questions on state park regulations and firearms safety classes in the Hmong community.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time doing AIS enforcement, checking anglers, and watercraft users. CO Arntzen taught a boat safety class and attended the Bald Eagle Sports Club open house event. He responded to TIP complaints, handled nuisance animal calls, and performed equipment maintenance.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) attended the Bald Eagle Sports Club outdoors event with CO Scott Arntzen in Hugo and answered several questions there. He checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week and checked boats and trailers for aquatic invasive species. CO Pril also spent some time on equipment maintenance and responded to miscellaneous animal calls and other complaints during the week.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) checked anglers and boaters during the week. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and using minnows on a trout lake. He investigated a report of aquatic vegetation being cut on Crooked Lake. CO Johnson responded to a TIP call on Cenaiko Lake. He also had a law enforcement intern accompany him during the week.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked various TIP calls and handled calls regarding a nuisance bear in the area. She worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes. CO Kruse worked a litter case, did equipment maintenance and handled many nuisance animal calls.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported fishing, invasive species, boating, and ATV continue to be the main enforcement focuses. Recent heavy rainfalls have brought some local river levels up creating some fast moving currents.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. An orphaned fawn was turned over to an animal rehabilitator. A call was investigated reference someone shooting at deer from a motor vehicle. Angling and boating violations were encountered during the week.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) completed his weekly radio show on KLOH. Fishing has been good on area lakes with nice walleye being caught. Enforcement action was taken on license requirements and boat registration. Several calls have been taken on what people should do with the young animals. A Firearms Safety class was taught in Ivanhoe.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers, invasive species, and ATVs. Crappie are being picked up at a few area lakes but walleye seem slow. ATV operators are reminded to stay off Highway 30 in Slayton.
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.
WREO 2Lt. Larry Hanson (Southern Region) followed up on a PW complaint in Redwood County. A WCA restoration order was issued in Renville County. Officer also followed up on a complaint at Camden State Park. USPCA Region 12 K-9 Certification was completed in Brooklyn Park.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent on various wildlife complaint issues and assisting other law enforcement agencies.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on public waters and wetland complaints. He received a number of orphaned and injured wildlife calls. He checked anglers, boaters and bow fishermen and continued to monitor compliance with AIS laws.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on miscellaneous wildlife complaints, including a turkey with a nest in a windowsill of a home and an injured bird. She dealt with a fawn that appeared to be without its mother. A safety hazard was addressed on a local lake. She assisted with the academy at Camp Ripley during the week.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked on potential wetland issues in the area. WMA and WPAs were patrolled. ATV and angling enforcement was also worked. Angling success still appears to be down.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the Sheriff’s Office with an ORV complaint and a target shooting/trespassing call. He spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement activities. Rising river levels put a damper on fishing activity. Local lake fishing success remains slow.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked boat and water safety, angling and ATV enforcement. Gruhlke continues to receive calls concerning baby wildlife and urges the public to let nature take its course. Gruhlke also completed a radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing the musky opener, area activity and what to do when encountering baby wildlife.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended search and rescue training with the South Central Dive Team and Sheriff’s Department. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes. AIS compliance was high. Complaints of farmers mowing road ditches were received.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and boating activity. Fishing has been good on area lakes, with high activity. A case was made on a bow fisherman who was leaving dead carp on the bank of a slough in a high-activity area. CO Howe also assisted Blue Earth County with calls related to boating, and spoke on laws and ethics to a Bow hunter Education clinic.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked fishermen, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area PWAs.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV activity. Calls were taken from the public. Commercial minnow inspections were conducted.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley this past week. Anglers are finding success as pan fish have moved to warmer waters. Various wildlife complaints were also handled.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity during the past week. The officer investigated a wetlands complaint and completed follow-up on a game violation case. A commercial inspection was completed.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, recreational vehicle, and AIS enforcement. Time was also spent responding to various wildlife complaints. Requests from the public seeking information were returned. Violations for the week included no burning permit, no angling license, and motor vehicle in a WMA.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA violations and restoration orders. AIS enforcement and a check station were worked. Unlicensed lake service providers were investigated as well.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking fishing activity and assisting with teaching a class to the academy at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working on equipment issues and checking ATV complaint areas. The fishing success on Lake Pepin continues to be very good.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and AIS details. Assistance was given to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office when a warrant suspect stole a car and fled into the Kalmar reservoir. Assistance was given to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office on the recovery of a drowning victim in pool 6 of the Mississippi River. Officer George located a group of three individuals with several largemouth bass over limit. When the Officer emerged from the bush and announced his presence the three untied the stringer of fish in an attempt to hide them but there was far too many fish on the stringer and none of them could swim away. The stringer was recovered and enforcement action was taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the river has come back up to levels of closing accesses and the flow is fast with heavy debris. He assisted the Winona County Sheriff’s Office with locating a drowning victim.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and boats during the week. The high water is slowing fishing down, but some were doing well on panfish. Heyn also checked into a forestry complaint.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river once rose to flood level. Most islands are under water. Boat traffic is minimal. Despite the high water, fishermen a catching bluegills, northern, catfish, walleye, and sauger. He assisted with training at the academy for new officers. He assisted Winona Sheriff’s Department and multiple agencies recover a drowning victim.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working on several open investigations resulting in charges being filed. The big river is high again and success has slowed down a little.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working AIS details. Compliance was high. Other violations encountered were multiple no fishing licenses and watercraft registration issues. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming court cases. Fawn calls have increased as have other new born animal calls.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports finishing spring fish stocking efforts. Jensen also performed an administrative flight in NE MN. Cormorant nesting areas were flown and documented on Lake Superior as assistance to U of M natural resource program. Jensen then checked anglers on some local lakes via seaplane.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent the majority of the week attending training at the CO Academy. A day was spent in Brainerd with Jason Jensen addressing aircraft maintenance issues and inspecting pilot safety equipment.
CO Pilot Bob Geving spent the weekend in Grand Rapids and flew support/surveillance flights for an ATV enforcement detail. He also conducted training flights.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple Leech lake surveys during the week.
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 worked on instructor backgrounds, prepared for an upcoming instructor banquet and assisted RTO Lawrence with a Metro Firearms Safety Hunter Ed class.
NW RTO Jon Paurus worked at Camp Ripley assisting with the Academy training. Most of the training focused on familiarization with the shotgun and rifle. A night shoot with the Academy was also completed. Assistance to local field officers was provided regarding a TIP complaint. Questions from volunteer instructors and field officers were handled as well.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week helping with academy training at Camp Ripley for firearms. Time was also spent meeting with new HEFAS instructors to help them plan their first on-Line field day in Rushford. Assistance was also given in Rushford for their first field day.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence answered calls and emails relating to instructor safety training and boating laws. RTO Lawrence worked alongside RTO Patten and several firearms safety volunteers for a becoming an outdoors woman firearms safety field day at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area office. RTO Lawrence set up laser shot equipment system at the Bald Eagle Gun Club for their annual open house. RTO Lawrence encountered a couple off highway motorcycles operating on a county road with youthful drivers.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez completed a background packet and sent it off to Ripley staff for processing. The RTO received a phone call regarding bowfishing on White Bear Lake and its legality. After much research, it was discovered that bowfishing is a legal activity on the lake within both Washington and Ramsey counties. The RTO was very proud and relayed it to the young man who went through the trouble of contacting all the jurisdictional law enforcement agencies to make sure he was legal before partaking in the growing angling sport.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week attended the International Hunter Education Association Conference. He also answered email and returned calls.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports completing instructor background checks and scheduling a Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Instructor certification clinic. He also met with St. Cloud Park and Recreation staff about additional Firearms Safety/Hunter Education field training sites and advertisement for Instructor recruitment.