From the DNR:
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Complaints were taken for boats traveling faster than no-wake on the Warroad River due to erosion concerns from the high water. A meeting was attended with the Roseau County Board to for questions on a no-wake ordinance on the Warroad River. Angers and boaters were checked. Enforcement contacts included angling without a license, angling with extra lines, possessing illegal length walleyes, PWC at greater than no-wake speed within 150 feet of a dock, insufficient life saving devices onboard watercraft, and operating after dark without required navigation lights.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the Independence Day holiday on Lake of the Woods with CO Huener, seeing moderate success on walleyes. Boat and water safety checks were conducted at night on the Red Lake River, finding a pontoon launching rockets from its bow as it motored up river at night in downtown Thief River Falls without navigation lights. After contacting the craft for the navigation lights and fireworks violation, the operator was arrested for boating while intoxicated. Other enforcement action for the week included angle without license, angle with extra line, possess illegal length walleye, insufficient number of PFDs, and other boating equipment violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working fishing, boating activity and angler/boater AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent patrolling area trails for ATV, OHM and ORV activity. Enforcement activity for the week included angling without a Minnesota angling license, angling with extra lines, angling without license in possession and boating equipment violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored boating activity on area lakes over the busy 4th of July weekend. Boaters enjoyed the warm weather and sun. CO Vollbrecht completed an investigation regarding a deer that was shot and transported. Anglers reported mixed success during the week with the best bite coming during low light hours. AIS compliance was checked at local access during the week. CO Vollbrecht rode trails and forest roads in Hubbard County with CO Holt checking for ATV and ORV activity.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) investigated complaints of litter, trespass, draining and vehicles driving in a WMA. He monitored boating, angling and assisted other agencies with calls during a busy 4th of July weekend. One wrong turn in a small town forced a man to be a part of a 4th of July parade until he could escape onto the highway.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports fairly good weather for the long holiday weekend. The strong winds limited some activities on area lakes. Anglers and boaters were contacted and generally found to be in compliance. Angling without licenses in possession was a common violation and anglers should be reminded the law requires the licenses to be available for inspection. Other violations detected included ATV in the ditch of a County Hwy south of Hwy 10, no PFD while operating a PWC, and parking issues at area accesses.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, worked boat and water safety activity assisted at the CO Academy and worked camp permit enforcement.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a busy weekend with high boat traffic on area lakes. Time was spent working fishermen, boaters and PWCs. It appeared that more fishermen without licenses were encountered over the weekend with a couple giving false information. One nonresident tried to tell the officer that he was younger than he was and another person tried to pass as his brother. Both received citations for their efforts. CO Forsberg responded to TIPs of keeping slot fish, removal of aquatic vegetation and calls of capsized/disabled watercraft.
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working a busy week checking anglers and watercraft operators on area lakes and rivers. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and following up on a wetland violation. Commercial leech traps were also checked. Various angling and boating violations were encountered.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked anglers, ATVs and recreational boaters. It was a busy 4th of July weekend on Lakes Bemidji and Cass. Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park was also very busy and complaints were received regarding boats traveling at excessive speeds pulling tubes. Most lakes within Itasca State Park have a speed limit for boats of 10 mph. Enforcement activity for the week included angling license and boat and water safety violations.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ATV activity and monitored public accesses for AIS compliance. Calls were received regarding possible illegal dumping in wetlands, aquatic vegetation removal, an injured owl, and no wake restrictions. CO Warren assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with 4th of July celebrations on Little Detroit Lake. Angler and boating activity was worked on area lakes over the holiday weekend.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked boaters, anglers, ATVs and assisted a stranded boater.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS compliance around Becker, Clay, Polk, Norman, Mahnomen, Otter Tail and Clearwater counties. Extra enforcement efforts were given to newly designated infested waters in Becker County. The 4th of July holiday was worked with efforts focused on boat traffic around the Detroit Lakes and Perham areas. Several violations were addressed. More aquatic vegetation is being seen coming off the waters on both boats and trailers. Boaters and fishermen are reminded to take the time and effort to clean both boats and trailers of all aquatic vegetation before leaving the access. All water must be drained from boats, live wells and bait buckets.
Moorhead – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports mixed activity over busy July 4th weekend. Angling and boating activity was focused on with violations encountered. Other enforcement was related to ATV and public access violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked boating and fishing enforcement throughout the week and spent time working a complaint area at a public access for river tubers. Littering, parking, and alcohol issues were addressed.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen and boaters. Additional time was spent handling complaints on litter and an individual using a local public access for personal parking stalls. Equipment issues were dealt with along with aquatic vegetation violations on area lakes.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen and ATVs in Otter Tail, Douglas and Pope counties. Boating activity was hampered due to high winds on Friday and Sunday. Fishing was good the past week with several people catching nice walleyes over the weekend. PFD and fishing license violations were the prominent violation during the weekend.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked angling, boating safety and AIS activity this past week. The Holiday weekend brought out lots of people enjoying outdoor activities, despite windy and cool conditions for part of the week. The Long Prairie River is drawing high numbers of tubers who continue to create problems, as Lawler and other D3 officers spent time working it this past week. Issues include litter, underage consumption, drug violations and glass bottles violating county ordinance. One individual was cited by Lawler early in the week for litter, and then observed a few days later tubing with a group smoking marijuana. Other violations included fishing and aquatic vegetation issues.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work primarily fishing, boating, PWC, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. Despite the windy conditions, activity was high in the area and numerous fishing, boating, and PWC violations were documented. AIS compliance continues to be good in the area. In response to numerous complaints from the public, CO Johanson and other D3 officers spent a considerable amount of time working tubing activity on the Long Prairie River near Carlos. As a result, many violations were documented including multiple instances of litter, minor alcohol consumption/possession, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and possession of glass bottles in violation of county ordinance.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boating, fishing and aquatic AIS water related equipment transportation laws. Boating activity was only up a bit this 4th of July weekend. High winds and weather conditions were likely the cause. AIS law compliance was very good. Anderson attended the “Payables Committee” meeting in Sandstone. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as calls from the public regarding turkey complaints, a fawn deer and questions regarding boating laws.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports that many people were out enjoying the fourth of July weekend around the area. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking anglers, boaters, PWCs, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent working boat lights, and investigating shoreline violation complaints.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy 4th of July Holiday weekend. He worked angling, boating, state park violations, ATV, and AIS details. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal length walleye, state park waterway violations, ATV violations and numerous watercraft registration and equipment violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, boaters and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter picked up a young great blue heron from a residence where it was hanging around, harassing the 100 pound yellow lab. CO Hunter responded to an ATV crash in the Paul Bunyan State Forest where a young man was injured.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spent time working recreational vehicle enforcement and watercraft enforcement. Assistance was provided to the academy staff in training the new Conservation Officer Candidates on wetland enforcement scenarios. During routine patrols, assistance was provided to ambulance and first responder crews on multiple medical calls.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity. He assisted Cass County with extra patrol on Leech Lake for the fireworks display; provided backup to Cass County regarding an individual armed with a gun; received multiple calls regarding concern over the fact that a tree containing an osprey nest was blown over in the wind, the matter was referred to the non-game section; assisted an individual who was trying to save his PWC from being blown onto the rocks along the shoreline as the combination of high winds and high water toppled the lift
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked boating activities on the busy fourth of July weekend. AIS, anglers, and ATVs were also monitored. Enforcement action was taken for boating while intoxicated, gunwale riding, unregistered PWC, and invasive species violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success continues to be slow. Boating activity was high during the 4th of July weekend. ATV and OHM operator decisions lead to several violations. OHM riders are reminded OHMs are not allowed to ride in the ditch. CO Broughten also responded to a call of a dead eagle in the road blocking traffic. When the officer arrived the bird was identified as a turkey. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, operate OHM on roadway, no personal floatation device, no navigation lights on watercraft after sunset, no angling license, failure to display watercraft registration, and operate ATV public highway.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked 4th of July weekend for boaters and ATVers. Complaints on a bear in garbage and bird feeders were investigated.
WREO Shane Siltala issued a Restoration Order for a wetland violation where the landowner will be required to remove illegal fill to an upland area. He also followed up with a landowner to ensure timely compliance with voluntary restoration of illegal wetland fill. Time was spent with AIS enforcement over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for drain plug violations and illegal transportation of aquatic macrophytes.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing starting to pick up on Rainy Lake, despite high water levels. People are reminded of no wake zone on portions of Rainy Lake, along with using caution as lots of debris is still floating around. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week, please leave young animals alone.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Public access sites were checked and forest roads monitored. Fishing reports over all very poor.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area lakes for fishing and boating activity and patrolling area forest roads for ATV operation. Fishing remains quite slow. Calls for service and areas of concern were responded to in a vacant station. The 4th of July holidays was worked and quite a few folks were enjoying the area lakes until the rain started in the evening.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, invasive species, state park enforcement, issued an aquatic plant Cease and Desist Order, and the exceptionally busy July 4th weekend. The officer worked angling activity and the Lake Vermilion Flotilla with CO Bermel, with a high violation rate being encountered. A couple was observed doing well on rainbow trout and removing the entrails and throwing them in the lake. When checked at their vehicle, the statement of having a limit and not knowing what the limit was didn’t hold true as they had five too many. Enforcement action for the week was taken on angling without a license, a fish transport violation, over limit, fail to remove drain plug, littering, fireworks in a state park, and numerous boating and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) visited a wetland violation on Lake Vermilion with DNR hydrologists and St. Louis County Planning and Zoning. Other public waters issues were addressed as well. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and insufficient PFD’s.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked fishing and boating activities throughout the 4th of July weekend. ATV activity was also worked with violations of operating on county and state roads found. A special work detail with other Officers was conducted on Lake Superior.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he investigated a trap theft in the Ely area in which several traps were recovered. Officer Williams also assisted a neighboring officer with locating a loon which was injured by a lure; unfortunately they were unable to capture it. Violations included: fail to display valid registration, and operating a motorboat after sunset without navigational lights.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a TIP about fishermen from another state catching and transporting more than their limits of walleye. Time was spent following them around to document their activity. ATVs, Jet Skis, and all other types of machinery were common over the 4th weekend. Officers reminded boaters about invasive species precautions and compliance and awareness seem to have gotten better than in the past months.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports another weekend, another washout. The mosquitoes are still doing well and people’s fun meters aren’t where they should be for July days. Most people have reported some pretty good walleye fishing on inland lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no throw able Type IV PFDs, insufficient number of PFD’s on board watercraft, no trout stamp and rounding things out the typical, “I forgot my fishing license back at the cabin.”
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked an Aquatic Invasives detail and patrolled area inland lakes during the busy holiday weekend with CO Wahlstrom. When asked how things were going, one angler replied, “Not so good, we don’t have licenses…we are just doing some ‘catch and release’ …” While they had thought to get leeches before hitting the lake, they did not think to get licenses. They also had too few life jackets aboard the boat they were operating. Education and paperwork were provided. Officer thought they spotted a fire on another pontoon boat, but found only a pair of boater grilling steak and lobster kabobs to celebrate holiday.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy 4th of July weekend. The Lake Vermilion Flotilla was worked on Saturday with CO Bozovsky. A large share of the boats checked on Vermilion that day had violations. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license, transport fillets without skin patch, illegal length walleye, extra line, watercraft registration violations, no PFDs, no navigational lights after sunset, litter, AIS violations, and PWC violations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked an AIS detail and checked area lakes with Officer Manning during the holiday weekend. The Officers observed a pontoon full of people with two people fishing from it. When the Officers approached the watercraft and asked how they were doing, they replied, “Well, not so good, we do not have fishing licenses.” They were also short a few PFDs. The Officers responded to a watercraft that appeared to be on fire, but it turned out to be a nice elderly couple enjoying steak kabobs on the grill.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement activity over the busy holiday weekend. Most anglers checked were having good numbers of fish in their boats. Enforcement action was taken for license, no PFD, and over limit of fish violations. Murray also handled a road killed moose in the Silver Bay station.
Silver Bay – vacant.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, fail to display current ATV registration, no PFDs, and no angling license in possession.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, worked boat and Water enforcement and performed a K-9 demo at an area resort. The area walleye bite slowed this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, OHV registration violations and possessing illegal length walleye.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers and boaters this past week and over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for boating and fishing violations. She assisted the county with a call where four individuals were transported off an island because they were too intoxicated to operate a watercraft.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a windy week of angling and boating enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating a watercraft in a no wake zone, operating an ATV without registration, and for operating an ATV down a county road.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also responded to boating and trespass complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working boating and ATV activity. E Enforcement action was taken for passenger under 18 on ATV without helmet and BWI.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region 2 ATV Officer) worked a couple of ATV work details and assisted the USFS. CO Velsvaag took calls on trap theft questions on designated trout lakes. He also received multiple complaints of illegal PWC use and boats without lights well after sunset.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked angling, boating, and ATVing activities. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for a St. Louis County wetland impact. A TIP call concerning suspect human impacts on a beaver dam and sunfish over limits was investigated. Dead deer calls were received. Enforcement action was taken for transporting boats with plugs in and for illegal ATV youth operation. Some lakes are still producing walleyes while others are sporadic at best. Water levels are still high with many reports of damaged boats, lifts and docks being received.
District 8 – Duluth area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott spent the week instructing new Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley about Aquatic Invasive Species laws, rules and policies as well as Water appropriation. A new wetland violation was handled with the assistance of CO Randy Hanzal where a person installing a geothermal system but was impacting area wetlands during the installation. Geothermal heating and cooling is becoming more popular but still needs to follow wetland conservation act rules and laws.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on animal complaints and wolf depredation complaints. Time was spent on Lake Superior working anglers and watercraft. Few fish were seen but weather and lake conditions were great for the weekend. The officer assisted the US Coast Guard and St Louis County with the Duluth fireworks display in Duluth Harbor.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) experienced a very busy 4th of July weekend throughout the station. The majority of time spent this past week was working boating safety. Most people had the proper safety equipment and their boat were in working order; however, there were still a few contacts made were these essential items were missing. A report of a loon entangled in fishing line could not be located. A cease and desist was issued to a contractor that was placing fill in a wetland and contacts were also made with ATV users.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked ATV, off-highway motorcycle and boating activity over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action taken for no safety certificate, equipment violations, and registration violations. K9 training continues. Extra patrol was done in the local state parks. Assistance was given at a boating accident where a person riding on a tube broke their arm.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked a busy fourth of July in the Duluth Harbor. The nice weather had many boaters enjoying the day. Despite the number of boats few violations encountered. Most had their safety equipment in order. He assisted the St. Louis Co. S.O. with a vehicle roll over, OHV/ATV work north of Duluth and investigated a public waters complaint on park point.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior and inland lakes. Several issues were found with navigation lights and PFD compliance, both of which are especially important on busy summer nights on the water. Assistance was given to local agencies with pursuits, theft calls, and traffic issues. ATV violations continue to be found in the usual areas. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, traffic, and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked a litter investigation, ATV, OHM, ORV, fishing, and angling during the week. He worked the Duluth Fire Works in the harbor and some night enforcement on Island Lake. He also patrolled on Lake Superior and Island Lake. He took a few phone calls and calls from dispatch. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a good bite on pan fish in area lakes. Officer Lee patrolled area lakes with very heavy boating activity. Officer Lee assisted with Use of Force Scenario Training with Conservation Officer Cadets in the Academy. Officer Lee assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department with an ATV accident and boating accident. Enforcement action was taken this past week for no angling license, expired watercraft registration, life jacket violations and various other boating violations.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish, bass and northern have been the most active. The holiday weekend brought out a lot of boaters and PWCs. Boating enforcement and safety occupied most of his time. No lights after sunset, PWCs operate within 150 feet of shore, after hour operation and loud boats violations were detected. He also worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. A complaint of ATVs in the Pillsbury Forest was received and investigated.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored ATV activity in the Spider Lake ATV area, and spent time on area lakes for the 4th of July weekend where nice weather brought out lots of boaters. One large boat pulling a tuber on the Whitefish Chain was stopped when he went through a channel area within 100 feet of a youth in a kayak, throwing a huge wake. The boater said he had the right to go there as he owned a house on the lake and was boating in front of his own house. The officer explained that he did not have any more rights on the water than anyone else but he would have the “right” to a careless boating ticket if he continued.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy holiday weekend on area lakes. CO McGowan patrolled Crow Wing County lakes, and responded to TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, expired watercraft registration, slow no wake violations, passenger riding on gunwale of boat, and illegal boat exhaust.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy 4th of July holiday in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Numerous boating and angling violations were detected. Officer Guida worked with area COs as part of a fireworks detail. Alcohol and watercraft noise enforcement was done.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity focused around the busy 4th of July holiday weekend. High recreational activity was found on area lakes and state forest areas, with patrol focused on boating, fishing, OHV, and state forest use activity. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for fishing without licenses, miscellaneous boating equipment, operation, and registration, and ATV registration and operation violations. Other activity included responding to miscellaneous wildlife issues of nuisance bear, beaver, and injured deer.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports a busy holiday weekend working local lakes and ATV trails. Several boaters were out for the holiday and the fireworks on Big Sandy. Many boaters did not think to check that their navigation lights were working before heading out for the evening and found themselves heading into shore for the show. CO Peterson stopped a group of folks who thought it would be a good idea to jump off an area bridge (not a good idea). After speaking with them she discovered several were consuming adult beverages and were under the age of 21. They soon were less enthusiastic about the holiday weekend.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, watercraft, ATV and AIS enforcement during the week. One individual about to launch a boat containing a live well full on infested water on an area lake was contacted. Removal of aquatic vegetation using water pressure was addressed and a shift was also worked on Lake Superior.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked holiday activity including a lot of people trying things on vacation they aren’t licensed, prepared, equipped, or allowed to do. Numerous boating violations were observed, and many of the paddle boarders were found to not have proper safety equipment or registration. ATV traffic was down, but violation rates were high. Numerous anglers were out this past weekend, and enforcement action was taken for too many lines and license violations. A wetland complaint was investigated and enforcement action was taken for boats with plugs and/or vegetation on the highway.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) spent the week monitoring recreational activity is the Isle Station. A large amount of people were out enjoying the week/weekend. The officer assisted in a vehicle rollover near the Crow’s Nest and also responded to an ATV accident with injuries in McGrath. Boat and water safety checks were conducted on area lakes. Invasive species compliance checks were also held in the area. A call about a nuisance deer was fielded. An ATV and recreational vehicle safety class was also held at a local RV Park. Enforcement action was taken for angling without an angling license in possession, failure to display ATV registration, failure to renew ATV registration, no PFD on a PWC and Mille Lacs night ban violations.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports seeing lots of ATV activity throughout the week and holiday weekend. Fishermen and boaters were checked on Mille Lacs Lake and most reported that the small mouth bass bite was still consistent but walleyes were sluggish. An ATV safety presentation was given to the local county land department as part of their yearly training and lots of ATV, boating, fishing and trespass law related questions were fielded during the week. A call of a boater refusing to allow a DNR Watercraft Inspector to inspect his boat was investigated and patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for OHM, ORV, and ATV activity. Enforcement action for the week included: operate ATV on public lands without safety certificate, juvenile passenger on ATV without helmet, juvenile passenger on class 2 ATV not wearing seat belt, operate class 1 ATV on shoulder of state highway, unregistered ATV, operate ATV in road right of way without valid driver’s license, operate PWC without life jacket on board, operate PWC within 150 feet of swimmers, operate PWC in a careless manner, watercraft pulling skier/tuber without mirror or observer on board, and fail to remove drain plug from watercraft before leaving the access.
CO Dustie Speldrich(Willow River) encountered many off-highway vehicle violations over the 4th of July holiday including operating an ATV on a state bicycle trail, no registration, fail to display registration, under 18 without helmets, illegal class II ATV operation, operating OHMs in road right of ways and operating ATVs in prohibited areas. Speldrich assisted Moose Lake officers with a domestic at a local campground. She also checked anglers, boaters and work AIS enforcement.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time instructing at the current Conservation Officer Academy where trainees learned about wetland, public waters and invasive species law enforcement. Good weather also made for a fairly busy 4th of July weekend. Holiday enforcement activities included citations and warnings issued for boating without required safety equipment, jet skiing after hours and various ATV operating violations. Wolf depredation activity was finished up on a couple of farms where several wolves were removed after preying on livestock.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Time was spent working local accesses for invasive species regulation compliance, checked forest and park campgrounds, and worked jet ski complaints in the Hinckley station. CO Wynn also assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with a pursuit over the weekend. Enforcement contacts included operating ATV’s on county roads, illegal juvenile operation, jet skis operating after legal hours, and lack of appropriate life jackets, sound producing devices, and fire extinguishers on watercraft.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. A few small mouth and walleye were seen despite wind conditions keeping most fishermen off the lakes. Area state forest and WMAs were patrolled with a few riders entering closed areas. A complaint of ATV’s driving through a local farmer’s oat field was investigated. Time was also spent patrolling Lake Superior. Enforcement action was taken during the week included ATV and fishing violations.
WREO Rob Haberman spent the early part of the week teaching cadets at the academy at Camp Ripley. WREO Haberman also patrolled area lakes with local officers. A non-resident was cited for fishing without a license and a ATV operator was cited for operating without registration. WREO Haberman also assisted area officers with an ATV crash involving a 14- year-old rider. The youth operator was air lifted to an area hospital for treatment. The operator was wearing a helmet.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) checked angling activity throughout the week. The bite was found to be somewhat slow due to high winds and thunderstorms. Boating activity was prevalent for the 4th of July weekend. CO Silgjord participated in an AIS work detail in Wright County with a high violation rate being found. Assistance was also provided to CO Johanson on Lake Osakis. Violations for the week included no throwable device, angle with extra lines, no license in possession, no legal fire extinguisher, and operate PWC after hours.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) has found an increasing occurrence of people operating class 2 ATVs with juvenile passengers that are not wearing helmets. Activity on area lakes was busy this past week; one incident involved an owner of a jet-ski allowing a 12-year-old to operate after hours and with a 10-year-old passenger. A person was reminded with a citation that you need to check your boat for PFDs before heading out on the lake. Other boating incidents including a number of warnings for gunwale riding and expired registration. CO Kuske initiated a wolf depredation investigation where three beef calves were killed on a ranch in the Hillman area.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers and aquatic invasive species enforcement. Thesing assisted neighboring officers with an AIS work crew at an access on Clearwater Lake. Violation rate was at 28 percent with most violations involving weeds hanging from trailers. The holiday weekend was busy, but the high wind made for some rough water. Enforcement action included no angling license, false application for married license, drive PWC after hours, no PFD, transport boat with weeds and transport boat with plug in.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an AIS work crew in Wright County. Beautiful weather contributed to an active holiday weekend. Many recreational activities were checked. Emphasis was put on AIS, boat & water safety, and angling.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Wright, and Kanabec counties. Failure to remove drain plugs and failure to drain livewells were the most common violations. Citations were also issued for no PFDs and no angling license.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, boating and turtle trapping. Administrative tasks were completed. Follow up with an elk farmer was also conducted.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers all week. CO Mies held an AIS work crew in Stearns and Wright counties. CO Mies assisted Annandale PD on the 4th and held a boating work crew in Wright County.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) found that illegal operation of Class 2 ATVs to have the most violations during the Fourth of July weekend. Adults allowing illegal operation of a Class 2 ATV and adults with youth under 18-years-old wearing no helmets in the ATVs. One adult was stopped with four youth passengers with no helmets and the driver was found to be 14-years-old with the ATV owner riding in the back. The owner was adamant that at the ATV safety class they said that a 14-year-old youth could operate the Class 2 ATV if an adult was present. CO Kuske informed the owner that there was no way that was said in the class and unfortunately for the owner the officer that taught the ATV class that they had just recently attended was along with CO Kuske.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers and took enforcement action on a number of violations. CO Sladek assisted a local PD with a 4th of July fireworks celebration. Officer Sladek followed up on a case of illegal pumping of water for irrigation of a field; a Cease and Desist Order was issued. He inspected a nuisance beaver problem on an area creek and also assisted with an interview on a ATV operating on a state highway/county road, with a summons being issued. CO Sladek worked AIS at a number of lake accesses and took enforcement action on several violations. He also handed out a number of coupons to young kids that were wearing life jackets in the boat and took enforcement action on a number of PWC violation.
CO Travis Muyres (Cambridge) worked boating enforcement with the Isanti County Sheriff over the holiday weekend. CO Muyres investigated a bear killed in Sherburne County. CO Muyres also investigated a public waters complaint on long lake.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports lakes in the area are finally starting to recede a little this last week, but several lakes still have wake restrictions in effect. Most anglers are finding a fair pan fish bite on several lake in the area. One angler caught her first walleye which happened to be a 30 incher. The walleye was released after a few photos. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and watercraft violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov checked anglers and boaters. An animal complaint was handled.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy Holiday weekend on area lakes. The nice weather had many boaters and anglers on the water. Local accesses were worked for AIS violations. ATV complaints were received and problem areas patrolled. Violations included no license in possession, fail to display registration and fail to remove drain plug.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to a swan that flew into a power line. Anglers were checked on special regulation lakes. Boating activity has slowed down with most lakes having slow no wake restrictions on the entire lake.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. CO Salzer patrolled the Mississippi and Crow Rivers on the busy 4th of July weekend with very few violations being observed. Salzer also responded to some ATV issues in western Hennepin County.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity. CO Grewe assisted Hennepin County Water Patrol with a boat chase over the weekend on Lake Minnetonka. Violations included boating while intoxicated, minor consumption and no lifejackets.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) did AIS enforcement at Dakota County lakes. He patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and investigated a complaint of illegal camping with CO Pril. CO Neitzke checked fishermen in Dakota, Scott, and Hennepin counties. He also did boating enforcement.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the West Metro District for angling, boating and AIS activity. He took a TIP call that resulted with enforcement action taken on two individuals that possessed 32 crappies over limit. Time was spent on issued equipment maintenance and administrative work.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked area lakes monitoring fishing and boating activity. CO Arntzen also did AIS enforcement, patrolled William Obrien State Park and assisted a neighboring agency with locating a suspicious person. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, insufficient PFDs, over limits of fish, littering, failure to remove drain plug and registration violations.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week and checked watercraft for safety equipment and registration. CO Pril also spent some time checking boats and trailers for aquatic invasive species at several metro lake accesses. Violations found included taking sun fish over the limit, no fishing license, fishing with extra lines, no life jacket on board watercraft, liter, expired boat registration, no fishing license in possession and drain plug violation.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he worked over the Fourth of July weekend checking anglers, boaters and AIS. Violations included angling with an extra line, failure to remove drain plug, and unregistered watercraft. He received reports of a deer with a bucket stuck on its head, and a car killed loon in Ramsey. CO Johnson responded to a TIP complaint of trapping in Linwood. He also assisted CO Mlynar with an abandoned snowmobile investigation.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week focusing on AIS activity, several violations for failing to remove drain plugs were observed. WREO Block also provided a ride along for a local media outlet. A public waters Resource Protection Notification and a restoration order was served in Carver County.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) presented a volunteer firearm instructor with his forty year award and thanked him for all his hard work and time. She worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes over the holiday weekend. CO Kruse worked AIS enforcement at local accesses, handled nuisance and injured animal calls and continued working on a fishing case. Violations encountered included extra lines, no fishing license, failure to remove boat drain plug, transport water in live well and insufficient number of PFDs.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVs, anglers, invasive species, and boat safety. A warm, windy Independence Day Weekend revealed lakes full of pleasure boaters. Fishing success remains only fair. A Resource Protection Notification was issued for spraying cattails on Fulda Lake. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, ATV and boating concerns.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported that the nice weather made for a busy 4th of July Weekend with a lot of recreational boating and PWC activity. Most of the violations dealt with insufficient PFDs and illegal PWC operation. ATV activity was also high with good compliance. A few nice walleyes have been caught but success continues to be spotty.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that the great weather kept area lakes busy this past weekend. A report of a capsized boat was received on Lake Benton Saturday afternoon. After arriving in the area it was found that the boat was actually a paddle board, resulting in no injuries and only concerned citizens. Enforcement action was taken on several issues revolving around boating safety. People leaving vehicles parked overnight in DNR Access was another problem around area lakes.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. Littering continues to be problem with boaters and shore anglers. Assistance was given to local agencies reference a suicidal person w/a loaded firearm.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) checked anglers, boaters, and off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Abandoned animal baby animal calls were addressed. Some of the lakes are starting to have algae blooms that may be harmful to pets and children.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reported an active weekend on area lakes. Boaters paid attention to the weather and got off the lake when strong thunderstorms with lightening swept through the area on the 4th of July.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with WCA training at the academy. A site visit on a Public waters violation was conducted in Lyon County. AIS checks were completed on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for AIS and ORM violations.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on nuisance beaver complaints. He also worked boating enforcement over the 4th of July weekend. He checked anglers and monitored ATV use. Denz also checked watercraft for AIS compliance and also followed up with unpermitted weed rollers.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) reports hot and sunny weather proved good boating weather for many during the holiday weekend. Time was spent educating boaters on boat safety and AIS issues. A pair of shore anglers was reminded in Minnesota it is only legal to fish with two lines in the winter. A question regarding turtle possession was addressed. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley assisting with the academy.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports checking on the status of a juvenile bald eagle that fell out of a nest that has a live camera on it. Oberg reports the eaglet is alive and even flew a short distance. Oberg also spent time working recreational vehicle enforcement. Riders were contacted regarding issues with; registration, juvenile passengers, and operating on roadways. Angling enforcement was also worked with some anglers having to be reminded to bring their licenses with them.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding illegal deer hunting activity from last fall, ATVs in a wildlife management area and possible trespass on State property. The rest of the week was spent on boating, fishing, ATV and commercial enforcement activities. Bass, sunfish and catfish activity were good. Bow fishing conditions were also improving.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing, boat and water safety, and invasive species enforcement. A meeting was attended at the Sandstone Area Office.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked over the holiday weekend patrolling area lakes and rivers. Enforcement efforts focused on boat and water rules and regulations, ATV activity, and fishing.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) spent the week working boat and water activity. Warm weather brought boats to the lakes that apparently haven’t been used for a while. Numerous violations were observed ranging from careless operation of a PWC to no PFDs in the watercraft. Many good and ethical boaters were out as well. Angling activity was monitored. A TIP report involving transporting live fish and AIS violations was investigated.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, PWC, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance on area lakes and at public water accesses.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV activity. Many people took advantage of the nice weather and 4th of July holiday for some summer recreation. The fish bite on area lakes continues to draw anglers to the water. An ATV crash was investigated.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) found a lot of activity over the holiday weekend. Despite the wake restrictions the lakes were full of activity. Assistance was given to local agencies for firework display security.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity during the busy 4th of July week. Assistance was given to a local sheriff’s office on a DWI arrest. A neighboring conservation officer was assisted with a BWI arrest. Violations encountered included AIS, DWI, & angling violations.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, boat and water safety, AIS enforcement, and recreational vehicle activity. Two illegal fires were investigated. Violations for the week included no burning permit, burning prohibited materials, and starting a negligent fire. Requests from the public seeking information were returned
WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on a WCA complaint and worked AIS enforcement.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent the week on boating and angling enforcement. Most area lakes remain under a no wake restriction. Area lakes were very busy over the holiday weekend, in spite of the no wake restriction.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports the river is dropping fast in the area. Numerous people were out taking advantage of the nice weather over the holiday weekend. Anglers were starting to catch some fish again in the area and most of the public access sites were re-opened in the area by the end of the weekend. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy 4th of July holiday weekend on the Mississippi River. Although the river was high and fast many folk braved the conditions and spent time on the big river. The fishing improved as the water dropped throughout the long weekend with most of the walleyes being taken on Lake Pepin. Enforcement action was required for unlawful possession under walleye, no fishing license along with some registration and safety equipment violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the river continues to be high and fast with most accesses closed. He worked fishing on Lake Pepin and ATVs in the Winona and Whitewater areas. Hemker also followed up on information he received from the AIS inspectors. Hemker also had his first reported incident of a Canada goose that was killed by a golf ball.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked boating, ATV, and OHM activity. Officer George took a call of rattlesnakes in a yard and litter dumped on state forest land. Assistance was given to Fillmore County on a boat overturned in the Root River; the two individuals made it out of the river on their own. Assistance was given to another officer with some trout over limit cases. Other enforcement action included various boating violations, operating ATVs and OHMs on a county road.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers, boaters and ATVs over the holiday weekend. The river activity was slower overall with the continued high water. One angler was found fishing without a valid license because all of his DNR hunting and fishing privileges were suspended because of previous DNR violations that were still unpaid.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the Mississippi River remains high. Accesses are still flooded. Boat activity over the holiday weekend was low. Investigated a complaint where a camper discharged into public waters. Enforcement was taken. Other enforcement included no registration on an ATV and no youth operators permit for an ATV. Trout streams were in excellent condition. Trout fishermen had good week.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy July fourth Holiday. Time was spent checking trout anglers. Success was good as most anglers had trout in the creel. Two subjects were found to be over the limit and enforcement action was taken. Time was also spent checking ATV trails. Compliance was high as was activity. One was subject was found stuck in a mud hole as his buddy told him it was not that deep. But it was actually very deep and above his waist. The ATV was recovered.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Conservation Officer Candidates (COCs) received training this past week in wetlands, aquatic invasive species, and aquatic plant management enforcement by the academy instructors. COCs also attended classes that covered the Wetland Conservation Act and finished the week with practical labs in aquatic invasive species, aquatic plant management, and defensive tactics scenarios.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports that wildlife telemetry flights have started up again. Two marten flights and one fisher flight were performed. An experimental bat telemetry flight was attempted near Ely with marginal results. More work on that in the future. Jensen assisted with taking photos of an ATV injury accident in Crow Wing County and also provided overhead monitoring while CO’s on the water made a felony arrest. Jensen continued with watercraft creel counts on Lake Vermilion too. Other flights included checking anglers from the plane and taking photos of APM violations. While leaving the airport, Jensen also made a stop of a vehicle pulling a boat with the drain plug not removed. Enforcement action was taken.
CO/Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent several days at the academy. Telemetry and creel missions were flown with Jensen out of Brainerd and multiple Leech Lake creel surveys were flown out of Bemidji. Aircraft maintenance issues were attended to.
NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew two sketch mapping flights for Resources Assessment this past week.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple Leech creel surveys and a wolf telemetry flight. Heineman also flew an instrument training flight and attended to aircraft maintenance.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at http://www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at http://www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
NE RTO Shelly Patten completed end of fiscal year paperwork. Patten worked on setting up instructor banquets. Patten worked on items for Conflict Management Team. Patten worked on review and updates for the Firearms Safety written exam.
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez has received many phone calls regarding a few upcoming instructor clinics being held at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino. RTO Gutierrez worked on several bullet traps preparing them for the Darvan Acres property located in Inver Grove Heights. The West End Gun Club FAS instructor group has been preparing the site for field days and has one coming up in August. The RTO also responded to a bear sighting along the shoulder of the I-35 corridor north of the Twin Cities. The bear decided not to attempt to cross both southbound and northbound lanes and headed back west.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens worked ATV and angling enforcement over the holiday weekend. Warnings and citations were issued for no lights on, failure to display registration, no angling license in possession, passenger under 18 without helmet, and failure to possess non-resident ATV trail pass. End of the month items were also completed during the week along with equipment and office maintenance. A number of phone calls and emails were also returned.
NE RTO Bruce Lawrence working alongside RTO Owens patrolled for ATV activity within the St. Croix State Forest in Pine County on 4th of July. Several ATV and off-highway motorcycles were contacted. Violations encountered were failing to display registration, fail to have non-resident OHV trail pass and youth without helmet. RTO Lawrence assisted with a TIP complaint for possible over limit of fish in Itasca County by furnishing information. Also, RTO Lawrence studied online training for motor vehicle operation refresher training in preparation for fall hands on driving coursed mandated by POST board. RTO Lawrence worked on scheduling for fall and winter safety instructor training sessions.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on instructor backgrounds and setting up fall firearms training for DNR Enforcement and Wildlife. Time was also spent working on computer issues.