From Richard Sprouse, MN DNR:
Blackduck: One angler was contacted and found to be in possession of a protected slot limit Upper Red Lake walleye. The angler stated that the “beer factor” may have influenced the group’s fish measuring abilities.
Virginia: More garbage is being found dumped on the side of the road and down dead end roads. After searching through one particular pile, CO Frericks located the name of a 17-year-old. When CO Frericks spoke with the juvenile he called himself a “sportsman”. With the approval of his father, the juvenile was ordered to clean up the garbage he dumped plus a few other garbage piles that were dumped.
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked trapping, ATV and angling enforcement throughout Warroad, the Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods and the Beltrami Island State Forest. Calls for service included a report of a possible obstruction to snowmobilers on the Warroad River caused by kids throwing objects, to include large rocks and a TV, into the river earlier in the fall. This complaint is being investigated. Enforcement action taken for failure to properly display ATV registration, no angling license in possession, and angling without a license.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent most of the week checking trapping activity and fishing activity. Most anglers have reported that the walleye bite is still a little slow. Violations for the week include failure to tend traps, failure to report accidentally taken animal, angling without a license, and no angling license in possession.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that trapping activity still seems steady in the area. A few reports of accidental wolf catches in bobcat snares were investigated. Trappers are reminded they should be aware of how and where they are placing their sets. Anglers, remember to bring your license with you when you go onto the lake. Enforcement action taken includes no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, possessing unmeasurable fish and operating an ATV under the influence of alcohol.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted follow up investigations from deer season and monitored angling activity in the area. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s department with a trespass call that resulted in enforcement action for hunting deer over bait as well as the trespass charge. Other enforcement action for the week included failure to register big game animal and angling license violations.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked ice anglers, ATV and snowmobile enforcement including a Lake of the Woods detail. CO Hanson assisted with the snowmobile safety class in Thief River Falls.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working small game, trapping, snowmobiling and angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. A special detail was worked with another Officer on Upper Red Lake with a wide variety of violations encountered. One angler was contacted and found to be in possession of a protected slot limit Upper Red Lake walleye. The angler stated that the “beer factor” may have influenced the group’s fish measuring abilities. Time was spent handling reports of accidental catches of fisher and pine marten. Enforcement action for the week included for several over limits of Red Lake walleye, angling with extra lines, possession of protected slot limit walleye, possession of unmeasurable fish while on the ice, no skin patch and angling without license in possession.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time checking ice anglers on area lakes and rivers. ATV operators, archery deer hunters, and trappers were also checked. Complaints about dumped deer carcasses were also received. Violations included fail to check traps, fail to display ATV registration, no ATV safety training, and take/possess fish over-limit.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked snowmobile, angling and deer hunting activities. An investigation on a shot moose continues along with a complaint of dumped deer parts in a ditch.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, trappers and a few ATVs.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling on area lakes. Ice conditions continue to improve and angling activity has increased. CO Vollbrecht worked a detail on Upper Red Lake with CO Holt. Anglers reported a good catch and several people were observed with limits of walleye. While working the lake a vehicle was reported to have gone through the ice. The occupants safely got out of the vehicle, but the vehicle went through the ice. Anglers are advised to use caution when traveling over or near pressure ridges.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent most of the week checking anglers and trapping activity. Officer Holt also worked a few days on Upper Red Lake with Officer Vollbrecht. While working on Upper Red officers responded to a call of a truck that went thru the ice. All occupants were able to get out of the vehicle safely. Officer Holt also checked angling activity in Itasca State Park. Time was spent following up on a lake pollution complaint. Enforcement activity for the week included trapping violations, angling with extra lines, angling without a license in possession, possessing unmeasurable walleye, possession of marijuana and an ATV safety violation.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports having contact with a minnow dealer that was not displaying the proper markings on the vehicle he was using to transport minnows. Enforcement action was taken. CO Vinton checked anglers and ice conditions, which seemed to improve with colder temperatures. A complaint of trespassing coyote hunters was received and the landowner was given the information to properly post their property. Car kill deer permits and follow-up on a couple of cases from deer season were also completed.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked trapping and angling enforcement, attended training at camp Ripley and followed up on on-going cases.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking anglers on area lakes. Ice conditions vary across the area and anglers should use caution when traveling on lakes. CO Forsberg followed up on reports of fish over-limits and registered otters.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity on area waters with anglers finding varying success. Ice conditions continue to vary throughout the area. ATV activity was monitored as was snowmobile complaint areas. Warren met with the county attorney to discuss ongoing cases. A car kill deer permit was issued. CO Warren assisted another Conservation Officer with an open case.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ice anglers on local lakes. Anglers are reminded to be aware of changing ice conditions with the rain and warm weather. CO Landmark investigated a wanton waste complaint, a TIP call regarding a possible over limit of deer, and potential duplicate license violations. CO Landmark answered questions from the public regarding ice conditions, ice house regulations, and registering otter.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on restoration orders, RPNs, CDOs and open PW, APM and WCA cases. Time was spent filing new cases and following up with Conservation Officers and LGUs. Time was spent attending a Use of Force meeting and training at Camp Ripley. Fishermen were checked as well as snowmobile and ATV registrations around the Otter Tail and Becker county areas.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) continued to check fishermen, fish shelters and ATV’s on area lakes. Caution is still advised on area lakes as warm temperatures continue. Folks are reminded to check their ATV registration as the expiration date is the end of December.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on two deer hunting complaints conducting interviews. Fishing continues to remain strong with ice conditions improving. Car killed deer tags were issued as well.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen, fish shelters, ATV operators, and pheasant hunters. A TIP call was worked in the Wheaton station. WCA inquiries were handled as well online training completed. Fishermen are reminded to have ID on their fish shelters when required.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked trappers and fishermen. Assistance was given to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office on a call of a man with a gun call near Big Pine Lake. Calls were answered in regards to bow hunting on WMAs, fish houses and ATV registration. Fishing has been spotty on area lakes.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time working ice fishing activity throughout the week. Houses began to make their way back out on the ice after being taken off during the recent warm weather. Ice depth still varies between 7 and 14 inches, depending on the lake. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and ATV violations.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to investigate and close out deer cases involving overlimits, unlawful party hunting, and lending/borrowing deer licenses. Additional time was spent monitoring pheasant and predator hunting activity. Fishing and ATV activity was worked on area waterways, and several Division meetings regarding use of force and equipment were attended.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice fishing activity and ATV operation. Several folks have returned to area lakes with their fish houses. A TIP complaint about a possible illegally taken deer from back during firearms deer season was worked. Anderson assisted Ortonville Fisheries with border waters fishing law and license interpretations. Calls from the public were handled regarding firearms safety classes, coyote hunting and fish house licensing and display of identification.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked ice anglers, small game hunters and trappers. He assisted a local sheriff’s department with an accident and processed some evidence. Enforcement action was taken for no shelter license, angle with extra lines, passenger violations on an ATV and having an illegal trap set.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) followed up on prior cases. Officer Hunter checked fishermen. CO Hunter spoke with a few kids that were skating on a lake (near an inlet) about ice safety.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports that anglers are still out fishing with ice conditions deteriorating around the shores from rising lake levels. Lots of caution is encouraged on the ice, especially with motor vehicles. Predator hunters and houndsmen are getting going after the light snows as well. Trapping activity is being monitored with a few bobcats being reported.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on trapping, and sport fishing activity. Picked up an incidentally taken fisher.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check several anglers in the area. The walleye bite is slow while perch and crappie anglers are faring a bit better. CO Mathy also checked traps and assisted another agency with a call of an out of control person. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and angling violations.
CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) monitored trappers and ice fishermen. A dog caught in a trap call was handled. A call of dogs chasing deer was handled. Enforcement action was taken for failure to tend traps, untagged traps, failure to display ATV registration, angle with no license in possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on trapping, spearing, and ice angling activity. Ice anglers reported poor success. Ice conditions continue to vary with most anglers in the area traveling by ATV or snowmobile. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no angling license, failure to display snowmobile registration, and possess small amount of marijuana.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked ice fishermen; contacts were made for extra lines and no snowmobile registration.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) followed up on reports and investigations from the firearm deer season. Decent weekend weather brought out many portable fish houses; success varied.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week checking ice anglers on Rainy Lake. Anglers are reporting enough success to keep them coming back. The water clarity seems to be helping in the spearing efforts. CO Van Asch witnessed several fish approach decoys while checking the individuals. A complaint of a possible wanton waste violation was taken and investigation is ongoing. Enforcement action was taken for fail to display valid ATV registration, no angling license in possession, angling without a license, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, and possession of marijuana.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities over the week. Local forest roads were monitored as were public water access sites. State timber sales were monitored. Administrative items continue to be worked on as does equipment upkeep.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking angling, spearing, and trapping activity throughout the week. A few small northerns and panfish were observed. A small amount of snow fell in the area, however no snowmobile activity was observed. The snowmobile trail marker stakes were placed on the west end of Lake Vermilion over the weekend. The land trail on the Wak-em-up Village road was moved this year due to a landowner not allowing access through their property.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) started the week investigating a complaint of wolves chasing cattle. After investigating it was coyotes and not wolves chasing the cattle. The Officer also spent time checking trails and procuring facilities for upcoming snowmobile training. The officer spent many hours on Lake Vermilion checking anglers and recreational vehicles. The fish bite on Lake Vermilion has slowed, but some anglers are still seeing success, and some large walleye were being caught. Enforcement action was taken on the following issues: unattended lines, angling with extra lines, failure to register ice shelter, fail to display proper information on ice shelter, operate unregistered ATV, operate ATV without helmet, no angling license in possession, and narcotics.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and spearing activity, worked a complaint of ATV’s operating in the state park, an accidentally caught fisher and a dog, and finished up open cases and sent out citations from deer hunting season. The officer dealt with an elderly angler that was having medical issues while fishing with his son and grandson. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, unmarked fish house, ATV’s in a state park, and a number of deer hunting violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a lot of time checking people spearing from dark houses and angling for northern pike. Those going after the toothy predator have been doing well on almost every lake CO Frericks looked at. Crappies have been cooperating with anglers on some Virginia area lakes to the point that enforcement action was taken for an over-limit of them for one angler. More garbage is being found dumped on the side of the road and down dead end roads. After searching through one particular pile, CO Frericks located the name of a 17-year-old. When CO Frericks spoke with the juvenile he called himself a “sportsman”. With the approval of his father, the juvenile was ordered to clean up the garbage he dumped plus a few other garbage piles that were dumped.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing activity throughout the week and found some crappies being caught along with a walleye here and there. A few northern are being speared but nothing of any great size. A few snowmobilers were seen riding on area lakes. Violation of no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, unattended lines, and expired ATV registration were found. Fredin gave a brief presentation to Aurora Cub Scouts who found his squad truck with lights on to be the most interesting aspect of his job.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing activity still remains steady, although fewer walleyes have been caught more anglers are reporting decent luck with perch and crappies. Snow depths are still too low for much snowmobile activity but have slowly been ramping up. Violations included operating an unregistered snowmobile, and unmarked fish house.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) saw an increase in fishing activity throughout the week. The snow nearly disappeared during the recent warm spell and rain, but was replaced nearly immediately, though there is still not enough to make the snowmobile trails usable. Deer are already losing their antlers; in fact, one 8-pointer dropped an antler in the officer’s yard on December 6. Hopefully that isn’t a sign that it is going to be a difficult winter. Snowmobilers are reminded to check and see if their registrations are up to date before they take out the sleds.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that swirl holes have formed on smaller lakes with the recent warm weather. This is where the water runs back into the lake after an angler drills a hole making it a large hole. With the colder weather and a little snow, these man eaters are impossible or hard to see and the CO found some on the smaller lakes that would swallow a good sized man. It is a good idea to carry ice picks with you. Prepare yourself to survive no matter what the situation and live to fish another day. The CO found a man without a fishing license and a couple others that didn’t think they had to have them with them.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area GIA trails and forest roads; grooming of trails has not been possible yet due to low amount of snow cover and riders are urged to use caution as the possibility of hitting unseen obstacles is very possible. The officer also checked area lakes and anglers and issued a car kill deer permit to a family that was happy to get a deer this year.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) finished up investigations from deer and trapping season. A few anglers were checked and traps were monitored. Two reminders are to bring your license with while angling and to stay off designated snowmobile trails with all other types of motor vehicles. An incidental fisher was picked up, and questions from the public were answered relating to snowmobiling.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, investigated a litter complaint, processed incidentally taken furbearers, and worked on a bear complaint.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) assisted other officers with a small game case. He prepared other cases for court. CO Hansen also checked anglers out ice fishing on local lakes.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. She also took a trapping complaint, which is under investigation. She checked anglers over the weekend that had some success. Anglers are reminded they must have their angling license in their possession while angling or coming from angling. She took a call where a deer was shot and was still alive on private property. She investigated how the deer was shot and determined it had been taken legally. After dispatching the deer, she was able to give it to the hunter who had come looking for it. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, trappers and small game hunters. He also spent the week completing trapping and big game cases from this fall.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working small game and fishing activity.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ATV activity on snowmobile trails and lakes this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and took several phone calls on bobcat trapping. CO Velsvaag also followed up on a license fraud complaint.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked on trapping complaints and theft of traps. The officer checked ice anglers in the Duluth Harbor and on area lakes. Time was spent following up on ATV and trespassing complaints.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported that lots of ice anglers were again out during this past week. Ice conditions remain pretty good on most area lakes for foot traffic and small utility type vehicles. Be sure to confirm you have proper registration on any vehicles used to access your favorite fishing areas. Trappers were again checked for compliance. A few calls were received in regards to the new court decision regarding wolves. Several injured animal calls were also received during the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working trapping enforcement. Fishing, snowmobile, and ATV enforcement was also worked on area lakes. Officer Duncan answered and returned several telephone calls. Time was also spent completing office work.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity on several area lakes throughout the week. Northern pike, crappie, and bluegills were observed with a fair bite being reported by most anglers. CO Humphrey checked small game hunters with a few late season grouse being bagged. CO Humphrey continued follow up on deer season complaints and cases. CO Humphrey also transferred evidence to St. Paul. A possible wetland violation was reported and is under investigation. Violations for no license in possession and failing to register deer were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports that a complaint of trap theft was looked into in the Nickerson area. Enforcement action was taken on a trapping violation where a trapper took a fisher out of season. Work was finally finished on a deer hunting case from last year where charges of trespassing, hunting deer over bait, and transporting an illegally taken big game animal will be requested from the county attorney’s office. A fur committee meeting was attended in Brainerd where discussions of many different trapping issues were talked about. Incidentally taken fisher and a deceased raccoon were picked up and will be utilized so they don’t go to waste. Some ice fishing activity going on in the area. People are reminded to double check ice conditions before venturing out. The only vehicles seen on the ice in the area have been ATVs and snowmobiles.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) checked anglers on area lakes, with nice weather lots of folks out enjoying the weather and fishing. Numerous folks fishing were having limited success but were in good spirts with crappies and northern pike were seen but walleyes were hard to come by. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no license in possession, no current registration on snowmobile, and allow juvenile to ride on ATV without helmet. Work was continued with Local Government Units on road access for private land through state land.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers in the Duluth harbor and area lakes north of Duluth. Olson fielded calls on the recent re-listing of timber wolves in Minnesota.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked late season trappers and ice anglers. Questions were answered in reference to the changes in wolf management, and anglers were reminded to be cautious when traveling on the early ice with intermittent rain and cold. A dead snowy owl was recovered from a landowner. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and angling violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked trapping cases, checked anglers, ATVs and snowmobiles throughout the week. He also worked on completing reports. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) saw many more fish houses on area lakes as people are driving now on most. A caution that the recent warm weather did open up some areas and the ice is still unsafe in many areas. The officer continued investigations on tips from deer season and worked with the county attorney on outstanding cases still in the system.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked angling activity on area lakes. The bite remains slow. Some angler’s spirits were high with anticipation. Officer Guida also recycled some alcohol beverage containers that were found within a fish shelter surrounded by under twenty one year old individuals. The owner of the fish shelter was called and advised of the circumstances and enforcement action was taken.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) station reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice anglers are out and report the bite has slowed. He worked on complaints of litter on the ice and fish houses abandoned at public accesses. He checked trappers in the Pillsbury Forest. The archery deer hunters tried their luck with not much success. The reports of deer carcass dumping continue to come in. Snowmobiling activity in the Brainerd continues to be slow. Some riders are enjoying the riding on area lakes. Violations of expired registration and speeding were observed.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, and trapping activity in the Cuyuna Country SRA and Brainerd area.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time checking ice anglers and trapping activity in the area. Anglers are reporting a slow bite, and ice conditions have deteriorated after last week’s rain. Anglers should use caution when venturing out on area lakes.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked spearers and anglers as they pushed farther out onto Mille Lacs. The smaller local lakes are seeing the ice houses come back now that last week’s rain re-froze. Fresh snow created good tracking conditions for the rabbit and predator hunters. Verkuilen also followed up on a deer season complaint and answered questions regarding required youth training.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted Upper Red Lake officers with a work detail. A large amount of anglers were checked on the lake. One house was found with four extra lines which resulted in seizures of fish and angling equipment. Other violations included possession of unmeasurable fish fillets on the water, illegal length fish, over limit of walleye, possession of marijuana, and angling without licenses in possession.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked traps throughout the week. She received one incidental fisher. She also received a car hit owl. Both specimens were donated to a local educational center. Speldrich attended an area coordination meeting and checked anglers who reported a slow to fair bite. Speldrich issued car kill possession tags and assisted the county with an attempt to locate a suicidal party.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fishing activity with some small walleyes giving some action. Spearfishing is consistent. A case of a motor vehicle running over trees inside of a WMA was found and the violators cited. A trespass issue involving a snowmobile and two males is currently under investigation. Dogs running unattended in the Mille Lacs WMA also called for enforcement action. Angling pressure was very high over the weekend, with extra lines, unattended lines, no shelter ID, and youth ATV violations were found.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time talking to a group of about 30 young snowmobilers at a snowmobile safety class. The students were given a couple hours of classroom instruction on snowmobile laws and safety and then they all took a riding test. Every student passed and received their snowmobile safety certificates. Time was also spent attending area sportsmen club meetings. Ice anglers were checked throughout the week and most folks were finding a few northern pike, crappies and sunfish. Ice conditions did not improve throughout the week and area lakes still need to be checked prior to driving vehicles on them. Most lakes have had sufficient ice for ATVs.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) checked anglers throughout the Pine City and Hinckley areas. Ice conditions varied from 5 inches seen on Grindstone lake to around 12 inches seen on Cross and Pokegama. Fishing appeared slow in the area with panfish and pike being the main targets. CO Wynn also checked on a wetland complaint and answered questions regarding deer season, trapping, and the relisting of wolves as endangered species.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs. Fair results were seen on some smaller lakes with crappies and northern pike. Mille Lacs anglers have been catching a fair amount of smaller walleyes with a few slot fish mixed in. Some nice sized perch were also seen. Trapping and late shooting complaints were handled along with a car kill deer permit. Best excuse for fishing with an extra line for the week was “I was only jigging with the third line for about 15 minutes.”
WREO Rob Haberman worked on wetland cases in his assigned area. WREO Haberman also investigated a public waters complaint and was able to have the landowner correct the issue by explaining to them their permit parameters and where to place the spoil from the dredging project. WREO Haberman also checked anglers on local lakes. Ice conditions are getting better but it is highly encouraged to stay away from ice rides and channel areas.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week working on wetlands complaints, checking anglers and conducting follow up on big game investigations. Assistance was provided to a neighboring officer for taxidermy inspections as well as another over limit case. A TIP complaint was fielded during the week that resulted in a deer over limit and multiple other charges. A wetland investigation was completed with a restoration order being issued to a landowner.
CO VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity. The officer continues to receive calls concerning lending and borrowing of deer license tags, investigations continue. The officer also followed up on administrative tasks.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reported that when questioning a hunter about their unregistered deer from firearms season she first got a story that the hunter had had the deer in the back of their truck at the bar, had given the deer away and that guy had tagged it but they didn’t know who the guy was. CO Kuske asked if they really wanted to stick to that story as they will get into more trouble with that one. The hunter hung their head and said, “No, I have the deer; it’s in the freezer in the shed.”
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and hunters. Time was spent following up on deer investigations with enforcement action taken for over limit deer, lend borrow deer tag, and fail to register deer. Angling success has picked up in the Albany area and over limit cases are being investigated. Other enforcement action included no id on fish house, no registration on ATV, expired registration on snowmobile, and extra line.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received a report of someone dumping a bunch of muskrat, mink and raccoon carcasses in a creek. The responsible person was identified when a receipt from purchasing trapping supplies was found at the scene. A litter ticket was issued and clean-up required. A person that built a field road across a creek without a permit was issued a restoration order. Failing to comply with that order has led to a mandatory court appearance to explain his lack of action to a judge. CO Kuske handled a dog chasing deer complaint.
WREO Keith Bertram continues to be disappointed with hunters abusing the one deer limit. WREO Bertram and CO Johanson completed an investigation where a bow hunter shot a very respectable buck, but was still not satisfied. The hunter illegally placed his non-hunting wife’s gun deer license on the buck so he could continue to bow hunt. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. Sportsmen contemplating reporting similar situations are urged to call the TIP number on the back of their license.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked on a trespass complaint along with aeration permits. CO Mies finished up with a big game case.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, trappers, small game hunters, and ATVs. Officer Londgren also took complaints of trap tampering and harassment, car kill deer, injured raptors, and stands left in Wildlife Management Areas.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a slow week of ice fishing. The warm weather had deteriorated the ice conditions on area lakes. One angler had his permanent ice shelter begin to fall through the ice on an area lake. The colder weather towards the weekend helped the angler out and he was able to remove it safely. Most anglers that went out found good numbers for northerns but not much else. CO Langevin also received several more deer carcasses being dumped
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) fishing activity has been picking up on area lakes, with that individuals pushed their luck with ice conditions. Anglers should beware the thawing has changed ice condition especially were runoff comes into the lakes. Enforcement action was taken for several angling and ATV violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and investigating complaints. CO Grewe followed up with owners of fish houses that had fallen through the ice and picked up an injured owl.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued working on a few deer cases in the area. She had a great time participating in “Shop with a Cop” with the Fridley Police Department. CO Kruse handled calls of fish houses through the ice on area lakes, issued a road kill deer permit and handled nuisance and injured animal calls.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers and doing ATV enforcement. CO Arntzen investigated TIP calls, handled a nuisance animal complaint and issued a car kill deer permit. He also spent time scheduling snowmobile safety classes. Violations for the week included unattended lines, no ATV registration, angle without license, and no license in possession.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked ice anglers on area lakes and the St. Croix River. He patrolled at Afton State Park. CO Johnson issued possession permits to a local Audubon Center. He responded to calls of injured deer.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) followed up on a big game case. He also responded to a complaint of a possible small game violation and handled animal calls and other calls.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent time during the week patrolling for ice angling activity. A television interview was completed regarding ice safety. A divisional safety meeting was attended in Cambridge.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also worked on reports from a recent big game case. Officer Salzer also fielded a phone call about nuisance wildlife in Hennepin County.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) reports checking pheasant hunting activity around the area. Many hunters were out, with little success observed. Few late goose hunters were out with some birds observed in the bag. Area anglers continued having success with northerns and some pan fish. Enforcement action for the week involved no license or stamps in possession for small game and waterfowl hunters.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. An ATV was lost on Shaokatan Lake; recovery efforts were successful. Pheasant numbers are good with warm temperatures. Licenses not in possession are still being dealt with.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, pheasant hunting, trapping, and deer hunting enforcement. Investigations stemming from the firearms deer seasons continue to be worked. Ice fishermen are reminded that aeration systems are already running on Lake Yankton and West Twin Lake. Ice conditions continue to be a concern so extreme caution needs to be used.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice anglers, pheasant hunters and trappers during the week. Multiple fish houses went through the ice on Big Stone Lake. Ice anglers are urged to use extreme caution when venturing out.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations and ice anglers. Deer and fish cases are being investigated. Ice conditions are poor. Snowmobile Safety was taught in Slayton. Enforcement action was taken fail to register deer, fail to validate deer tag, wanton waste deer, and Operate ATV on highway.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) followed up on WCA and PW and APM cases.
A possible WCA violation was discovered and will be followed-up on. Some cases were closed out and others need to be checked and certified closed. Officer Hanson checked pheasant hunters, trappers, and ice fishermen.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) conducted aeration inspections, followed up on trespass complaints, and continues to follow up on deer cases. He checked anglers and ATV operators. Denz noted anglers having good luck with panfish on area lakes.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking ice fishermen, many of whom are still reporting a slow bite. Lend and borrow deer cases were followed up on. Klehr also attended an Avid anglers meeting where he talked with the group and answered a few questions. Klehr also worked with the local Police Department and Sheriff’s Department for “Shop with a Cop.” There was a good turnout of kids that all left very happy.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) continued with follow ups from the end of the muzzleloader season. She checked anglers throughout the week and attended a meeting at Camp Ripley with fellow UOF instructors. Mueller also assisted with some houses left within the warning signs of an aeration system prior to it being turned on.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked mainly ice angling enforcement. Fishing in the area has been slow. Oberg also attended a Use of Force and armorers meeting at Camp Ripley. Recreational vehicles continue to be worked in the area.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) attended a meeting at Camp Ripley and armored Enforcement Division shotguns. He also followed up on deer cases and spent time working ice fishing enforcement. Fishing reports remain slow with smaller walleyes, perch and sunfish being caught.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked pheasant hunters and monitored ice fishing activity. Gruhlke followed up on a complaint of deer carcasses dumped in a county ditch and road right of way in Jackson County. Ice fishing has slowed down again in the county with ice conditions being suspect.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted investigations on four shelters that were left out on two lakes and as a result had fallen through the ice. Anglers are reminded to monitor their shelters as much as possible and take no chance of having this happen. Aerations systems have started up on some lakes already. Angling activity was monitored. Small game hunting and trapping activity remains steady.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spoke at a snowmobile safety class this past week. A trapping complaint was handled. The officer also investigated a complaint of an issue at a State Park.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, pheasant hunters, and trapping activity. Ice conditions are still unpredictable with the recent warm weather and spots of open water were reported. Assistance was given to neighboring COs with an investigation. The officer spoke to a class at Faribault High School about trapping as well as other topics.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, ATV, big game, and small game activity during the week. Snowmobile safety classes were given the law & ethics presentation in Mantorville and Hope. A booth was staffed at Cabela’s regarding snowmobile regulations & winter safety. The Minnesota Pheasants of Steele County corn give away was attended. Assistance was given to two local Sheriff’s Offices searching for a bank robbery suspect & vehicle.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working small game hunting, trapping activity, and following up on cases from the deer hunting season. A taxidermy inspection was completed, as well as responding to nuisance wildlife complaints and injured deer reports. A law and ethics presentation was given at a snowmobile safety class in Spring Valley. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, pheasant hunters and ATV operators. In addition, Officer Ihnen armored division firearms and spoke to members at a local sportsmen’s club meeting. Time was also spent following up on investigations and casework from the previous deer season.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking anglers. Ice conditions remain fair. CO Howe certified ginseng shipments, took enforcement action on a trapping violation and an illegal burn, and assisted a local agency with driving violations.
WREO Julie Siems worked WCA violations and goose hunters. A K9 demo and AIS talk was done to a local civic group. Assistance was given on a small game investigation. Lake Service Providers were also contacted regarding training requirements.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working archery deer hunting, trapping, goose hunters along with ice fishermen. Some geese were checked but the lack of snow cover has made the hunting a little difficult. Ice fishermen are still having some success in the back waters.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good ice fishing on the lakes in the area. He assisted District 17 with a search warrant, investigated a waters violation and investigated an illegal deer hunting complaint. Hemker also assisted the USFWS with young people illegally shooting wild animals including birds and a muskrat and littering near the refuge.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports anglers caught a mixed bag of fish. Backwaters have about 8 inches of ice. Boat fishermen are still having success below the dams. Investigated an illegal shot buck. He responded to a trespass complaint; a citation was issued. He continued to look for missing fishermen.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking angling activity. Time was also spent instructing at a youth snowmobile safety class and talking with the county attorney’s office for cases related to the deer season.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports spending time on cases stemming from the deer seasons. Time was also spent checking a few archery deer hunters that have been out as well. Deer carcass dumping complaints have been down compared to last year. Coyote hunters have been out calling with some success but are patiently waiting for snow. Small game hunters have also been active with the warmer weather.
CO Phil George (Rochester) spoke with students at area high school about the duties of a conservation officer. Checked a few ice anglers in the area and took calls of suspicious activity from area archery hunter.