Weekly Conservation Officer Report

MMO---Header-with-mika

Highlights:

Longville: CO Broughten arrested an individual for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. The individual was shocked he was going to jail for DWI even though he stated he would not operate his car in his current condition.

Cross Lake: While investigating a shelter tag violation on an area lake, Officer Lee uncovered that the party originally checked fishing inside the shelter on an earlier date was not only the owner of the shelter, but had broken into the shelter on different occasions to fish.

Little Falls: While checking fish houses came across one house with two anglers in it using five lines. When asked how many lines they were fishing with one of the anglers said four and that the fifth line wasn’t really all the way down. When checked it was found that the fifth line was ten feet down. CO Kuske informed the angler that ten feet down was considered “fishing”. Enforcement was taken for fishing with an extra line.

Waconia: A call was responded to on a possible moose sighting, but after tracking the animal for several hours it turned out to be a Black Angus bull.

District 1 – Baudette Area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobiling and angling enforcement throughout Warroad and the surrounding areas. Several ice fishing contests were monitored over the weekend and a regulatory check was conducted at the Warroad Point of Entry. Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without a license in possession and leaving lines unattended through the ice.

 

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers and snowmobilers on and around Lake of the Woods. Three separate fishing tournaments were worked on the 21st in the surrounding area. Anglers saw limited success, but were still happy to partake in the events. Snowmobile trails started to see more action with the recent snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, angling with extra lines, and no angling license in possession.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that fishing on Lake of the Woods is staying consistent. Numerous complaints have been received about illegal vehicles on the State Grant-in-Aid Trails. Remember to read the snowmobile regulations and understand the laws associated with operating vehicles on state trails before you venture out. While working anglers on the lake, CO Prachar made a felony arrest for possession of cocaine. Other enforcement action included possession of marijuana, leaving lines unattended through the ice, and possession of dressed fillets.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) performed commercial taxidermist inspections and monitored area snowmobiling activity. A patrol during a local vintage snowmobile ride was conducted and local ice angling activity was monitored. Follow up interviews were completed with open cases and an interview assisting North Dakota Game and Fish was conducted. Enforcement action for the week included no snowmobile registration, fail to stop at crossroad on snowmobile, no snowmobile safety training, and allow illegal operation of snowmobile by juvenile.

 

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked angling activity, snowmobilers and predator hunters in Pennington, Marshall and Lake of the Woods counties. Hanson assisted CO’s Huener, Benjamin and Cowden with work on Lake of the Woods and Port of Entry enforcement.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent monitoring snowmobile trails for activity, checking a minnow dealer, preparing for upcoming safety classes and attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action for the week included over limit of Upper Red Lake walleye, unattended lines, possession of unmeasurable walleye on Upper Red Lake, possession of fillets with no skin patch, litter and angling license violations.

 

Baudette #2 -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending training and meetings in Detroit Lakes and Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Violations encountered this week included angling with extra lines, no snowmobile registration, and no snowmobile safety certificate.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked angling, snowmobile and trapping activities. Questions continued to be asked about the AIS stickers. He assisted with a fishing derby and though there was a statewide competition hunting coyotes, many participants quit early due to the brutal weather conditions affecting the dogs.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, snowmobilers and attend alcohol enforcement training.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht attended a district meeting and DWI refresher training. CO Vollbrecht spent time working Red Lake with CO McGowan and CO Holt. Angling reports were spotty, but most anglers were reporting success. CO Vollbrecht worked the annual Eelpout Festival in Walker with several area COs. Injured animal reports were taken. Time was spent patrolling for snowmobiles.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the week. CO Holt also worked the 2015 Eelpout Festival with other officers in Walker. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake with COs Regas and Vollbrecht. Officer Holt also attended training in Detroit Lakes. Enforcement activity encountered during the week included angling and recreational vehicle violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting anglers for the last week of the walleye, pike and bass season. Many anglers took this opportunity to remove their shelters. Complaints of litter left behind by winter anglers were reported. CO Vinton attended a refresher DUI detection class put on by the MSP and assisted other Conservation Officers with interviews and the seizure of a deer mount on a suspected violation from this past deer season.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Angling with unattended lines was a common violation. CO Peterson also attended DWI refresher training and conducted follow-up on deer cases.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week.  Angler numbers were reduced due to extremely cold temperatures. CO Forsberg attended DWI refresher training. CO Forsberg received complaints of dog chasing deer and snowmobile trespass.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity on area waters. Snowmobile activity was worked with a few sleds using area trails. CO Warren followed up on a report of individuals taking turkey out of season. DWI refresher training and a district meeting were attended in Detroit Lakes. Areas were monitored for predator hunting activity.  CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of youth firearms safety class in Detroit Lakes.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity in the Clay and Becker county area. The officer received a call of a male with several juveniles in a silver Dodge Ram that left 15 crappies on the ice on Big Cormorant Lake. If you have any information please contact the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093. The officer also conducted several television interviews regarding shelter removal deadlines. Remember it is illegal to leave shelters at public access. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) continues to primarily work ice fishing activity. Shelters, anglers, and spear fishermen were checked throughout the week. Most have reported poor fishing success. Fishermen are reminded that the game fish season has concluded for the area and shelter removal deadline is March 2. Richards hosted a small snowmobile safety class in Underwood with just enough snow to get the riding portion in. Violations addressed were illegal length fish, angle with extra lines, and shelter issues.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week checking fishermen on area lakes. Several ice houses have been removed from area lakes already. Several violations for fishing with extra lines were encountered this week. ATV classes have been scheduled for the spring.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Additional time was spent checking predator hunters and a few snowmobilers. DWI refresher training was attended in Detroit Lakes. Time was spent working the vacant Wheaton station and a workcrew in Elbow Lake with CO Baumbarger.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) attended DWI refresher training in Detroit Lakes at the State Patrol Office. Several questions about fish house removal and game fish season closure were answered. TIP activity books were delivered to an area member of the Darkhouse Association for a banquet. Fish houses were marked that may be left on the ice after the deadline.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended training and a meeting in Detroit Lakes. Ice fishermen were also worked over the Holiday weekend, but little activity was observed.  Panfish continue to be targeted as the walleye season is coming to a close. Inventory on current icehouses still on the ice is being taken, with trash and no shelter ID being noted as the removal deadline nears. Enforcement action was taken on an individual fishing without a license and a trapping case is still under investigation.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing enforcement and inventory waterways for litter and shelter concerns. Predator hunting, trapping, small game, ATV, and snowmobile activity were monitored. Work was completed on ongoing investigations and enforcement related meetings and training were attended during the week. Calls for service regarding injured and car killed deer were responded to and assistance was provided to local law enforcement agencies.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on predator hunters, ice anglers and snowmobile activity. A complaint was received about a large area of open water appearing on Lake Traverse in the vacant Wheaton station. DWI refresher training was attended as well as conducting aeration inspections on area lakes. Calls were fielded from the public regarding a trapping/trespass complaint, firearms safety classes, fish house removal deadline and predator hunting questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing success around the area has slowed some and the number of fish houses on area lakes has diminished. Several fish houses around the area were broken into lately. Please call the Pope County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking snowmobile operators, predator hunters, and fishermen. Baumbarger participated in a workcrew in the Elbow Lake area, and attended DWI refresher training in Detroit Lakes.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked commercial minnow trappers and retailers, worked trout lakes, snowmobilers and anglers. Time was spent working the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Violations included unattended lines, angle with extra lines, angle without a license and shelter license violations.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked on anglers in the area with varied success reported.  Shelters were coming off the ice with the approaching deadline for removal. Activities at the Eelpout Festival were worked as well. Enforcement contacts were mainly ATV registration and equipment violations. A few Firearms Safety classes will begin soon. A reminder to parents to not wait until fall to get their youth signed up for a class.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and snowmobile activity with nothing unusual to report. Received calls regarding issues with someone unable to purchase a license through the ELS system; call regarding use of a golf cart on the ice; call regarding log decking at a public access site in the Longville station

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and recreational vehicles during the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Enforcement action was taken for many unsafe recreational vehicle uses and angling violations. CO Mathy also continued working on enforcement related matters for the upcoming bear committee meeting.

 

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) spent the majority of his week on Walker Bay of Leech Lake working eel pout festival. Time was also spent working lakes in his station. Angling and spearing activity was low on lakes other than Leech.  ATV, ORV and snowmobile activities were monitored. Enforcement action included license and registration issues for angling and recreational vehicles. Several anglers were cited for using extra lines and unattended lines. One man received a summons for burning an entertainment center and couch on Walker Bay, sending clouds of toxic smoke downwind into the crowds participating in Eelpout festivities. CO Shroyer took enforcement action for controlled substance crimes including, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and spearing activity. Angling and spearing success continues to be slow. CO Broughten worked the annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake where multiple violations were addressed. CO Broughten arrested an individual for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. The individual was shocked he was going to jail for DWI even though he stated he would not operate his car in his current condition. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, underage consumption of alcohol, possession of small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, angle with unattended lines, angle with tip up more than 200 feet away, careless operation of ATV, no adult ATV safety, and ATV DUI.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen on the last week of walleye and northern seasons. Contacts were made for no spearing license and illegal length northern.

 

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) attended to user group quarterly meetings. She shuttled equipment to storage facilities, completed office administrative duties and reports, and assisted workcrew efforts with fishing and recreation vehicle pressure during the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobile traffic in area has slowed with colder temperatures moving into area and trails are in good shape with recent snowfall.  A meeting with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Conservation Officers and Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers was attended in Fort Frances, Ontario. Enforcement action for the week was excessive snowmobile speed.

 

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week focusing on snowmobile and angling enforcement. CO Van Asch worked a snowmobile detail with neighboring officers along the Arrowhead, Hagerman, and Bill Morgan trail systems. The trails were in very good condition throughout the week and into the weekend. The fishing report remains to be sporadic with anglers; although the cold weather has not stopped them from enjoying a day on the lake. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile in excess of posted speed limits, failure to display valid snowmobile registration, and angling without a license in possession.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports little outdoor activities with subzero temps throughout the week. Vehicle work along with office and computer work and computer training were tended to.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports a small amount of new snow in the area has helped the snowmobile trails, however more snow would help. The extreme cold has prevented most outdoor recreation. A bobcat that was struck by a vehicle was dealt with.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) with the bitterly cold weather this week activity was low. Officer attended a round-table discussion in Ely, with CO Williams. The round table included amateur naturalists, addressing issues concerning endangered, threatened, and species of special concern. Toward the end of the week, with the warmup, activity level increased. The snowmobile trails in the area are in good condition and the number of snowmobilers has increased. Enforcement action taken:  speeding on snowmobile, no registration, failure to display numbers, fail to display current registration, and improperly marked shelter. After observing a number of near misses on the trails, just a reminder that you should never enter corners at a speed that prevents you from staying to the right side of the trail.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobiling activity, worked a snaring complaint and attended meetings in Duluth and with Ontario COs and Minnesota border COs. The officer also worked a complaint of theft of wood from a log stockpile from a state logging sale. Enforcement action was taken on trapping without a license and a number of snowmobile violations.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) saw an increase in snowmobile activity due to recent snowfalls. Fishing remains slow on most lakes. Time was spent meeting with FAS instructors to plan for upcoming classes. Fredin attended training and award recognition with other MN COs and Ontario COs.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports snowmobile activity was up over the weekend with the area receiving between 4-6 inches of new snow. Although the trails received heavy use they were still in good condition. Officer Williams and other area Officers assisted St. Louis County Deputies and Rescue Squad personnel with locating two motorists who had gotten stuck for several hours in a remote area of the Echo Trail.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiles and fishing throughout the week. Stage attended a meeting in Fort Francis and met with other officers concerning an old case. The new snow should help the trails and there is slush on some of the trout lakes. The finish of the northern and walleye season was quiet with the cold windy weather. Snowmobilers using the trails are reminded that when you come around a blind corner and you end up on the wrong side of the trail, you are going too fast.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports snow is knee deep to a six foot man in the higher elevations of Cook County. The snow there is starting to add up. Activity overall has been way down this winter and the trout lakes are starting to slow down a bit after a very good early start. A border detail was worked with COs from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources along remote border lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile registration violations during the week.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted the moose research team retrieving a moose that was far off the beaten path. It was quite the process to get to the moose and retrieve it so it could be taken to the U of M for research, including a long snowmobile ride, riding down railroad tracks, and busting through an alder swamp. A border meeting was attended with Ontario COs. Time was spent preparing for an upcoming trial. Enforcement action included snowmobile registration violations, and many instances of snowmobile speed.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and snowmobilers. The officer worked remote trout lakes and checked a few anglers on Lake Superior. Wahlstrom followed up on a trespass violation that occurred on state land. A public whitetail deer meeting was also attended.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Groomed trails were in excellent shape with the recent snowfall in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines and snowmobile registration violations.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, ATV and snowmobile activity, attended a meeting, and assisted with a theft of a game camera case. Fish houses are being monitored for litter and the approaching deadline. Violations included snowmobile on roadway.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended K-9 training, monitored snowmobile activity and assisted the county with a barricaded suspect. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si also conducted K-9 demonstrations for a local DARE class and at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman winter workshop. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession and failure to display valid registration on snowmobile.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week.  Frigid cold temperatures kept many people indoors.  She worked a detail at the Eel Pout Festival on Leech Lake.  Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers and snowmobile enthusiasts over the past week.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and failing to have to proper ID on an angling shelter.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobile trails, and trappers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and snowmobile activity. Snowmobile activity increased over the weekend due to snow accumulation. CO Wichmann assisted with an ongoing investigation with a subject from Iowa.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATV activity this past week as well as ice fishermen. CO Velsvaag saw a decrease in snowmobilers with the cold and received a litter complaint stemming from anglers in portable fish houses. CO Velsvaag also received a call about collared deer and coyotes.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working anglers on area lakes. Snowmobile activity was worked on trails and lakes. Officer Schmidt worked the Tip Wall at the Duluth Sportshow.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) gave a presentation at a local Firearms Safety Class. The officer helped answer questions at a local sports show, attended a meeting on AIS prevention and assistance was given to rescue crews with the transportation of a patient who had broken his arm while operating a snowmobile. Hanzal also spent time checking anglers and snowmobile patrol.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week staffing a booth for the Wall of Shame at the Duluth Deer Classic. Time was also spent checking winter fishing and snowmobile activity.  Officer Duncan also returned several telephone messages and completed paperwork for animal possession.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity and worked snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey along with CO Hanzal attended a Wildlife Society meeting with wildlife students and professionals answering questions on Conservation Officer careers and duties. CO Humphrey assisted at the Duluth area Sportshow and Deer Classic staffing the TIP Wall of Shame. CO Humphrey also assisted with the Cloquet snowmobile safety class field day put on by the Wood City Riders Snowmobile Club. CO Humphrey took calls/complaints of deer caught in a fence, snowmobiler chasing/harassing deer, poultry depredation, road killed wolf and AIS training.  Angling and snowmobile violations were encountered.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended a week long detection school in the metro where assistance was given to other new dog handlers and their partners in preparing to become K9 detection teams.

 

WREO Mike Scott staffed an AIS booth at the Duluth Sportshow during the week with Minnesota Sea Grant Folks talking to folks about AIS issues, and concerns as well as the new trailer sticker law and where the state is at on that issue. The wolf issue as well as the last year’s dear hunt garnered a lot of comments and questions

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior near 21st Ave East. Several lake trout have been seen in the 15- 20 pound class. The pack ice is between 4-9 inches. Anglers are venturing out on the pack ice from Brighton beach. Time was spent on the set up and working the “Wall of Shame” at the Duluth boat and travel show hosted at the DECC. Many questions and comments received. Warnings issued for license violations. Road kill deer responded to. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday spent at the Sport and Travel show.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on Superior. Many anglers were out trying their luck with the rare ice conditions. Several groups had multiple large trout to take home, some of these may be good candidates for “catch and release” to help sustain the population and provide future opportunity. The TIP booth was worked at the Northland Deer Classic. Several anglers were found to be without a trout stamp, enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior throughout the week and also checked snowmobile trails. Lots of use on both. Seeing some anglers catching lake trout, salmon, and herring. Also helped out at a snowmobile safety class in Carlton County and setting up and taking down the TIP display at a sports show in Duluth. Worked on reports and other evidence work. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking ice fishing activity, taking in incidental fisher, and giving presentations on natural resources law enforcement and furbearing animals to high school students studying wildlife forensic science. Ice shelter owners are reminded that all unoccupied shelters must be off the lakes in this area by midnight, March 2.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked angling activity on area lakes. Officer Guida received a call from a fish shelter owner stating that he wanted an extension to the removal deadline because his tractor was at a job site for at least another two weeks. The owner was advised of the removal deadline. Officer Guida assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office with the location of a female who had driven her passenger vehicle on the snowmobile trail. Officer Guida attended an elementary school function where a book about bears was read to the kindergartners and as a result hopefully bear license sales should peak in a few years.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling enforcement throughout the week. Time was also spent assisting Ely officers with snowmobile and angling enforcement.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with slow success being reported by many anglers on area lakes. Officer Lee assisted a fellow officer with a firearms deer violation case in which parties involved were interviewed in regards to numerous violations. Officer Lee was able to close two open shelter license investigations this past week. One incident involved a shelter tag and shelter ID violation, and the other also consisted of a shelter tag violation, along with a large littering violation. Officer Lee assisted with enforcement duties at the Eelpout Fest held on Leech Lake this past week. Enforcement actions taken included angle with extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing licenses, careless operation of ATVs and DWI violations by operators of ATVs. While investigating a shelter tag violation on an area lake, Officer Lee uncovered that the party originally checked fishing inside the shelter on an earlier date was not only the owner of the shelter, but had broken into the shelter on different occasions to fish. All information learned during the investigation was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department for further investigation and charges.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Upper Red Lake and Leech Lake throughout the week and weekend. CO McGowan assisted at Leech Lake for Eelpout Festival which brought many people out on the ice. Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra lines, illegal length walleye, possession of narcotics, ATV/snowmobile violations, and several people were arrested for DWI.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, coyote hunting and snowmobile activity in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the final week of angling activity including a fishing contest. Some snowmobiles were out on trails but conditions remain rough. Verkuilen also responded to a trespassing complaint and assisted with a Border Patrol detail.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) served a search warrant for DNA in a case stemming from an armed felon in January. Evidence was submitted to the BCA for analysis. The officer attended the Mille Lacs Blue Ribbon Panel meeting as well. The Isle Drift Skippers Snowmobile Club hosted a vintage snowmobile show and ride; assistance was given for traffic and safety needs. The officer also responded to a vehicle rollover on highway 27 just southeast of Isle. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs on close trails.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on area lakes and found the bite was somewhat slow. Some snowmobile traffic was monitored throughout the week and weekend and the Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a vintage snowmobile trail ride.  Several fishing related TIP complaints were followed up on and the Officer attended a Mille lacs Lake Fisheries meeting regarding the Blue Ribbon Panel’s report. Some equipment maintenance was performed and lots of fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a deer caught in a snare was fielded and assistance was also given to the Sheriff’s Office during the week. The Officer also assisted a neighboring Officer in serving a warrant and dropping items off at the BCA Lab.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted Carlton County with two calls over the weekend. The first was a subject with a firearm in a terroristic threats situation. The second call was a domestic. Speldrich responded to a call in Pine County of an OFP violation. She assisted with taking the resisting subject in to custody. Speldrich checked area lakes for anglers and shelter issues. Anglers began removing shelters off the lakes in preparation for the upcoming removal deadline. Trails were patrolled for snowmobile activity. Trails are poor and most remain un-groomed.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked late season trapping activity and investigated a complaint of tampering with traps. Most of the week was spent working on area lakes and Mille Lacs lake checking anglers. Several fishing tournaments were being held throughout the area. Enforcement action was taken for tampering with traps, fishing without a license, operating an unregistered ATV and possession of marijuana.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking on anglers and monitoring ice shelters in violation of identification and licensing requirements. He spent time getting radios reprogrammed, and also spent an afternoon on Mille Lacs Lake checking anglers. Local anglers who have been able to move around are finding a few panfish.  Enforcement contacts included failing to display shelter identification and no angling license.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended a meeting regarding Mille Lacs Lake Blue Ribbon Panel study. A few sleds were out with the recent snow but the trails are still in poor condition. Time was also spent patrolling state forest and wildlife management areas. A few fishermen were out but fluctuating weather condition made fishing sluggish.

 

WREO Rob Haberman checked anglers on local lakes and rivers. WREO Haberman also conducted snowmobile trail enforcement on trails and lakes. WREO Haberman also assisted area officers in Isle with an antique snowmobile rally. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in Aitkin and Mille Lacs counties.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking angling activity. An aeration complaint was handled and an incidental fisher was picked up from an area trapper.

 

WREO Keith Bertram and CO Thesing completed another deer hunting investigation this week.  Possible charges include, lend and borrow license, take several deer over the limit, and illegal transport of deer.  A lake service provider training was also attended.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for Swanville’s snowmobile safety. It appeared frigid windchills contributed to a less than average turnout for the annual Lions Fishing Tournament on Long Lake. The annual Race on Trace vintage snowmobile event had good participation and attendance. Anglers remained low in number.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, checked on fish houses for removal issues and garbage, and worked on commercial checks. Thesing attended a DNR volunteer instructor meeting in St. Cloud. Time was spent on several new deer cases from the past deer season with violations found for lend borrow deer tag, and deer over limit. Bows and deer were seized.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) while checking fish houses came across one house with two anglers in it using five lines. When asked how many lines they were fishing with one of the anglers said four and that the fifth line wasn’t really all the way down. When checked it was found that the fifth line was ten feet down. CO Kuske informed the angler that ten feet down was considered “fishing”. Enforcement was taken for fishing with an extra line.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity. The officer also received limited information of spear fishermen spearing walleyes anyone with more detailed information can contact the TIP line. The officer also looked into a possible deer poaching incident.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received notification from the County Soil and Water Office of an approved permit for a person to place several large poles in a wetland for the purpose of building a zip line to the individual’s deer stand. By far the most unusual permit request ever received. Shelter houses on lakes were inspected as the removal deadline draws near. CO Kuske joined local law enforcement departments to participate in a lock-down drill at Pierz High School. Law enforcement presentations were given to a FAS class and a senior high natural resources class with the topic of discussion being “Why people break the law”.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a slower week on area lakes due to the cold temperatures. Numerous permanent shelters remain on area lakes. Anglers had a hard time finding decent numbers of fish on area lakes. CO Langevin also handled several animal complaints. Violations included fail to display ATV registration, unattended lines, no license in possession and extra lines.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. Fishing success was slow in most areas. Cold temps have kept many off the lakes. Two deer were caught in snares. One deer was released from the snare; the other was unable to be released. An incidental bobcat was also reported and seized. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license and angle with extra lines.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He continues investigations into a number of Big Game violations charges pending. He answered a number of questions regarding coyote hunting and spring turkey hunting.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, fishing tournaments, snowmobile races, snowmobiles, and provided a ride along to a college student. Complaints were taken on trespass, stolen items from fish shelters, and littering. Enforcement action was taken on an over limit of crappies over the weekend.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth snowmobile safety class. Follow up was done on a deer license case from last fall. Ice anglers were checked with violations found for extra lines, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no ATV registration. Time was spent marking ice shelters and litter for the upcoming removal date.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) documented fish houses on area lakes for proper identification and litter. Anglers were checked all week having very good luck on nice sized crappies. A call was responded to on a possible moose sighting, but after tracking the animal for several hours it turned out to be a Black Angus bull.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring fish houses as the removal date approaches. CO Grewe followed up on a deer case and spoke at a firearms safety class in Plymouth. Violations included fish house ID issues and littering.

 

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week checking anglers and conducting fish house compliance checks. With the cold weather and slow fish bite the fishing pressure has been down, and many people have started to remove their fishing shelters from the ice. She spoke to a small group of Cub Scouts about the job of a Conservation Officer. She also received her first complaint on a potential wetland violation that will be followed up on in the spring. Enforcement action was taken on angling without license in possession, improperly marked fish house and no reflective material on fish house.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in West Metro area lakes but found very few people out braving the elements. He assisted another CO in a West Metro District on an investigation for a possible big game violation. He spoke about a Minnesota Conservation Officer’s career at a Boy Scout Troop outdoor activity in Eden Prairie.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling activity in Mound station. He took a call on a dead deer in Chanhassen and investigated a stolen deer camera in Brooklyn Park. He answered questions on ice fishing and small game regulations to the Hmong community and did some equipment maintenance.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he participated in a seminar on urban coyotes hosted by the Roseville PD. He assisted CO Pril with a game farm complaint. CO Johnson patrolled at Afton State Park. He also checked ice anglers and shelters.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling wildlife management areas, doing ATV enforcement and checking ice anglers. CO Arntzen handled calls about nuisance animals, responded to a trapping complaint and scheduled firearms safety classes. He also fielded calls regarding litter on area lakes, trespassing issues, and assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency on a damaged property investigation.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers around Dakota and Scott counties. Due to the slow bite anglers have already been removing their shelters in preparation for the deadline. Enforcement action for the week included possession of drug paraphernalia, angle with extra lines, littering, and other fishing and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice fishermen around Dakota and Scott county lakes and responded to a complaint of an individual cutting wood in a WMA. He patrolled and monitored snowmobiling activity on lakes and checked ATVs for registration. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in South Saint Paul and a fishing clinic in Belle Plaine.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working angling activity along with following up on wetland case review. Violations continue to be discovered related to shelter identification. A possible shoreline violation was investigated in Scott County and lake service provider training was attended in Carver County. A meeting was attended in St. Paul regarding water appropriations and a watershed summit was attended in Bloomington. A planning meeting was also attended regarding commercial enforcement for Division staff.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer assisted with an investigation from Iowa. The investigation is ongoing. Officer Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) marked fish houses on area lakes for the upcoming removal date. She set up FAS classes, worked on a litter case and checked small game hunters in local WMAs. CO Kruse assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County and checked anglers and ATVs on area lakes.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reported ATV, commercial minnow, ice fishing and predator hunting activity were monitored during the week. Aeration and game farm inspections were completed. Fish houses were checked for littering violations. ATV violations were encountered.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked the end of the walleye/northern fishing season. Windy and cold conditions affected outdoor activity. Aeration system inspections were completed with some lakes still seeing open water out past thin ice signs. Poor ice conditions continue to be a topic of conversations. ATV enforcement was also worked. Assistance was given with a community event on Lake Redwood in Redwood Falls.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations and ice anglers.  Complaints of coyote hunters using trucks were worked.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) anglers continue to find crappie on Lac qui Parle. Extra patrols were given for litter enforcement around fish houses. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no fish house license, and no identification on a fish house.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training in Eden Prairie. A region 4 AIS meeting was also attended in New Ulm. A possible WCA violation in Kandiyohi County was investigated.  ATVs, ice fishermen and trappers were checked.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on deer cases in addition to a shining and trespass complaint. He checked anglers and monitored fish house removal for litter issues. Denz also checked aeration systems.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking ice fishermen. Time was also spent helping another CO follow up on a shining investigation. Commercial checks were also being conducted with fellow officers during the week.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a complaint of stray dogs chasing deer. One of the dogs was caught, and she worked with the landowner and the Heart of Minnesota animal shelter to get the dog to the shelter. She continued her monthly aeration inspection on Lake Marion.  Mueller also worked the first annual radar run on Lake Allie. All but one snowmobile was properly registered and displayed.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) checked anglers out trying their luck before the end of the season. Oberg checked a few small walleye and northern pike. He attended a natural resources training committee meeting. Oberg also spent time working a local fishing contest.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls reporting a possible ongoing fish over limit and an ATV through the ice on Clear Lake. He also spent time working angling, snowmobile and WMA activity as well. Lake ice thickness remains variable and has deteriorated in areas recently despite cold temperatures. Two vehicles have gone through the ice in the last week.  Vehicle traffic on Brown County lakes is not advised.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers and small game activity. Gruhlke continued on follow up on an angling complaint and signed a warrant relating to angling activity. Gruhlke attended an instructor forum in Windom hosted by RTO Dan McBroom. Several instructors from Jackson, Cottonwood and Martin counties attended. Gruhlke and McBroom presented a 30 year award for a FAS instructor in Windom.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers, ATVs and shelters on area lakes. Attendance was made at the Fox Lake fishing tournament answering questions from anglers and assisting the kids in their free contest.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes & rivers. The officer patrolled for ATV and snowmobile activity. Small game hunting was monitored. Spring firearms safety classes are being scheduled. Multiple violations were encountered during the week.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked angling, ATV and State Park activity. A complaint of shooting from a motor vehicle is being investigated.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, as well as snowmobile and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen checked trappers and predator hunters. In addition, time was spent checking ice shelters on area lakes for reflective material compliance, and investigating driving complaints of individuals operating vehicles too close to shelters and at unsafe speeds.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports monitoring fish house removal as the game fish seasons wound down. Anglers are reminded to pick up after themselves. Anglers are also reminded that it is not legal to leave or store your fish house on a public water access.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused primarily on angling and coyote hunting enforcement. The fish bite has slowed a bit, but some anglers are still finding fish on local lakes. Some litter issues are being dealt with and anglers are reminded to pick up after themselves when leaving the ice.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and angling activity. An illegal dumping complaint, and trespass complaint are being investigated. A fishing tournament in Lanesboro was attended. Complaints of sick or injured deer were addressed.

 

WREO Julie Siems followed up on Wetland Conservation Act and Public waters violations.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

Mankato #1 – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking angling activity. Fishing pressure dropped off a little as the week went on and the weather got colder. Time was also spent dispelling rumors of a mountain lion siting in the area.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, ATV and snowmobile operators, and a few small game hunters. A talk was given to the local school district. A complaint of nuisance animals was taken.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishing success really slowed down this past week. Coyote hunters are seeing coyotes during day light hours. He attended and gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Houston and a snowmobile safety class in Spring Grove. He completed mandatory online training.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers during the week. Heyn also assisted at the Eel Pout Festival in Walker. Lots of recreational violations were detected including several DWI’s.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports some snowmobiling and fishing are occurring in the area. He checked taxidermists and is following up with other states on information learned. He investigated a dumping complaint where trash, including furniture, was dumped onto a frozen creek; he found the responsible party. Hemker also spent time at an Izaak Walton League fishing derby where over 150 kids enjoyed ice fishing.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating multiple dumping complaints. Calls about the spring turkey season are starting to come in. Time was also spent with online training. Snowmobile activity has been slow.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, ATV, and some snowmobile enforcement as well as completing some follow up on investigations. Fishing has been slow. Area trails could use some more snow, but some folks are still getting a few miles in.

 

Rochester #2 – vacant.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s