Weekly Conservation Officer Report

Perham: CO Vinton responded to a TIP call of a person shooting a rabbit in a neighboring yard. When CO Vinton contacted the young man he found that the rabbit was already in the frying pan.
Big Lake: CO Mitch Sladek received a call of a turkey chasing and trying to attack a farmer and his equipment. CO Sladek responded to the location where he located the turkey. He chased the turkey across the section and away from the farmer’s location. The farmer was very appreciative that CO Sladek assisted him.
District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked walleye and sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River and assistance was given to CO Prachar with a walleye overlimit. Charges are pending for a deer shot at night and out of season near Badger. Multiple illegal fires were investigated and enforcement action was taken on an individual who never reported a fire that grew to be 800 acres before fire suppression could stop it.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety along with angling enforcement on the Rainy River.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent time working on the Rainy River. Anglers were able to enjoy the last full week of walleye fishing on the river before it closes on the 14th. Those fishing for sturgeon seemed to be having more luck than the walleye anglers. AIS and boat and water safety checks were also completed. Enforcement action taken for no angling license, no license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs, no throwable PFD, and no fire extinguisher.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week on the Rainy River. Enforcement action included over limit of walleye, transporting fillets without a patch of skin, failure to pull drain plug from boat prior to transport and no fire extinguisher on board watercraft.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the Firearms Safety Class in Oslo, patrolled for ATV violations, and responded to a trapping trespass call. Assistance was given to DNR Forestry on a fire detection detail this past week. Enforcement action for the week included trap without license, untagged traps, trespass, no watercraft registration, burn without permit, burn prohibited materials, no ATV registration, no helmet on juvenile, open bottle of alcohol on ATV, and a warrant arrest.

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked ATV activity, fire enforcement and the elk investigation. Enforcement action for the week included numerous ATV violation s including DWI, no valid driver’s license, no registration, operating on highway, no helmets on youth, and no operating certificates for youth.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring spring beaver trapping activity, ATV trail activity, angler/boater AIS compliance and area streams for fish run activity. Time was spent investigating a wolf depredation complaint and teaching firearms safety at the Kelliher School. Enforcement action for the week included littering and watercraft registration violations.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on two wildfire related calls. Time was also spent checking anglers and ATV operators. Spring beaver trappers were also checked and follow-up was done for a public waters violation.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored ice out, fish run and fire activity. He assisted other agencies, planned an ATV class, attended a snowmobile club meeting and spoke about laws & ethics at a snowmobile safety class. Leeching complaints have begun and concerns about feral cats in small towns have been voiced.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked area rivers for fishing and trapping activity.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored closed forest roads and trails in the area. Time was spent inspecting an aquaponics system with area DNR fisheries staff. Calls were taken regarding injured deer. CO Vollbrecht spent time training in the division’s air boat and continues to investigate a wildfire in the area.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) continued working on a background investigation on a possible candidate for the next CO Academy. Time was also spent monitoring area angling, fish run and ATV activity. CO Holt took a call regarding an incidentally trapped otter.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports ice off on many of the lakes and unusable ice on the remaining. Anglers are finding the open water and a few fish in the rivers. CO Vinton responded to a TIP call of a person shooting a rabbit in a neighboring yard. When CO Vinton contacted the young man he found that the rabbit was already in the frying pan. The juvenile was warned about seasons and his father said it won’t happen again. Enforcement action was taken for ATV operations and registration violations and burning during a burning restriction.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports most lakes are now clear of ice. A few larger lakes are still covered. Shore fishermen are venturing out and one boat was seen on an area lake. Time was also spent doing follow up on a waters violation, fisherman in a closed area, and assisting the Sheriff’s Office with a dog that had broken through the ice. A presentation was also given to the boy scouts about fur bearing animals in the area.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ATV activity on area trails. Angling activity was worked with some open water available for pan fishermen. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of firearms safety class at the Cormorant Sportsman Club. Information was provided on land sales and areas of fish run were monitored for activity. Follow-up was conducted on a complaint of burning prohibited materials.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ATV, fire, angling, and trapping activity in the Moorhead station. A volunteer instructor forum for future ATV and snowmobile instructors was attended in Moorhead and the officer also attended court in Becker County. Conditions are favorable for fires to get out of control and the officer urges people to use caution. The officer received multiple animal calls including an injured deer, an injured hawk, and a dead bald eagle. The injured hawk was transferred to the Raptor Center for care. The officer also received a report of an injured goose in Moorhead. On arrival the officer observed it was merely sitting on its nest in the median of the highway. Enforcement action was taken for operating a motor vehicle on a trail designated for ATV use only and youth under 18 not wearing a helmet on an ATV.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent time working on WCA cases. Time was spent on AIS issues and upcoming trainings and meetings. Several conversations were held with County Sheriff’s Offices and County AIS directors regarding monies appropriated to the counties for AIS prevention.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) took reports of incidental caught otter during beaver trapping. Richards observed Tom turkeys strutting in hopes to find receptive hens. Open water anglers were checked and response to wild fires was conducted. Richards also spoke with students at the Fergus Falls spring firearms safety class. Assistance was provided to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues working on a background investigation for the upcoming academy. Plautz fielded calls on a dock out in the middle of a lake, turkey hunting questions, set up two more ATV classes in the area and handled trespass issues.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) conducted retail minnow inspections, checked ATV’s and fish run activity. Additional time was spent handling complaint calls about skunks and beaver. Nelson met with a hydrologist regarding a possible wetland violation. Several fishermen were checked and calls were handled in a neighboring station.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area streams for fish run activity. Court was attended for a waterfowl ticket issued in October. The defendant didn’t show up, a warrant was issued and the defendant was picked up on the warrant. Burning complaints were received and investigated throughout the week.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on fire, ATV and shore fishing pressure. Very dry conditions and high winds led to dangerous elements related to fire potential. One landowner was cited for trying to burn small areas of grass to plant trees when one got away from him and burned 2.5 acres before the fire dept. arrived. The ice is nearly gone on all the smaller Alexandria lakes, opening up shore angling locations. Several anglers were checked with a few receiving citations for no fishing license. Additionally, one ATV operator was cited for driving an unregistered ATV down a county road while his driving status was revoked. The third of three local FAS classes finished up, totaling nearly 80 students now certified since March.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports monitoring angling and fish run activity. The ice is off the majority of waterways in the station and open water fishing has begun. Despite burning restrictions and red flag fire warnings over the weekend, several people tried to burn and had fires quickly get out of control. Fire departments responded, enforcement action was taken, and fortunately, no injuries or serious property damage was reported. Additional time was spent working ORV and trapping activity, and work continues on a Division background investigation.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, ATV complaints, boating and AIS law compliance. Official ice out took place in Steven’s County. Minnow retail inspections were completed and ATV trespass issues were dealt with. Several COs were assisted by Anderson with the new RMS system. Equipment maintenance issues were handled for the patrol boat as well as calls from the public regarding FAS classes, sick/injured raccoon and ATV trespass.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen and preparing equipment for summer use. Additional time was spent working on a background, investigating a TIP complaint, and working on a trapping case.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked fire calls over a dry, windy weekend. Time was spent on a background investigation and the last ice angler of the season was checked. A special ATV detail was worked. Enforcement action was taken for several ATV related violations.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked on several calls regarding ATV complaints. Accidental otter were seized from beaver trappers, and a wolf depredation investigation was conducted when wolves killed a calf.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked traps and monitored closed state forests for motor vehicles. CO Pilot Lofstuen assisted CO Mathy and other COs with detection of motor vehicle activity in the closed forests during a work detail. ATV activity was spotted in the closed forest and enforcement action was taken. CO Mathy also monitored fire activity and noted fire danger is very high in the area.

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) monitored ATV operation on the Soo Line Trail and closed State Forest/National Forest roads/trails. Operators are reminded to check for trail closures before heading out riding. All closed roads monitored had evidence of illegal use. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATV without headlights, youth passengers without helmet, operation on state highway, and over 16 operation without a safety training certificate. Nobody was observed angling. Ice came off of most lakes, which limited angler access

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and spring trapping activity. Warmer weather cause many smaller lakes to open up. CO Broughten checked compliance with State Forest closures and followed up on a complaint of abandoned property. Lack of moisture has caused high fire danger in the area; persons are reminded to check burning restrictions. CO Broughten also assisted with a suspicious vehicle call and spring fish run activity.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked grass fires and fish run activity. Halverson handled wolf/ coyote complaints, and injured eagle call.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled closed area forest roads and trails. Enforcement action was taken on people violating the seasonal restrictions. Time was spent checking and re-installing signs where people have removed them in an apparent disagreement with the temporary limitation. She investigated report of a waters violation. Focus patrol efforts during high fire danger.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a busy week with increased activity on the Rainy River with hundreds of boats and thousands of anglers taking advantage of warmer weather. CO Kittelson along with other COs responded to a forest fire in the Birchdale area, people are reminded of the burning ban/ restrictions and responsibility of burning activity. Enforcement action taken for week included; no license in possession, transport drain plug in boat, drug paraphernalia, small amount of marijuana, illegal length walleye, and over limit of walleye.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent time working angling and boating enforcement on the Rainy River. The walleye bite remains to be on the slower side although; anglers are still managing to put a couple fish in the boat. CO’s Kittelson, Hansen, Patten, and Van Asch responding to a fire call just outside the Birchdale area that required several neighboring agencies to respond to suppress the fire. People are reminded of the burning restrictions throughout the state. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of fish, failure to display valid boat registration, insufficient number of PFDs, and no Type IV PFD.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads and working with the new DNR computer records system. Small streams have started to open.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week monitoring the spring fish run. Time was also spent enforcing ATV laws specifically dealing with wetland and youth issues. Officer is working on ongoing trespass issue in a state park. Officer met with Vermilion Sports Club. It was a good opportunity to meet many of the members and answer questions related to Lake Vermilion enforcement. Reminder that the fire danger is high and restrictions are in place.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) conducted commercial minnow retail inspections, worked on evidence dispositions from past cases, and attended a DNR Commissioner’s Office listening session in Chisholm. The officer investigated a complaint of a large amount of oil contamination on an area lake. The officer was unable to locate the point of origin, but the incident was turned over to the MN Pollution Control Agency.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class in Virginia and spent time patrolling for ATV and OHM traffic. High numbers of ATVs and OHMs have been encountered recently. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an OHM by a juvenile and registration violations. Owners and operators of ATVs and OHMs are reminded check and ensure their machines are currently registered before heading out on the trails and that if they had recently purchased their machines to register them in their name. Area streams and rivers were monitored for fish run activity.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked spring beaver trapping and spoke to a few trappers who stated low water and low beaver prices are limiting trapping activity. He assisted with Hoyt Lakes’ youth FAS range day. Fredin responded for assistance in locating a lost 3-year-old who wandered away from home. Thankfully the sheriff’s deputy K9 unit located the youth. Time was spent investigating the theft of decorative birch material from state land. Lake ice is about off on most of the smaller lakes. Lake water levels are very low and in need of significant rains.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports warm weather over the weekend quickly melted much of the lake ice in the area. Many of the smaller lakes checked are partially open. Officer Williams also performed several inspections of minnow dealers and retailers, a high level of compliance was found with most businesses.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked some ATVs and worked on an old fish house litter left on the ice case. The ice has gone out on the many of the rivers and the geese and swans have returned. It is looking a lot like spring and the lake ice is not safe. The crappie fishermen are done and waiting for the open water. For your own safety stay off the ice.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports there was at least one guy finding enough snow to ride his snowmobile during the week. Lakes are just begging to pull away from shore, but there is lots of ice left. The CO checked remote lakes and lakes along the border during the week. A moose shed hunter was encountered during the week with a couple of nice trophy antlers found in a faraway secret spot.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) gave a presentation for Babbitt High School’s Environmental Science class. Time was spent on ATV and commercial enforcement, equipment, animal calls, and a background investigation.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Ice was still tight to the shore and access was easy. With warmer weather the ATV activity has picked up, and with it the complaints. It will be a long ATV season, so riders don’t need to have all their “fun” on the first ride, please ride safe. Time was also spent checking some commercial minnow retailers.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) followed up on TIP calls about taking fish out of season. Lake Superior tributaries were check with only a few fish being caught. Water is still very low. The Officer did commercial inspections on minnow retailers and dealers with a few violations that took place. Ice anglers were checked on area lakes where two feet of ice still remains on some lakes.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, ATVs/ORVs and trapping activity during the week. Ice conditions have finally deteriorated along most shorelines in the area. Several questions were answered on Lake Superior fishing opportunities.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, completed commercial inspections on minnow retailers, responded to wildfire calls, and patrolled for illegal ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked spring trapping activity. He spent time assisting other officers patrolling and checking anglers in the Rainy River area. CO Hansen provided an emergency response to a wildfire that threatened structures and caused driving hazards due to smoke. Enforcement action was taken for possession of small amount of marijuana.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked trapping complaints, attended training, monitored OHV activity and assisted the county with a barricaded suspect. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si also gave a K-9 demo in Hinckley. Enforcement action was taken for OHV registration issues and operating on the roadway.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked beaver trapping activity this past week. She also took a complaint of nuisance beaver causing problems with a road. She finished an investigation involving a trap that was left out past season and she is working on commercial minnow activity enforcement and annual checks.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, spring beaver trappers and assisted forestry with fire enforcement. He also checked commercial licenses during the week.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ATV activity this past week. Several areas with road closures were worked but illegal activity was low. CO Velsvaag also checked litter around ice fishing areas before conditions deteriorated at the end of the week. CO Velsvaag received calls about mange in coyotes and ice conditions in the region.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week handling calls concerning wildlife issues. Calls regarding wolf depredations upon dogs and cattle were investigated. A report of a possible wild hog was investigated and advised DNR Wildlife personnel. Duluth Police Department assisted with a bear that was climbing a tree in a residential area and came into contact with a power line. Wild fires and structure fires were investigated and assistance was provided to St. Louis County on a couple large fires in the area. ATV complaint areas were worked. Calls regarding trout stream and Lake Superior angling were handled. Officer Schmidt assisted St. Louis County with a crash involving injuries.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported fire conditions in the area were very high. The officer responded to several out of control fires over the past week. A few smelters are showing up on Park Point and along the North Shore. Lake Superior trout fishermen were also checked for compliance. A couple ATV violation were encountered and enforcement action taken.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Several fishermen were also checked fishing in local tributaries. Officer Duncan responded to several local wildfires and assisted with enforcement while on scene. A variety of wildlife calls were fielded during the week and many telephone calls were returned. Smelting activity was also monitored.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey monitored area lakes for ice out and fish run activity. Most area lakes were free of ice over the weekend. CO Humphrey checked shore angling activity on the St. Louis River in Cloquet. CO Humphrey patrolled area State Parks and in the Fond Du Lac State Forest where road/trail closures are in effect. CO Humphrey attended a DNR listening session in Chisholm with other district officers. CO Humphrey received calls on burning, nuisance animal, and firearms safety. Angling and OHV violations were encountered

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked extra patrols in the area state parks. Enforcement action was taken for no vehicle permit and allowing dogs off leash. A tip call resulted in charges on two individuals that were shooting a turkey from the back of their pickup truck off of the road. An individual witnessed the violation and reported it to the TIP line. Enforcement action was taken on both individuals for trespass, take turkey out of season, transport loaded uncased firearm, and discharging a firearm at a wild animal from a motor vehicle. Assistance was given at detector dog testing in New Ulm where 84 dogs were tested on their abilities to search and find the odors that they are trained on. With the warmer weather, time was also spent getting equipment ready for the summer season.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent the majority of the week working fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Angling activity on the local tributaries was also worked. Several boats were checked at Lake Superior accesses during the week. Wolf and beaver complaints were also fielded.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters as they start out a season on the water. Many boats were out enjoying the nice weather on the lake, but fishing success proved to be slow. ATVs were also out in force, with the usual violations for registration, helmets on juveniles and operation on county roads. Several fires were responded to, some cause by wind and power lines and others by illegal fires. This is not the time to be burning outside. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters throughout the week. Check your boat registrations and safety gear before heading out on the water. Flares expire and fire extinguishers can get discharged. He also assisted on some fires. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling enforcement.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) kept an eye on spring fish run as creeks are starting to fill up with fish, checked the first soft water anglers with boats getting out onto ice free lakes, and monitored seasonally closed state forests where ATV’ers are anxious to get out on the trails.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including follow up work on a swan shooting case from last fall, checking restoration order compliance on an ongoing illegal lake drainage case, attending department training, and monitoring area creeks for fish run activity. He also patrolled Crow Wing State Forest, county lands, and complaint areas for trail closure compliance and OHV use. He also was handling nuisance beaver and other wildlife issues, checking beaver trappers, looking into complaints of vandalism to public facilities, working on the upcoming district volunteer safety instructor appreciation banquet, and checking spring panfish anglers. Enforcement contacts were made for ATV violations including illegal youth operation, operating on county roads, registration, and operating off-trail in the state forest.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked small game trapping and sport fishing enforcement. A local trapper discovered a trap that had a decayed mink in it indicating an overdue check. Further investigation revealed that the trap tag displayed information that the trapper was born in 1917 making them 98-years-old. Officer Guida also received information on another trap tampering incident and assisted with a background investigation. Some bear complaints have also been received.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck at the local dams and a few at open water channels. The catching is slow the water is still too cold. The suckers are running heavy in local streams. Garbage dumping on public land continues to be one of the most reported complaints. Vehicles on closed roads and trails in the Pillsbury Forest have received some enforcement time. He checked some beaver trappers afield and they report their success has been fair.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ATV, fish run and trapping activity. Complaints of shooting and car kill deer permits were also handled.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) spent time checking creeks for fish run activity and beaver trapping. She received a couple of nuisance bear complaints and some questions and complaints about shoreline work on various lakes. CO Peterson also patrolled state forest lands.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued a background investigation on an applicant for a position as a Conservation Officer. CO McGowan also worked with CO Kulhanek in the Hastings/Red Wing area. The officers took enforcement action on numerous boating violations, taking walleyes in a closed season, and assisted with a BWI arrest.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with slow success being reported. Officer Lee received numerous complaints of beaver damming locations, due to the low water levels. Officer Lee also received a call in regards to beaver damming in front of a bridge obstructing watercraft traffic and water flow through the Whitefish Chain. Officer Lee continued follow up on an ATV Registration and ownership issue that appears to have been a stolen ATV. Information will be turned over to the Sheriff’s Department for further investigation. Enforcement actions taken this past week included ATV violations and burning restrictions violations.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) monitored burning activity due to hazardous dry conditions and dead vegetation. There was some ATV traffic along roadways although the local trail system is still closed. Verkuilen also attended planning sessions regarding the spring fish opener and conducted some bait retailer inspections.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) fielded several calls and questions regarding the new Mille Lacs Lake regulations. Complaints were taken regarding farmers concern of wolves in the area. The officer gave a deposition from an incident that occurred in 2014. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer, monitoring a spring fish run. Enforcement action was taken for littering and using fireworks at a state public access.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking for ATV and ORV activity in the Solana State Forest for the spring road closures. Local smaller lakes were checked for fishing activity and trapping activity as monitored throughout the week and weekend. A meeting with Tribal Wardens was attended to discuss the upcoming netting and spearing season. The Officer issued permits to a local minnow dealer and a District 10 meeting was attended during the week. Lots of ATV, fishing, boating and trapping law related questions were fielded during the week. The Officer also got boats ready for the upcoming summer season and a car kill deer permit was issued. A call of a party violating state forest rules and ATV rules on state land was investigated. Enforcement action for the week included various ATV and Forestry violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked traps finding good compliance. She patrolled ATV trails for ATV activity in the General Andrews State Forest and the Soo Line. Speldrich checked shore anglers on local rivers. Horse riders are reminded to purchase their state horse trail pass before hitting the trails in state forests. Speldrich received calls reporting a dead duck and a car injured deer.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended a district meeting and tended to technology needs. Sucker fishermen are seeing limited success. ATV activity was high, with riding on county highways found to be a problem. Enforcement action is also pending for driving after revocation, no registration, and failing to have a safety certificate. Some fires also came about, which assistance was given.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to find quite a bit of trapping activity and many trappers were found starting to remove their traps for the season. Open water angling activity picked up with most people found fishing along the banks of area rivers. Warming water temperatures also triggered the spring smelt run and late night angling and netting activity that go with it. Some enforcement action had to be taken for smelt netters that couldn’t resist dropping their trash in the creek. Another smelter was dealt with after his level of intoxication removed the ability to stand upright or walk out of the creek.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering numerous questions about the upcoming turkey season. He had several calls regarding nuisance animals, injured animals, and got some equipment ready for the summer boating season. CO Wynn received numerous calls regarding the spring closures for state forests and questions about burning. Check the DNR website for current conditions regarding both OHV closures, and burning restrictions. CO Wynn followed up on commercial inspections, and finished up the week assisting CO Grundmeier with some spring fish run activity.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMAs. A few parties were out training upland hunting dogs and enjoying the nice weather. Time was spent investigating a fire at Carlos Avery WMA. The fire had consumed approximately 70 acres before suppression crews contained it. Please use caution in the upcoming weeks to prevent fires. Warm conditions have also started the yearly ice heaves on Mille Lacs Lake. Some shores are starting to pile ice as high as 6 feet and growing.

WREO Rob Haberman patrolled for ATV activity. WREO Haberman also spent time checking early season shore anglers, and patrolled for AIS violations. WREO Haberman also worked on cases in his assigned districts.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and trapping activity. Phones calls were returned for beaver issues and a public speaking request. The officer spoke at a FAS class and took care of some closed case files.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission began doing adult walleye population assessments on lakes in Morrison and Crow Wing counties. Mille Lacs Band advised their intent to net on South Long Lake in Crow Wing Co. Several otters were seized from trappers who caught them incidentally while beaver trapping. CO Kuske found most trappers pulling their equipment this last week as fur values have dropped. Surveillance was conducted of fish run areas, both northern and walleyes are spawning. Several Class 2 ATVs were encountered operating on a state highway, enforcement action taken.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) assisted with an investigation regarding a possible hunting violation. It appeared strong wind deterred angling and watercraft activities. Agricultural and recreational ATV activity increased. Investigation continued on a dogs chasing deer complaint.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVs, and trappers. Accidental otters were seized from beaver trappers. A large running grass fire was worked south of Albany, started by a fire that a guy thought was out. The high winds blew the top ash off the fire exposing the hot coals. Five fire departments as well as four DNR planes were used to extinguish the fire. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued a wetland Resource Protection Notice on a farmer that was filling a wetland with garbage and rocks and checked into a garbage burning complaint where a person was moving out of a house and burning stuff they didn’t want to move. CO Kuske has had quite a few incidental otter turned in by trappers and a citizen found and turned in a long-eared owl that is going to be mounted and donated to the local high school.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies worked on checking trappers. Mies dealt with animal nuisances calls.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland complaints. Fishermen and trappers were also checked.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity. A ride along was provided for a Central Lakes College student looking to become a future conservation officer. CO Silgjord provided assistance to a local police department with the apprehension of a fleeing suspect. Silgjord located the subject and he was apprehended without incident. CO Silgjord also responded to several large fires in Stearns County where multiple fire agencies had to be called out. Assistance was provided to CO Thesing with the fire origination investigation.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports fishing on the St. Croix River has picked up. Most anglers are finding steady numbers of suckers. The dry conditions have produced a few grass fires in the area. CO Langevin also spent time patrolling the state parks in the area. CO Langevin also received a call of a resident that was bitten by a raccoon. The resident was advised to seek medical attention for a possible rabies infection and not to get that close to raccoons anymore.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) continues to work on a background investigation of an applicant, checked anglers/ATVs, and took nuisance animal complaints.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked several anglers during the week. Several fishing related tip calls were investigated. A trapping complaint was also handled. Assistance was given to DNR Forestry on a wildfire south of Mora on Hwy 65. Officer McGaw had the honor of speaking with a Firearms Safety Class in Ogilvie. Enforcement action was taken on an over-limit of fish.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) said the cooler weather last week has slowed down the angling activity in the area. Reller gave a presentation to 110 students attending a Firearms Safety Class in St. Michael this past weekend. Several nuisance animal calls were handled and checking on a possible wanton waste case.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers with a violation found for over limit of crappie. Several animal calls were received including an injured swan, an injured deer, and a coyote attacking a dog. Follow up was done a wetland complaint. CO Musatov also followed up on a trapping violation.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on the Mississippi River. He followed up on a trapping violation charges pending. He took an ATV trespassing complaint. He inspected a number of minnow retailer businesses. He assisted DNR Forestry by patrolling for illegal burns. He received a call of a turkey chasing and trying to attack a farmer and his equipment. CO Sladek responded to the location where he located the turkey. He chased the turkey across the section and away from the farmer’s location. The farmer was very appreciative that CO Sladek assisted him. CO Sladek was patrolling through a neighborhood and observed three young men loading wood into a car. He stopped and asked the young men if they had a permission to take the wood they said no. CO Sladek had them return the wood and go and ask the landowner if they could have the wood. Parents were contacted and appreciated the phone call and said they would take care of the situation when the boys got home.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) checked shore and boat anglers, spoke at two Firearms Safety Classes, responded to a public waters complaint, and followed up on various calls for service. She has noticed a steady increase in boaters getting on the water, testing their equipment, and getting their docks in place for the summer season. She wants to remind boaters to check their boat for all of the required safety equipment and to ensure that PFDs are the right fit for all riders before hitting the water. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession, angling without a license, and angling with extra lines.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the Mound station. He attended training in central office and took a complaint of people taking bass on Lake Minnetonka. Officer Lee also organized a fishing workshop in the Asian community and answered questions on camping in state parks and fishing regulations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park and Bloomington stations for angling activity. He responded to a 240 acre wildfire in Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. He responded to a TIP call in Eagan that resulted in an arrest for illegally taken/possession of game fish in closed season. CO Le also attended district training at Central Office.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he spoke to a firearms safety class at the North St. Paul VFW. He received calls on injured geese, an individual feeding ducks, and an illegal aerator. Oakdale PD officers reported deer and geese that had been shot in the city. CO Johnson patrolled Carlos Avery WMA and Afton State Park.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers, doing ATV enforcement and patrolling Carlos Avery WMA for off-road vehicle activity. He handled nuisance animal complaints, answered questions about turkey hunting and did AIS enforcement. Violations for the week included allow illegal operation of an ATV by juvenile, failure to remove drain plug and no fishing license.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers around Dakota and Washington counties as well as pools 3 and 4 of the Mississippi River. Enforcement action for the week included fishing and watercraft violations.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers and spent some time on watercraft and ATV enforcement. He spoke at a firearms safety class in Rosemount and provided a ride along to an individual who was interested in becoming a Conservation Officer. CO Pril also responded to miscellaneous animal calls and other complaints during the week.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued working on a deer license case with a Wisconsin Warden. She worked on a background investigation of a CO applicant, assisted with a trapping case and worked fishing enforcement in the area. CO Kruse wrote a report for the county attorney, worked on an aquatic vegetation case in Ramsey County and handled various nuisance animal calls.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week completing inventory of seized equipment from last year, following up on wetland violation reports and completing other administrative duties. WREO Block also attended an aquatic vegetation permitting meeting in St. Paul and a commercial pesticide applicator’s meeting in Plymouth. WREO Block also began a pre-employment background investigation on a Conservation Officer applicant.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also assisted at a Wild Turkey Clinic. Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) along with DNR Wildlife investigated a report of a possible timber wolf sighting by Lamberton. After looking at photos and other info it was confirmed that the animal was a coyote. ATV and fishing activity was the main enforcement focus for the week. A TIP call was investigated dealing with 20 plus snow geese that were dumped in a county ditch near Florence. Anybody with information on this illegal dumping is asked to call the TIP line. Time was also spent responding to multiple fires during dry and windy conditions over the weekend.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week investigations, inspecting commercial facilities, and working anglers. ATV activity increased greatly with warm weather. Enforcement action was taken for angling while revoked, driving while revoked, and operating ATV on roadway.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Boarder opener is next weekend and many are already getting their boats ready. Fishing activity has already started on Lake Hendricks with crappie. Numerous ATV registration violations were encountered.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) continues to receive reports and catch anglers targeting walleye and northern out of season. Several calls regarding unpermitted fires and burning prohibited materials were received. A nuisance deer complaint was investigated and referred to DNR Wildlife.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) focused enforcement efforts towards angling and OHV activity. Retail minnow inspections were conducted and minnow transportation permits issued. This officer was also a featured guest on the MNDAK Outdoors radio show, which is aired on KDIO Radio in Ortonville. A Firearms Safety Class was attended in Ortonville. Angling license violations were encountered.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued a deed restriction letter to a landowner on a WCA violation. The officer also checked early goose hunters and fishermen. Training was completed in Lyon County.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) attended a snowmobile club meeting and presented one of the members with a framed print in recognition of 30 years as a volunteer snowmobile safety instructor. He picked up incidental otter that were trapped out of season by spring beaver trappers. Denz also checked anglers and boater who were having some success with panfish.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week working fishing activity along with boat and water safety. There were also a few fires in the area that were checked on. A call was taken and responded to about a dead eagle on the road that turned out to be a turkey vulture. Time was also spent talking to a firearms safety class at the Darwin Rod and Gun Club.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) picked up a car kill otter near Stewart. She checked lakes for spring fishing activity. Mueller attended a sportsman banquet in Hutchinson and discussed concerns with its members. She also focused on a background investigation.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time checking shore anglers in the area. Oberg also answered questions on the upcoming wild turkey season. Additional time was spent conducting commercial inspections. ATV enforcement and burning enforcement was also worked.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave presentations at two youth firearms safety training classes and he assisted a third class with their field day. He also investigated deer hunting and trapping cases. Nelson also worked fishing and ATV enforcement activities.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, ATV, ORV, boat and water, and state park enforcement. He completed a radio program with the local radio station concerning AIS, the DNR webpage, and area activity. Gruhlke noted limited angling activity on Little Spirit Lake a border water.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked ATV activity on GIA trails. Enforcement action was taken for several discrepancies. Anglers and boaters were checked. Trapping investigations are currently taking place. Public accesses were patrolled.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) issued a cease and desist order on a possible waters violation. ATV and angling activity was worked in the district. A youth ATV class was attended.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishing activity and checked ATV operators. Additional time was spent responding to a dumping complaint in a waterway and monitoring AIS compliance near area lakes and at local PWAs. Officer Ihnen also investigated possible wetland violations.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking trout anglers, and monitoring ATV activity. Responded to a number of wildlife complaints. A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearms safety class in LeRoy. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked angling, boating, and recreational vehicle activity. Time was spent monitoring AIS activity at public accesses. Wetland issues were addressed.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes & rivers. Boating, ATV, and AIS activity were also monitored. The law & ethics presentation was given at a firearms safety class at Triton High School. A vehicle and illegal drug activity were located at a Wildlife Management Area.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on ATV enforcement. An ATV Safety class was held in St. Peter, with officers from Nicollet County Sheriff, St. Peter Police Department, and neighboring Conservation Officers.

WREO Julie Siems attended a Lake Service Provider training as well as training for volunteer AIS inspectors. A WCA violation site was conducted and a contractor on the site was visited as well. AIS violations include transport water and fail to remove plug.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Lots of people were out with the nice weekend weather and various violations were detected including a BWI. Heyn also assisted with an AIS saturation detail on the river and a number of people contacted still fail to remove the boat drain plugs.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent most of the week and weekend checking angling activity on the Mississippi River. Fishing was good towards the end of the week but slowed down a little over the weekend. Large numbers of anglers were taking advantage of the nice weather conditions. Time was also spent checking an ATV complaint area and responding to landowner concerns about the upcoming turkey hunting seasons. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the fishing in the area continues. He investigated complaints of taking bass out of season and ATV trespass. Hemker participated in a group fishing, boating, and AIS check in the Red Wing area. He also inspected a game farm.

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports spending extra time enforcing invasive species laws. Walleye and sauger bite has slowed down. Enforcement included no fishing license and failure to remove boat plug while transporting a boat on the roadway.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy week of fishing enforcement on and around the big river. The perch bite was strong early in the week but slowed a little over the warm weekend. In addition bass, northern, walleye, sauger all were checked in the bag along with some sunfish and crappies. Violations involved, license, safety equipment, and registration issues.

CO Phil George (Rochester) taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class, spoke at a boat and water safety class and ATV safety class. Lots of angling activity occurring. Officer George took a TIP complaint of too many fish being taken. Other enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and using extra lines.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) attended DNR Pilot’s meeting and an aviation safety seminar. Heineman also gave Wetland photo flight training to a CO Pilot.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a missing animal telemetry flight and a wolf den location flight. Jensen attended a quarterly pilot meeting where project assignments and safety updates were given out. Jensen then attended a MN Pilot Conference at the Anoka County Airport where more industry safety talks were given including search/rescue techniques and fuel handling topics were spoke about. Jensen also attended a DNR Commissioner listening session in Aitkin and represented the Aviation Unit at this gathering.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with his airplane training. He also attended the quarterly pilot meeting, covering end of winter projects, upcoming spring projects, aircraft maintenance, and safety topics. He attended some FAA pilot training classes at an aviation gathering in the metro area.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) worked on equipment maintenance, attended a pilot’s meeting at Camp Ripley, and attended an aviation conference in Anoka.

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