Weekly Game and Fish Violations



From the DNR:

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) checked anglers, completed background investigations and responded to TIP calls. CO Vinton collected a wild turkey, at the request of DNR Wildlife staff, after he received a call that the bird was “acting sick.” Though the bird appeared healthy, it did allow CO Vinton to approach within feet of it and made no effort to get away. The bird was dispatched and collected for DNR Wildlife to test.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked ATVs and angling activities. Training was also attended in Thief River Falls. Walleye have been running in area rivers and a tip led CO Mathy to some violators. Two anglers were found catching and hiding walleye under nearby rocks. The investigation revealed the anglers took walleye on previous days as well. Enforcement action was taken for take walleye in closed season, angle without license, and wanton waste.


(Pierz) A person mentoring a nine-year-old boy took him turkey hunting; by accident the youth killed three jakes in one shot. After experiencing the thrill of the hunt, the mentor showed the boy what to do when mistakes are made and promptly called the CO to report the incident. No enforcement action was taken and the extra birds will be donated.


CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County Rescue Squad after they received a report of a severely ill backpacker near the Devils Cascade in the BWCA. Starting at 2am Officer Williams and three members of the squad hiked six miles to try to reach the patient while a separate team came in by boat. The boat team reached the site and found the hiker had succumbed to his illness. Officer Williams was impressed with the team’s professionalism and their willingness to hike through the night in rapidly deteriorating weather to assist a stranger.




District 1 – Baudette area


CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended training and firearms qualifications in Thief River Falls. Investigations were conducted regarding multiple fire cases. Assistance was given to the Greenbush Firearms Safety Class. CO Huener investigated a dead calf and determined it had been killed by gray wolves.


CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety as well as angling and ATV enforcement. The keep season for sturgeon opened this past weekend and most anglers were finding it a challenge to hook into one, the bite is slow but it is hopeful that it will change with the weather. Anglers are still reporting success with the pike off of the Warroad Lake Street public access. CO Benjamin also responded to a reported wolf depredation. The fire danger remains high in this area, a caution to adhere to broadcasted and posted burning restrictions (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html). Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without a license in possession, insufficient PFDs, no throwable legal life saving device and failure to display a valid registration on a watercraft.


CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) focused on angling, ATV, and fire enforcement. The opening of the sturgeon “keep” season was worked on the Rainy River, with little success seen. Annual firearms training was attended and a calf depredation was investigated in the Strathcona area. Enforcement action was taken for no fire extinguisher on watercraft, fail to affix registration to watercraft, fail to control permit fire, no state park pass, fail to display ATV registration, and fail to transfer title of ATV.


CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) attended training in Thief River Falls for annual firearms qualification. With a busy weekend on the Rainy River and a short time until the end of the sturgeon season CO Prachar anticipates a large amount of anglers to the area in the next couple weeks prior to the walleye opener. Remember to pull drain plugs and empty all water out of your boats and other water related equipment prior to transport.


CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended firearms training in Thief River Falls, investigated the shooting of a snowy owl, and monitored area turkey hunting. A wildfire in Kittson County was investigated and the area was patrolled for ATV violations. Enforcement action for the week included burn without permit, juvenile passenger without helmet, and ATV registration violations.


CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked fire and ATV enforcement. The law and ethics portion was given at a firearms safety class as well as attending annual spring training. CO Hanson had the honor of presenting a 40 year firearms safety instructor award and also introduced a 49 year instructor to the parents of the Thief River Falls students. Many men and women volunteer several hours a year to ensure the youth of our state receive safety training in firearms, ATV and snowmobile use. We are very grateful to have many citizens in Minnesota care so much about their sports to volunteer to instruct others.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring ATV trail activity, spring beaver trapping, angling activity, spring fish run and boater AIS compliance throughout the week. Follow up was completed on an OHM violation with enforcement action taken for allowing a juvenile to operate an OHM on local roads. Assistance was provided to a neighboring officer with an investigation of anglers taking walleye out of season. CO Regas assisted firearms safety instructors with the Blackduck and Kelliher Firearms Safety Field Day where 25 earned their Firearms Safety Certificates. Time was spent handling reports of accidentally caught otters, attending district training and investigating a report of trap tampering. Enforcement action for the week included OHM and AIS violations.


Baudette #2 -vacant.


Blackduck #2 – vacant.


Karlstad – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports responding to several wildfires. Time was further spent checking anglers, working AIS enforcement, and checking watercraft operators. Commercial minnow trapping activity was also checked. Violations encountered included take/possess fish over-limit, no angling license, angle with extra lines, and fail to control permit fire.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling, fire, boating and leeching/minnow trapping activities. He also attended mandatory training.


CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, investigated two wolf depredation complaints and assisted with the spring in-service training.


CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored fish run activity throughout the week. Anglers are catching suckers in the Mississippi River in most areas. Time was spent monitoring ATV activity on area trails. Complaints of ATVs operating on closed trails was taken and investigated. Nuisance bear calls were taken as well as a call regarding an individual dumping large boulders into a lake where people land their boats. The individual was attempting to stop people from accessing the lake. CO Vollbrecht worked with area DNR Fisheries staff on a follow up investigation that involved a local business importing fingerling fish into the state and operating without proper permits. Time was taken to investigate wildfires.


CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked sucker spearing and bow fishing activity. ATV activity was also monitored. Officer Holt worked a TIP call with neighboring officers involving two individuals who were taking walleyes out of season. Time was spent working on a background investigation on a possible candidate for the next CO academy.


CO Chris Vinton (Perham) checked anglers, completed background investigations and responded to TIP calls. CO Vinton collected a wild turkey, at the request of DNR Wildlife staff, after he received a call that the bird was “acting sick.” Though the bird appeared healthy, it did allow CO Vinton to approach within feet of it and made no effort to get away. The bird was dispatched and collected for DNR Wildlife to test. Enforcement action was taken for; no angling license in possession, fail to display and unregistered ATV and allowing illegal operation of an ATV. Complaints of night bowfishing and suckers that had been speared and left on the banks were also investigated.


CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training, responded to two trespass calls and checked open water anglers.


CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and fishing tips. Time was also spent at a training session, working on waters violations and assisting with the field day of a firearms safety class. Turkey hunters were also checked.


CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes. Areas of fish run activity were monitored. ATV activity was worked. CO Warren assisted Becker County Sheriff’s Office with a boat and water safety class. Calls were received in regards to nuisance beaver, illegal fire activity and questions related to angling. CO Warren attended use of forces training in Thief River Falls. Boats were checked for AIS compliance.


CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring turkey, fishing, beaver trapping, and fire activity in the station. Turkey hunters are seeing birds, but so far it has been tough to put one in the bag. The spring panfish bite is starting; however, small fish make up the majority of the bag. A firearms safety class was taught in Felton and the officer attending the spring district shoot in Thief River Falls.


WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS training for local law enforcement. Clearwater and Hubbard county deputies were trained on AIS laws and rules. Time was spent attending and assisting with district shoots and Use of Force training. Several field officers were assisted with WCA cases. Phone calls and discussions were held with several county AIS coordinators regarding the upcoming boating season. Several calls from Lake Associations and COLA groups were fielded regarding info on inspector training.


District 3 – Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a busy week of typical spring activities. Angling pressure along with bow fishing was active over the weekend. Richards participated at the Ducks Unlimited Green Wing Duck Fair at the Fergus Falls Community Arena. Fish run continues to be monitored along with AIS compliance. Turkey hunters report inactive birds and fewer numbers.


CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized a background investigation and spoke to two firearms safety classes on rules and regulations. Plautz followed up on turkey hunting complaint and complaints of suckers being left on the banks of the river after being speared.


CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked anglers, spear fishermen and bow fishermen. Complaints were handled of individuals fishing for walleye and northern pike before season. Turkey hunters, minnow dealers, AIS and boating enforcement were also monitored. Additional time was spent checking ATVs.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs and burning complaints. Complaints were received of individual’s bow fishing game fish in area streams and leaving suckers along the banks of streams. Bow fishing complaints have increased over the past couple of years of bow fishermen leaving fish along streams after being speared.


CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked quite a bit of shore panfish angling activity, despite cold and wet conditions. One angler in a boat was out after sunset with no navigation lights while admitting to having no luck fishing; however, when asked to look inside a bucket, he had three largemouth bass in possession. He had his reasons for keeping them but a citation was issued. An investigation into a turkey being shot led to enforcement action for illegally using cell phones in order to harvest it. Lawler also attended and spoke at a junior Vikings Sportsmen’s club meeting.


CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing enforcement, including open water anglers, spear and bow-fishermen and fish run activity. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters and beaver trapping activity, patrolling for ORV and fire violations, and following up on possible waters and wetland violations. AIS activity was monitored throughout the weekend, with a lot of boats moving around with the nice weather. A division background investigation was completed and preparations were made for an upcoming FAS class.


CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, boating safety and AIS law compliance. Anderson spoke with one individual about a complaint of possible early taking of walleye and northern on an area lake. Presentations were given to about 500 children on Boat and Water Safety and Aquatic Invasive Species during the Morris Safety Day Camp. Anderson set up and taught the Morris firearms safety class; classroom and field day. Computer and RMS questions were handled for several Conservation Officers. Calls from the public were handled regarding FAS classes, a tame deer and nuisance beaver.


CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent assisting CO Anderson with the Stevens County firearms safety class, and the safety day camp where 500+ kids were talked to about boat and water safety. CO’s Baumbarger and Osborne patrolled the Red River and encountered several boaters and fishermen. AIS compliance was also monitored.


Wheaton – vacant.


District 4 – Wadena area


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) patrolled forest closures for motor vehicles and ATVs. Officer Hunter participated in annual training held in Thief River Falls. CO Hunter received a call of possible hunter harassment


CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and ATV activity with nothing unusual to report. He attended Hackensack firearms safety training and range day, answered questions regarding bear hunting regulations, and checked rough fish spearing activity.


CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked ATVs and angling activities. Training was also attended in Thief River Falls. Walleye have been running in area rivers and a tip led CO Mathy to some violators. Two anglers were found catching and hiding walleye under nearby rocks. The investigation revealed the anglers took walleye on previous days as well. Enforcement action was taken for take walleye in closed season, angle without license, and wanton waste.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and spring trapping activity. CO Broughten worked spring fish run activity and completed a commercial taxidermy inspection. CO Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with a domestic and a grass fire.


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) handled bear, beaver and ATV complaints. Trespass case investigated on turkey hunters on posted land. Crappie fishing is picking up with the warm sunshine weather. Halverson displayed fur collection to Pillager “K” classes and worked TIP trailer for Arbor Day at Pillager Schools.


CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) gave law enforcement refresher for OHV laws to county deputies and assisted an agency with a search for a subject sought for an alleged theft. She attended the annual Use of Force refresher and firearm qualifications. Patrolled area trails and contacted groups for no ATV registration, youth without helmets, trout anglers, sucker spearing action and turkey hunters.


Remer – vacant.


District 5 – Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports busy week with sturgeon harvest season open on the Rainy River, lots of people out enjoying the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for no current angling license in possession, extra lines, illegal length sturgeon, and no Type IV throwable PFD. ATV enforcement and fire investigations were followed up on, along with attending annual training at Hibbing firearms range.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) monitored many anglers out trying their luck on the Rainy River for the 2015 sturgeon season opener. Anglers enjoyed great weather conditions, though the water level throughout the area is low. Sturgeon anglers were seen having a high success rate both in the boat and from shore. Several youths were eager to share fishing stories about their first ever sturgeon caught that day with officers. CO Van Asch also attended training in Hibbing. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, illegal length sturgeon, no angling license, fail to display valid watercraft registration, no Type IV PFD, and fail to display valid ATV registration.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports attending training, monitoring area forest roads, checking public access sites, and working on watercraft.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) dealt with a moose that was killed by a vehicle, along with Officer Velsvaag. Much of the week was spent on ATV enforcement. Officer participated in firearms training and qualification at the Hibbing gun range. A report was also taken on a gray wolf in the Lake Vermilion area that was hanging around during daytime hours.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked stream trout and rough fish anglers, beaver trapping, a trespass complaint, ATVs, and attended firearms requalification training. The officer investigated a grass fire that was started by an individual carelessly handling a lighter. Three individuals were seen drinking beer along a river with one deciding to throw his empty beer bottle into the rapids, followed by manning his fishing pole to catch a fish without a fishing license. Enforcement action for the week was taken on angling without a license, no angling license in possession, littering, unregistered ATV and careless/negligent acts resulting in a fire.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual firearms training and spent time preparing equipment to summer use. A TIP call of a minnow trap located in a lake was investigated. The trap had been stolen and will be returned to the owner. ATV activity continues to remain high. Enforcement action was taken for burning during a burn ban. Spring fish run was monitored. Low water levels appear to be seriously hampering spawning efforts of some species.


Ray – vacant.


District 6 – Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County Rescue Squad after they received a report of a severely ill backpacker near the Devils Cascade in the BWCA. Starting at 2am Officer Williams and three members of the squad hiked six miles to try to reach the patient while a separate team came in by boat. The boat team reached the site and found the hiker had succumbed to his illness. Officer Williams was impressed with the team’s professionalism and their willingness to hike through the night in rapidly deteriorating weather to assist a stranger.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) spent the week working on the wildfire investigation team. Several fires were investigated including some suspicious fires. Enforcement action was taken for negligent/carless fires, burning during a burning ban, and open burning of garbage and prohibited materials. Associated costs for fires that get out of control can be staggering.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) handled a report of a nuisance wolf in the city of Grand Marais. The officer helped with spring firearms and defensive tactics qualifications in Hibbing and attended three ECHO emergency response training at Cook County School.  CO Manning also helped teach Firearms Safety class, conducted commercial inspections and worked a detail with CO Schottenbauer.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) worked spring fish run activities, assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with an underage drinking complaint, and checked anglers, minnow, and beaver traps and trappers. Reports were also completed for upcoming court cases. Water levels are extremely low in many areas. Several grouse were observed out in the nice weekend weather.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was also spent on firearms instruction for officer qualification.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers along the North Shore. The Officer helped the volunteer instructors out with covering the law and ethics curriculum at the firearms safety class. Wahlstrom assisted running the firing line for handgun, shotgun and rifle qualifications in Hibbing.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked spring fish run activities, beaver trapping, and attended a qualification shoot during the week. Murray also attended a critical incident training session in Grand Marais. Fire danger is still high along the North Shore.


District 7 – Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and fish run activity, patrolled for illegal ATV operation, attended firearms qualification training, and worked with DNR Forestry on fire related issues. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs on a public roadway.


CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) assisted with divisional use of force and firearms training, and conducted commercial inspections. He also did small game enforcement, checked anglers, and patrolled state parks, campgrounds, and forests. Violations included fail to display placards, ATV on roadway, and no retail bait license.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his k-9 partner Si checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, assisted the county with locating a burglary suspect that fled into the woods, assisted Conservation Officers with the execution of a search warrant, did a K-9 demo at the children’s event in Grand Rapids, investigated a deer taken out of season and attended the United States Police Canine Association detection trial. Enforcement action was taken for shoot from motor vehicle, take deer during closed season, DWI, transport illegally taken big game animal and fleeing on foot.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked spring shore fisherman with the sucker run and crappie bites on. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and operating a recreational vehicle in a wetland. Yearly training was also attended last week and a youth ATV safety class was given a law talk.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, spring beaver trappers, ATVs and waters complaints. He also taught a firearms safety class and attended a regional training session during the week.


CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, possession of drug paraphernalia and having passengers under 18 without helmets. CO Wichmann also investigated a trespass complaint.


CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATV complaint areas. CO Velsvaag also responded to an injured bald eagle call. CO Velsvaag attended training and checked several creeks for fish run activity.


District 8 – Duluth area


CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on ATV complaint areas and made numerous enforcement contacts related to ATV operation. Trespassing complaints were investigated. Time was spent on the North Shore rivers and some kamloops are cooperating. Smelting activity has been monitored and the success rate has been on the rise. Officer Schmidt attended use of force and firearm training in Hibbing. The officer also assisted the State Patrol with a pursuit and wrong way driver that was ultimately arrested for DWI.


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) attended firearms training and qualification. He also participated in several work details focusing on spring fish run activity and smelting. Two poachers were apprehended for attempting to illegally spear trout. Windy conditions have hampered smelters but some buckets full are being reported.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority to the week working fishing enforcement along North Shore tributaries. Other enforcement work involved wildlife investigation, ATV, watercraft, and smelting. Some violations encountered included illegal use of a fish seine and spearing rainbow trout. Officer Duncan also attended division training, assisted local law enforcement, and completed a radio interview about wolves.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, OHV, turkey hunting and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey patrolled the FDL State Forest enforcing the temporary road/trail closure. CO Humphrey assisted other district officers with checking shore anglers on Lake Superior, smelting activity, and monitoring the fish run. CO Humphrey received calls regarding unlawful ATV use, wolf concerns, and Firearms Safety classes. Follow up interviews on trapping and wild fire investigations continued. CO Humphrey attended division use of force and firearms training. Violations for angling licensing, illegal spearing, OHV restricted area operation, registration, and safety certifications were encountered.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked fishing and off-highway vehicle activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license in possession, fail to display registration, no non-resident trail pass and equipment violations. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies in a pursuit with a stolen vehicle, and also on a separate incident where a domestic assault occurred. A K9 demo/talk was done for take your child to work day at the local courthouse. Also, K9 Schody and the rest of the DNR K9 unit tested and certified in game detection in Anoka over the weekend. Annual in-service training was attended in Hibbing where officers received use of force training and qualified with firearms.


WREO Mike Scott (NE) assisted DNR Ecological Services with training new watercraft inspectors for St. Louis, Carlton, and Pine counties for staffing area public access inspecting watercraft using area lakes and educating the public on AIS issues. Officer Scott checked anglers on the North Shore. High winds and cooler weather kept a lot of folks home but those that were checked enjoyed the fishing with limited success. Smelters on North Shore and Park Point in Duluth were checked with few smelt seen. The smelters that stayed late into the morning did better than others. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol in locating several people that fled into the woods on Saturday night after a traffic stop.


Lake Superior Marine Unit


Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked North Shore anglers in the Duluth area. Training time was spent in Hibbing, calls fielded on timber wolves/coyote sightings in the Duluth area and ATVs were checked in the Normanna pits area. The smelt run has begun, but warmer temps are needed for a full smelt run. Rain is needed for the North Shore rivers to be productive for a fish run. Area wildfires continue in the area and are being investigated.


CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) attended multi-agency mass casualty response training in Cook County. River anglers were checked, and reports of snagging and keeping foul-hooked fish were checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.


CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers, smelters, and boaters using Lake Superior and the tributaries throughout the week. Some smelt were seen on Park Point and a few showing up in the rivers. Anglers are getting some salmon on the lake and steelhead and loopers in the rivers. He also attended training, investigated some wildfires, and responded to nuisance animal complaints. Enforcement was taken for angling and boating violations.


District 9 – Brainerd area


CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received numerous beaver and muskrat complaints from damming being done by beaver obstructing water ways to muskrat damaging shoreline, and chewing on home siding. Officer Lee assisted with spring in-service training in Hibbing and Thief River Falls. Officers completed firearms qualifications, Taser yearly recertification, and scenario based training. Officer Lee completed follow up on an ongoing investigation involving failing to transfer ATV ownership and fail to register ATV.


CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked crappie anglers, turkey hunters, and worked the rough fish spearing opener. Other activities included helping out on a search warrant, provided a ride along for a Park Ranger in training, and responded to calls of dumped deer carcasses that turned out to be pigs, an injured swan, and somebody digging in a lakebed. Enforcement activity included illegal snagging of fish, no trout stamps in a designated trout stream, failing to remove boat plug, failing to drain water before leaving an infested lake, and altering shoreline and removing cattails without a permit.


CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) monitored spring panfish bites and fish run, worked the sucker spearing opener, and checked beaver trapping and turkey hunting activity. He also patrolled the Crow Wing State Forest complaint areas for OHV activity, met with lakeshore owners on shoreline projects, and responded to complaints of suspected illegal mud trucks in wetlands activity, trespass, and wildlife damage. Enforcement contacts were made for a variety of illegal ATV violations, and fishing without licenses in possession.


CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) checked pan fish anglers and some bow fishermen along some creeks. She assisted State Patrol and Aitkin County on a pursuit and assisted Aitkin County on a call of a suicidal individual with a firearm. She also worked with neighboring CO’s executing a search warrant.


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing, all-terrain vehicle, and trapping enforcement.  Officer Guida encountered folks that were angling with expired angling licenses. A nuisance bear complaint was also received. Officer Guida patrolled in a non-motorized tract of land east of Brainerd after receiving complaints from the land administrator of ATVs and OHMs operating in it illegally. A CLC Natural Resource Law Enforcement student also participated in a ride along.


CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling activity. Anglers are reporting a slower bite with the recent cold snap. CO McGowan also continued to work on a background investigation for an applicant who applied for a job as a Conservation Officer. CO McGowan also spoke at a firearms safety class in Pine River, and taught the students the laws portion of the class.


District 10 – Mille Lacs area


CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) monitored the sucker run on area streams. Anglers, spears and bow fisherman seemed to be having success. The officer conducted an investigation into fish and game violations. Assistance was given Aitkin County for a domestic dispute and other various issues. Turkey hunters were checked throughout the week with several hunters having good hunts. Court was attended with another officer regarding a big game baiting case from the previous deer season.


CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking Solana State Forest and surrounding county land for ATV and forestry violations. The Officer assisted the Sheriff’s Office with a call of a suicidal subject and also a vehicle pursuit. A presentation was given at the Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club for the Forkhorn day. Kids learned different outdoor activities and also tried the laser shot system. A meeting at the Garrison City hall was attended where a presentation of the Mille lacs Lake Blue Ribbon Panel was given. Several calls of injured and nuisance animals were fielded and an investigation of a nuisance wolf was done.


CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled the General Andrews State Forest for OHV users and horseback riders. Several unauthorized ATV trails were noted and will be patrolled on a regular basis. A reminder to recreational ATV users in the General Andrews and the Nemadji State Forests that you may only operate where there are signs designating use. Speldrich checked area rivers for sucker anglers, took reports of nuisance bear, and followed up on ongoing cases.


CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) attended training at Hibbing during the week. He spent time checking anglers, and responded to fires reported over the weekend. CO Wynn also completed a game farm inspection, assisted DNR Fisheries with a shocking survey on Cross Lake, and answered numerous questions regarding turkey hunting. Dry weather is expected this week and people are urged to hold off on burning and using equipment that may accidentally start fires in such dry conditions.


CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMA’s for ATV and turkey hunting activity. Time was spent setting up for an upcoming Fork Horn event and assisting the county with a suicidal party that fled on foot into a large swamp/forest area.


WREO Rob Haberman checked shore fishermen over the week. Crappie and sunfish bites are starting to pick up. WREO Haberman also presented at the Mid Minnesota Builders Association’s Annual meeting about terrestrial and aquatic invasive species and how to help slow their spread. WREO Haberman also checked lake service providers at landings and checked into public water issues around the Cross Lake Area.


District 11 – St. Cloud area


CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working anglers, turkey hunters, and wetland issues. An accidental otter was turned over from a beaver trapper. Equipment maintenance was handled with boats and trailers.


CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received a number of inquiries related to people bow fishing at night. Lake residents were upset about lights being shined on houses and the noise of the generators during late hours of the night. A person mentoring a nine-year-old boy took him turkey hunting; by accident the youth killed three jakes in one shot. After experiencing the thrill of the hunt, the mentor showed the boy what to do when mistakes are made and promptly called the CO to report the incident. No enforcement action was taken and the extra birds will be donated.


WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week conducting wetland violation site visits. Enforcement action was taken for no boat registration, no PFDs, ATV violations, and no minnow dealer AIS training. AIS training for law enforcement was given to Todd County peace officers.


CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies gave a law talk at the firearms class in Maple Lake, and also a talk at the South Haven firearms class. CO Mies also checked several turkey hunters and assisted Kimball PD with arrest.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) received a complaint of bow fishermen operating too close to an occupied dwelling. A few people launched watercraft over the weekend. Questions were answered regarding fire restrictions.


CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked carp shooting activity finding an archer without fishing license. TIP information was received regarding anglers attempting to catch bass. The officer also fielded calls concerning incidental otter catch and sick looking birds and concern over bird flu. The officer attended a field day of a local FAS class.


CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled calls of a car kill turkey, a shot sand hill crane, a sick swan and nuisance bear. Complaint calls of bow fishermen coming too close to houses (must be at least 150 feet away from houses) and being too loud at night are coming in and a complaint of a landowner trespassing onto SNA land (Scientific and Natural Area) using ATVs and putting up deer stands.


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored the area for fire activity throughout the week as fire conditions remained elevated. CO Silgjord patrolled the station area for fishing activity. A slow bite was found with few fish in the bag. An ATV stop resulted in a large variety of violations including: fail to transfer registration, fail to renew registration, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, operate ATV on highway, operate ATV in ditch during restricted period, juvenile operator and passenger without helmets, no ATV safety certificates and operate ATV in public right of way without valid driver’s license. CO Silgjord would like to remind would-be ATV’ers to pick up and look at a regulations booklet prior to going out for a weekend ride, it could make the difference. Other violations for the week included fail to obtain burning permit, fail to display valid watercraft registration, no fishing license in possession and fail to submit landowner liability form.


St. Cloud – vacant.


District 12 – Princeton area


CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) conducted several commercial inspections during the week. Time was also directed to two separate wolf depredations complaints involving cattle. One was confirmed and the other was determined to be a coyote kill. Anglers were out in force and several checks were conducted. Enforcement action was taken on operating a motor vehicle in state forest.


CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and turkey hunters in the area. Fishing activity was slow with the cooler temps and windy conditions. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license, angling with extra lines and selling minnows without the proper license.


CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking turkey hunters over the week. Some hunters were seeing good numbers and others were not seeing any. The fishing has picked up in the area as the weather warmed. Many anglers some panfish on area lakes, while others found good numbers of suckers on the St. Croix. CO Langevin also spent time patrolling Wild River State Park and checking horse passes. Several TIP calls were also investigated in the area.


CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) spoke at a women’s shooting event, firearms safety classes, and assisted with Braham Elementary Earth Day events. Officer Londgren also continues to work on a background investigation. Officer Londgren also took calls on nuisance/injured animals, and checked anglers.


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers with violations found for no licenses and angling for closed species. CO Musatov conducted inspections for commercial license holders. Several animal calls were handled and ATV complaint areas worked.


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on a Trespassing violations enforcement action was taken. He followed up on a number of dumped rough fish. He did a law talk for a firearms safety class at the Elk River Sportsman’s Club. He took enforcement action on an illegal trapping violation. He worked a number of public accesses for invasive species and educating boaters to the laws pertaining to boat plugs transportation of vegetation and transporting lake water. He took enforcement action on illegally operation of an aqua thrusters.


District 13 – West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended a district meeting at the Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge in Carver. Eagle Lake and Lake Waconia were inspected for calls on several dead pan fish floating along the shoreline. TIP calls were responded to on Court House Lake for anglers fishing for trout in a designated trout lake during closed season and the Crow River for anglers fishing for walleye during closed season. Boat and water safety checks were done on area lakes. Turkey hunters were checked having very good success. WMAs were patrolled for litter, off-road vehicle trespass and adjoining land owner encroachment onto WMA. He assisted CO Grewe with a firearms safety class in Rockford.


CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe spoke at a firearms safety class and attended a district meeting. Violations included litter.


CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) checked numerous shoreline and boating anglers, conducted boat and water safety checks, spoke at a firearms safety class, responded to complaints of bow fishing and spearing, and attended an annual district meeting. Time was also spent answering questions about public waters and trespassing. She also received a number of TIP calls regarding angling and trespassing. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license in possession, no angling license, and insufficient number of PFD’s.


CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activity on Hennepin County area lakes. He attended a district meeting at the USFWS Rapids Lake visitor center and took complaints on nuisance animals. He is also preparing for a fishing workshop and firearm safety class in the Asian community.


CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended a district meeting in Carver County. He delivered a 30 year award for a well-deserved Firearms Safety instructor in Edina and spoke at a FAS class at Bloomington National Guard Armory. Approximately 40-50 students were in attendance. CO Le responded to nuisance and injured animal calls in the Minneapolis area. He responded to a TIP call in Carver County regarding a fishing violation but was unfounded.


Bloomington – vacant.


Mound – vacant.


District 14 – East Metro area


CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) attended a firearms safety field day at Carlos Avery and also spoke to a firearms safety class in Forest Lake. CO Arntzen spent time checking anglers, turkey hunters and patrolling WMAs. He also responded to an injured animal call, attended a district meeting and issued a car kill deer permit.


CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked anglers. He spoke to a firearms safety class at the Lake Elmo FD. CO Johnson attended a district meeting and training at Carlos Avery WMA. He took calls on injured wildlife, nuisance beaver, and a trespass complaint.


CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) monitored anglers and turkey hunters in the area. He followed up on TIP complaints of people keeping fish out of season and assisted a neighboring officer with a warrant arrest. Enforcement action for the week included angling and watercraft violations.


CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) finished an aquatic vegetation case in White Bear Township that involved five different individuals with violations. She finished a background investigation for a CO applicant and attended a district meeting. CO Kruse worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes and streams, worked on a deer case, handled nuisance animal calls and worked with CO Leuthardt in her station.


WREO Adam Block (Metro) attended Metro district meetings and also assisted with Lake Service Provider training held in Minnetonka. WREO Block also taught AIS laws to a local law enforcement agency and presented on AIS to the Hopkins Rotary Club. WREO Block completed a radio interview by a regional media outlet and a television interview by a metro media outlet regarding boating safety.


CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled for angling activity in Anoka County. Anglers are reminded to check the fishing regulation for trout fishing on lakes. The date for trout season opener on Minnesota lakes is May 9. CO Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA and worked on a background investigation.


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the Metro lakes and rivers and worked watercraft enforcement on the Mississippi River. He attended a district meeting at Carlos Avery and did a law presentation at a firearms safety class in South Saint Paul. Violations found this week included fishing without a fishing license, fishing with extra lines, taking fish in closed season, no throwable life-saving device and fire extinguisher in boat.


Eagan – vacant.


Metro Officer – vacant.


District 15 – Marshall area


CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked an AIS detail with Officer Miska on Big Stone. He also checked boaters, recreational vehicles and fishermen. Violations found include operate ATV without registration, operate ATV on highway, and no life jackets, no angling license.


CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. Complaints of trespassing were being investigated. It appears that someone has placed a blind on private property without permission. A firearms safety class was taught in Canby. A toy rocket caused a fire near Tyler burning several acres.


CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and visiting with ATV operators. ATV violations continue to increase as weather warms. Beaver complaints are being fielded as property owner’s return to the fields.


CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. This officer also monitored a 99 boat fishing tournament on Big Stone Lake. Littering issues continue. ATV and boating violations were encountered.


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working trout fishing, turkey hunting, state park, and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent working the DNR booth at the Tracy Area Sportsmen’s Show over the weekend. Most of the questions that were fielded dealt with the upcoming walleye opener and invasive species. Assistance was given with firearms safety classes in Marshall, Morgan, and Vesta.


WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) provided a demonstration with K-9 Reggie to the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Law Enforcement class on AIS issues. Detector Dog Certifications were also attended in Anoka. A District 15 meeting was attended in Marshall.


Benson – vacant.


Madison – vacant.


Redwood Falls – vacant.


Worthington – vacant.


District 16 – New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke at an ATV safety class about ATV laws. He checked shore anglers and bow fishermen and followed up on a complaint related to bow fishing activity. Denz also checked ATV and OHM activity.


CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) took time to work turkey hunters as the spring season continues. Time was also spent responding to fires when there was smoke in the air. Anglers were checked and watched as many were having trouble finding fish that were biting. A few carp shooters where checked at night and they were advised with enforcement action to get a lot of violations fixed before they went out again. Time was also spent talking to a firearm safety class in Grove City.


CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) answered questions during the week regarding the avian flu, including a deceased raptor near Renville. She checked area anglers looking for spring crappies. Mueller also attended a district meeting in New Ulm and continued work on a background investigation.


CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked angling and ATV activity in the area. ATV violations ranged from expired registration to operating in right of way without a driver’s license. Firearms safety and ATV class talks were also given, and a waters case was followed up on.


CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received information about a turkey over limit. He also attended a district meeting and gave instruction at a traditional youth firearms safety class. The remainder of the week was spent on angling, invasive species, boating and small game hunting enforcement.


CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, ATVs and turkey hunting season. He also gave a law/safety talk to the Windom ATV safety class.


Willmar #1 – vacant.


Windom – vacant.


District 17 – Mankato area


CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. AIS activity was also monitored. A law and ethics presentation was given at a firearms safety class in Owatonna.


CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked turkey hunters and anglers. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATV and OHM activity. Officer Ihnen also gave law and ethics presentations to two FAS classes, as well as a safety presentation to an ATV safety class.


CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked turkey hunters this past week. Success rates varied on location. Angling activity was monitored on area lakes and rivers. The officer took calls of trespassing complaints as well.


CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking trout anglers, and monitoring ATV activity. A firearms safety range and field day in Grand Meadow was attended. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.


CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, recreational vehicle, turkey hunting, and AIS activity. Fishermen are starting to see some success in the area. A boat and water training was attended with the local sheriff’s office.


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling enforcement. CO Howe also spoke to a local fraternal group about CO duties and careers.


WREO Julie Siems and K9 Brady recertified in venison and zebra mussel detection through the US Police Canine Association. Invasive species law enforcement was also instructed to area law enforcement.


Albert Lea – vacant.


Mankato #1 – vacant.


District 18 – Rochester area


CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating complaints of numerous diapers dumped at culverts and streams in the Canton area. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the TIP line. CO Boyum spent checking trout anglers and turkey hunters. Trout fishing has been good but a little stealth is needed as most streams are clear and a little low. Turkey hunting has been better since the weather has turned and a number of birds were seen in the bag.


CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week of fishing enforcement on the Mississippi River and its backwaters. White bass are going strong below the dams but folks are remained that no fishing is allowed within 300 feet of Lock and Dam 3+4 during March and April. Turkey hunters also experienced some success over the last week although some conditions early in the week were tough. Enforcement action involved ATV, fishing, license and registration violations.


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports slow fishing during the week but good numbers of turkey hunters with some success. He investigated complaints of shooting turkey from a motor vehicle and turkey hunting trespass. He also investigated complaints of AIS violations. Hemker attended an on-line firearms safety field day.


CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and ATV operators, spoke at a high school class and taught the laws and ethics portion of a boat and water safety education class. Investigated a complaint of someone camping on a WMA and finished a litter/dumping complaint.


CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking turkey hunting and fishing activity. Turkey hunters are still reporting having a difficult time locating birds. Hundreds of boats were out on the river over the weekend. Large numbers of fish were seen in the bag with some people having limits. Numerous complaints were received about people fishing in the closed area below lock 3. Numerous fishing and hunting violations were detected.


CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Trout fishing was slower during the week and the river was mixed. Heyn also spoke to an ATV class.


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports second season turkey hunters had limited success due to the poor weather. Trout streams are in great shape for fishing. The Big River water levels remain low. He attended the annual Sheldon Sportsmen Club kid trout fishing contest. Not many trout caught; however, all anglers went home with a door prize and enjoyed a free lunch.


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) flew fisher, marten and wolf telemetry. Heineman also flew Forest Assessment for wetland photos and attend to aircraft maintenance.


CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) completed training and passed the check ride for single engine sea rating. Geving also began preparations for the upcoming nesting waterfowl survey.


NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance tasks. Poor weather cancelled pilot training flights.


CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent the week in Brainerd on seaplane training. Lofstuen and an aircraft pre-positioned in New Ulm for high altitude photo survey flights.


CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of poor flying weather in general. Jensen did perform some wetland inventory flights and gave a flight for Eco Services to document some stream restoration in Wilkin county area. Various maintenance issues were dealt with and completed before the next round of projects arrive.


Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.


Enforcement Education


Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.


Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.


Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR


Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!


Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.


Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.



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