(Alexandria): One shore fisherman hung his head and admitted he hadn’t purchased a license yet this spring. After a few minutes, he admitted to being cited by Lawler two years ago for the same violation.
(Virginia): CO Frericks took a TIP call of a deer that had been dumped in a ditch outside of Mt Iron. The “deer” turned out to be an illegal length sturgeon. If anyone has information about this violation please contact CO Frericks at (218) 404-0600.
(Two Harbors):Murray responded to a call on a Lake Superior boat access where a vehicle became submerged when it slipped out of gear and rolled into the lake. The angler was unhurt and vehicle was recovered but a total loss. A good reminder to engage your parking brake while launching or retrieving your watercraft.
(Grand Rapids):Enforcement action was also taken on one individual who when approached CO Sutherland, through a fish back into the lake. Unfortunately for the angler the largemouth bass was dead and couldn’t swim away. The fish was netted out of the lake and the angler was given a citation for taking a fish out of season.
(Wealthwood):While stopped at a local gas station an elderly couple was locked out of their vehicle. A small dog in the vehicle had hit the lock button. Just before getting an apparatus in the vehicle to unlock it the dog decided to hit the unlock button and had a sort of grin on his face. Croatt told the couple that he was just toying with us and wanted to see what we would do.
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety as well as angling and ATV enforcement. CO Benjamin responded to a fire just south of the Canadian border in Roseau County on the west side of Hwy 310 that was believed to be started by lightning. The Roseau Fire Department and Minn. DNR Forestry responded and had the fire under control and had both lanes of traffic back open fairly fast. Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without a license in possession and no helmet on a passenger under the age of 18 on an ATV.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River. Most people encountered were seeing more success than last. Multiple people were checked spearing and netting suckers as well. Assistance was given at three different fires in the Warroad/Roseau area. ATV enforcement was also focused on and assistance was given with an ATV Safety Class in Roosevelt. Investigation into two dead swans that were dumped off of a forest road in the Beltrami Island State Forest, was started. If you have any information regarding the swans, please contact an area Conservation Officer or the TIP line at 800-652-9093.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week on the water. Sturgeon anglers are having mixed success on the Rainy River. Sucker spearing and dip netting season is now open and enthusiasts are attempting to fill limits of them. One individual attempted taking his limit using a fish trap placed in the Baudette River. It was an effective, but illegal way of catching the fish. The individual had just emptied the trap when CO Prachar arrived. The trap was seized and enforcement action was taken. Other violations included improper registration of ATVs, no ATV safety certificate, and assorted burning violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to investigate wildfires, monitored area ATV activity, and worked with neighboring CO Hutchins. A radio interview was conducted on the upcoming walleye opener and calls of orphaned and nuisance bears were answered. Calls of a dead moose, eagle, and swan were also taken. Enforcement action for the week included burn without permit, fail to extinguish fire, angle without license, angle for species in closed season, litter, return speared rough fish to water, trespass on ATV, no helmet on juvenile, and no ATV registration.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring spring fish run activity, pan fishing activity and ATV activity on area trails. Time was spent investigating TIP calls, handling numerous reports of accidental catch otter and recruitment of instructors for snowmobile and ATV safety. Enforcement action for the week included watercraft registration and AIS violations.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at two firearms safety classes and one ATV class this week. Time was also spent checking a suspected wetland violation and working on previous wildfire cases. Anglers, watercraft operators, ATV operators, and leech trappers were also checked. Boat owners were reminded about AIS laws. Violations included take northern in closed season, no angling license, and fail to tend commercial minnow traps.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, investigated TIP complaints and monitored ATV traffic.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored spring fish run activity. CO Vollbrecht was called out for a complaint of individuals using lights to take suckers with a bow and arrow. The anglers were legal and reminded to be cognizant of where the light was shining as many people called after the lights shined into their house. Officer patrolled area trails for ATV activity with CO Holt. Complaints were taken and investigated regarding individuals angling in closed spawning areas. CO Vollbrecht worked with the area DNR hydrologist on a complaint of a culvert placed in a public water without a permit.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling and ATV activity during the week. Time was spent patrolling ATV trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest and checking sucker spearing and bow fishing. Anglers were checked in Itasca State Park as well. CO Holt finished up working on a background investigation on a possible candidate for the next CO academy.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting neighboring Conservation Officers with ATV safety classes in Henning and Perham. CO Vinton investigated a TIP of a possible over limit of snapping turtles before the close of the season. The investigation uncovered a group of bow fishermen in possession of a snapping turtle after the close of the season. Spring crappie and sunfish anglers were also contacted. Enforcement action was taking on over limit and out of season snapping turtles, no angling license and not having an angling license in possession.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ATV enforcement, responded to an ATV crash with injuries, trespass calls and attended a Boat and Water Safety class.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The panfish bite appears to be improving with the warm weather. Time was also spent assisting with an ATV class in Perham, working on waters violations and illegal burning.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working angling and boating activity. Follow up was conducted on complaints of possible illegal fires. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class in Detroit Lakes.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring anglers, turkey hunters, wild fires, and commercial leech trapping activity. Anglers are starting to see more catfish in the bag with the warmer weather and panfish anglers in Becker County are also seeing more success. The officer responded to several complaints of nuisance black bears in the area with one particularly aggressive bear being shot. The officer encourages people to remove the temptation of bird seed and other food from their yards to avoid nuisance bear problems. An ATV complaint was investigated and other ATV enforcement was conducted in the area. Many people seem unaware that an ATV safety certificate is required for anyone born after July 1, 1987, to operate an ATV on public property. With many ATV classes being offered in the coming weeks it is good opportunity to get certified. The officer taught law and ethics to firearms safety classes in Barnesville, Ulen, and Hawley. The officer joined CO Tom Hutchins to teach the law and ethics portion of a safety class in Ada. Many fires were observed in the area and the officer urges caution and safety as several fires have escaped in the extremely dry conditions. The officer also participated in an interview with the local newspaper regarding the upcoming fishing opener. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register an ATV, no helmet on youth under 18 years old, and no ATV safety certificate.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent time assisting COs with WCA, PW, and AIS questions. Training was given to the Otter Tail County SO on AIS laws and watercraft inspections. Several WCA cases were opened. A public waters case was discussed with a hydrologist.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with an ATV safety class in Perham and gave a presentation to the Elizabeth FAS class. Anglers and bow fishermen were checked throughout the week. Boat safety items along with registration were also checked. Violations encountered were related to ATVs, angling and boating.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with an ATV safety class in Henning certifying 27 students and assisted with another class in Perham certifying 12 students. Plautz seized road kill fisher and incidentally taken muskrat and donated to MTA. Plautz monitored sucker fishermen and responded to several complaints of suckers being left on the banks of the rivers. Fish over limit complaints were worked, a wetland violation is being investigated along with an illegal burning complaint. Plautz finalized a background investigation possible CO hires.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and minnow dealers. A TIP complaint was worked in the vacant Wheaton station regarding illegal netting/angling activities. A local FAS class was attended, assistance given to fisheries regarding VHS information and questions were answered from the public about turkeys/bird flu.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) attended firearms safety class in Millerville for the laws and ethics talk and the range day. A wetland altering complaint was handled through Otter Tail County. Osborne attended the annual Safety Day Camp at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria where 450 area 5th graders were instructed on firearms safety.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked fishing, ATV and boat and water activity this past week. Additional time was spent assisting Douglas County Sheriff’s Office with several fire related calls either; burning without a permit, burning garbage or failing to activate an existing permit. Several instances of fishing without licenses were encountered, both anglers and spear/bow fisherman. One shore fisherman hung his head and admitted he hadn’t purchased a license yet this spring. After a few minutes, he admitted to being cited by Lawler two years ago for the same violation. The annual Safety Day Camp was worked with other D3 officers where nearly 450 area 5th graders learned, among other topics, gun safety tips.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing activity including anglers, bow fishermen, and fish run. Time was spent checking turkey hunters, patrolling for ATV and fire activity, and completing a background investigation. Firearm safety training was taught in Osakis and at the annual 5th grade Safety Day Camp in Alexandria. Potential shoreline violations were investigated and followed up on.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on the anglers, boating safety and AIS law compliance. CO’s Anderson and Baumbarger worked fishermen and AIS enforcement on Lake Minnewaska. A TIP complaint was worked about possible illegal netting on the Mustinka River in the vacant Wheaton station. Anderson assisted teaching at the Pope County firearms field day near Glenwood. Several officers were assisted with their RMS questions and time was spent issuing minnow transportation permits. Calls were fielded from the public regarding fish limits, youth FAS classes and fire/burning questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, OHM operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. CO’s Baumbarger and Anderson taught the Pope County youth firearms safety class, and answered questions on upcoming fishing opener. The Officers also worked the vacant Wheaton station and investigated various fishing complaints.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) completed work on a background investigation and checked early season anglers. Parthun assisted at the scene of a motorcycle crash with the operator being airlifted to a medical facility with head injuries. No helmet was worn. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of fish
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter received complaints of fishermen bowfishing in the closed spawning areas. Officer Hunter responded to a small fire north of Nevis.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received a call from a turkey hunter that accidentally shot a hen when the hen flew in front of the tom. Nuisance beaver permits were issued for beavers flooding fields and pastures. Bowfishermen and rough fish anglers were checked as well as ATV activity. A caller reported finding a cow elk head in a ditch that appeared to have been killed last fall. Assistance was provided to other law enforcement at an injury vehicle crash.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and ATV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Received an ATV complaint, attended a district meeting, received a nuisance beaver complaint, received a sport fishing complaint, attended Walker firearms safety range day, and presented a 30-year award to a firearms safety instructor.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, ATVs, and commercial minnow operations. A district meeting was attended. Complaints about fishing violations and an injured eagle were received. Public access sites with ramp problems due to the winter ice push were forwarded to the appropriate DNR staff.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, boating, and spring trapping activity. Spring anglers are finding some success. CO Broughten fielded calls concerning trespass, nuisance animals, and ATV complaints. Enforcement action included failure to remove drain plug
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated a call of cattails being cut out of Lake Alex; the property owner had permit to do work around his dock. Halverson was called to a dead eagle along Hwy 10, turned out to be a dead Canada goose. ATV safety class was held in Staples.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) attended several important meetings. Officer Adam investigated a waters complaint, checked sucker fishermen and bow fishermen as well as patrolled area trails and found registration and non-resident trail pass violations. Several ATV/OHM accidents were reported in the area, one shortly after having been contacted failed to navigate a turn with the dusty trail conditions a contributing factor. The rescue was assisted by COs Adam and Peterson and the Carsonville Fire Department.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) focused on the sturgeon angling throughout the Rainy River area. Many anglers were up participating in two sturgeon tournaments being held on the river. The sturgeon bite has been steady and anglers have been able to boat several fish per outing. CO Van Asch also spent time investigating a waters complaint on Kabetogama Lake with the area hydrologist. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and carelessly upset the natural and ecological balance of wetland with an off-road vehicle.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes, checking public access sites and monitoring area forest roads. Fire danger is extreme. Little water in streams and creeks. Lake and River levels are low
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated a bear that had been shot, and dumped along the roadway, case is ongoing. The spring sucker run was active last week and many individuals were having good success. Enforcement action was taken on spearing / netting during closed hours, and spearing/ hand fishing in a closed area. The officer assisted Breitung PD with a traffic stop that led to a possible probation violation, and Breitung PD also assisted the Officer with DNR enforcement issues. A wetland complaint is being investigated on Lake Vermilion. Saturday was a beautiful day, and a number of boaters were out on the water. Officer spent much of the day working boating enforcement.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, ATVs and OHMs, beaver trappers, wildfire enforcement and a complaint of garbage burning, as well as prepped boats for the season, handled bear complaints, and taught the law portion of a Firearms Safety Class Field Day. The officer was working OH’s with CO Velsvaag when an OHM failed to stop and fled. The officers have the suspect’s name, who happens to be a person CO Bozovsky stopped a little over a month ago on his OHM, and should wrap up the case shortly. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession, OHV trespass and a number of OHM and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time dealing with high ATV and OHM traffic. Owners are reminded to check the registration on the machines they own before riding them. Parents are reminded that they can be cited for their kids’ actions on them. CO Frericks took a TIP call of a deer that had been dumped in a ditch outside of Mt Iron. The “deer” turned out to be an illegal length sturgeon. If anyone has information about this violation please contact CO Frericks at (218) 404-0600. Many boaters and anglers were seen getting their watercraft ready for the opener. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs. Several juveniles were dealt with who hadn’t bought their angling licenses.
Ray – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports walleye spawning activity in many of the lakes and rivers in the Ely area has slowed down or completely stopped. Boating and angling activity continues to be low despite the very warm weather over the past week. Violations included angle with unattended lines, and operating a watercraft without a lifesaving device
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked sucker spearers and found there to be a lot of people trying to get out and recreate. People are reminded that it is illegal to fish for the closed season species and to remember to buy their fishing licenses. ATV traffic on the highways is a common violation and it seems lots of folks aren’t reading the rules on ATV use. Remember to bring you PFD if you’re out trying out your boat before opener.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) spent time investigating wildfires during the week. He also checked steelheads in the Lake Superior tributaries. Some people reported some pretty good steelhead action. Enforcement action was taken for failing to report a fire, open burning of garbage, and burning prohibited materials. The CO assisted in a firearms safety field day. It was the nicest day in quite some time for the field day.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped with hunter safety class and field day in Grand Marais. A brush pile burned over the winter re-ignited and firefighters found trash in the smoldering pile. Steelhead anglers were checked and the officer also assisted Fond du Lac Conservation Officers during spring spearing by band members on area lakes. The bears are out and hungry with one caller reporting a bag of feed was taken from an old outhouse after the bear removed the door.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked anglers, sucker spearing, and fish run activities throughout the week. Assistance was given to Lake County with an underage drinking party with many citations issued for underage alcohol consumption. Other enforcement action included unregistered boat, no PFD, and angle on a trout lake during closed season. A heavy sucker run was observed in many streams.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was spent assisting the sheriff’s office with an arrest warrant. CO Schottenbauer also worked on a trapping case.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers along the North Shore tributaries and providing security for Fond du Lac band members while they were spearing in area lakes. The officer helped out at a Firearm Safety field day, returned calls and worked on station equipment. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations and driving while suspended.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, invasive species, and ATV activity during the week. Murray responded to a call on a Lake Superior boat access where a vehicle became submerged when it slipped out of gear and rolled into the lake. The angler was unhurt and vehicle was recovered but a total loss. A good reminder to engage your parking brake while launching or retrieving your watercraft.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked spring fishing activity with many area sportsmen out enjoying the weather. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, littering and trespassing. Enforcement action was also taken on one individual who when approached CO Sutherland, through a fish back into the lake. Unfortunately for the angler the largemouth bass was dead and couldn’t swim away. The fish was netted out of the lake and the angler was given a citation for taking a fish out of season. CO Sutherland also spoke to multiple sporting groups about game and fish laws.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, dealt with issues involving wolves, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and investigated a call about a dead swan and determined it had run into a power line.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) did small game enforcement, checked anglers, and patrolled state parks, campgrounds, and forests. He also investigated some wildfires in the area. Violations included careless acts resulting in a fire, and ATV on roadway.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activities, answered injured/nuisance animal complaints, responded to grass fire calls and worked fish run. Enforcement action was taken for spearing after sunset, no burning permit, operating OHV on roadway and failure to display valid registration on OHV.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended a safety event at Blandin this past week. She is still investigating a complaint involving ATV trespass. She checked angling and ATV activity. She finished an investigation on multiple trapping violations that resulted in enforcement action.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs and spring beaver trappers. He also taught a firearms safety class and investigated a wildfire during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing. CO Wichmann also patrolled forest closures for motor vehicles and ATVs. Time was also spent completing required paperwork.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) worked in areas with ATV and OHM complaints on the Mesabi Bike Trail. CO Velsvaag also checked spring fish run activity. CO Velsvaag also assisted in illegal fires.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working smelting activity. Area lakes and rivers were worked along with Lake Superior. ATV complaints continue and problem areas were worked. Illegal fires were investigated and most common violation was burning without a permit. Equipment maintenance was attended to along with prepping watercraft for fishing opener.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work spring fish run activity along the North Shore of Lake Superior. ATV enforcement was also worked during the week. Officer Duncan responded to several illegal fires that turned into wildfires. Smelting activity was also monitored. Office work and many calls were fielded from the public.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, turkey hunting, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey patrolled area state parks and wildlife mgmt. areas. CO Humphrey assisted other district officers with Lake Superior smelting activity and monitoring fish run. CO Humphrey received complaints on nuisance skunk and beaver. Humphrey spoke to a firearms safety class in Cromwell. Investigations on trapping, wildfire and over limit investigations continued. CO Humphrey assisted the State Patrol with a vehicle crash on Interstate 35. Violations for angling licensing, OHV operation, OHV registration, illegal burning, failing to tend traps and no trapping license were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with an ATV safety class that was held at the Carlton County Fairgrounds in Barnum and also a gun safety class that was also held in the Barnum area. K9 training was conducted in the Metro area and also K9 assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department in searching for a person that fled into the woods after he was involved in an assault. K9 assistance was also given to another area officer in searching for evidence from a case where an individual was suspected of shooting deer and turkey. Other activity worked consisted of investigating fires in the area and working fishing and ATV activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations and also transporting aquatic macrophytes.
WREO Mike Scott assisted Eco Services with two LSP trainings for local businesses to participate in providing lake services to business and individuals. Assistance to Eco Services with training new watercraft inspectors for Itasca County summer work for AIS education was attended in Grand Rapids. Anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers. Some folks were spearing suckers and having limited success. Other anglers were out enjoying the nice weather over the weekend for a change. Enforcement action was taken for operating a 4 wheel drive truck in a lake bed.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked North Shore anglers from Duluth to the Silver Bay area. Olson assisted fellow District 8 officers on a case where two individuals were found to be illegally netting in the French River fish refuge. He responded to a TIP complaint of snagging trout at the McQuade safe harbor, responded to a fire in Grande Lake Twp., #63in the Cloquet fire district. Many smelters were present on area rivers and Park Point and good results had been seen during the week and weekend on Park Point. Dry conditions continue, rain is needed in the area to reduce fire dangers and help river levels on the north shore.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) worked fish run activities and checked smelters late at night. A large fire was responded to in central Lake County, and assistance was given to the Forest Service and local authorities with public safety efforts in the area. A boating and ATV safety talk was given at a local elementary school. Miller took enforcement action taken for ATV and angling violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers, smelters and boaters on Lake Superior and its tributaries. He also investigated a report of keeping walleyes during closed season on the St. Louis River. He investigated wildfires and responded to illegal burning reports. Ter Meer also attended training and assisted other agencies. Enforcement action taken for angling, boating, burning prohibited materials and AIS violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) provided a ride-along opportunity for a local college law enforcement student, monitored commercial bait harvester operations, checked ATVs, and spent time at area boat accesses enforcing aquatic invasive species laws. Many boaters seem to have forgotten the basic rules of pulling the boat plug and draining all water before leaving the landing. Enforcement action was taken in many instances.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled for ATV and sport fishing activity. Officer Guida prepared watercraft equipment for the upcoming open water angling season. A firearms safety class was instructed where numerous safety certificate seeking youngsters learned about game laws and hunting ethics.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports monitoring spring panfish bites, checking turkey hunting activity, giving presentations to elementary school students on natural resource conservation and conservation officer duties, and responding to various water level and wildlife issues. One such issue involved some people who took up feeding deer with corn on the shoulder of a public road, causing deer to congregate in the road creating a safety hazard to motorists and the deer.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) checked anglers on area lakes and responded to a call of a fox with mange. She also received a call of a trespass complaint and various shoreline violations.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) completed a background investigation on an applicant for a job as a Conservation Officer. CO McGowan patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for ATV, boating, and angling activity. Numerous violation were found including angling without a license, expired boat registration, no life jackets on watercraft, no ATV registration, and litter.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked turkey hunting, angling, trapping and ATV activity during the week. Water levels have not been this low in quite some time.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck and the pan fish bite has been slow. Violations of no license in possession and expired watercraft license were found. He spent time in the Pillsbury Forest evidence of vehicles operating on closed forest roads and causing damage was found. He checked a few turkey hunters and they report poor success. He stopped a boat being transported with a plug in it. The operator had just purchased the used boat and it had not been in the water yet this year so CO Posner reminded him of the AIS laws. He investigated a complaint on a leech trapper who was leaving litter at the pond and not checking his traps.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with so-so success being reported by anglers. Officer Lee received numerous complaints of beaver damming areas along with tree damage, and muskrat causing damage to shoreline and chewing on home siding. Officer Lee attended a Trappers Education Class this past week in Cuyuna. Officer Lee spoke to participants about trapping laws, topics pertaining to trapping and species identification. Officer Lee also received a complaint of a possible waters violation occurring. Upon investigation no violations had occurred, and further questions asked by the property owners were referred to the area hydrologist. Enforcement actions taken this past week included expired watercraft registrations, and operating ATVs on public roadways.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking ATV activity throughout the week and weekend on county and state land. The Officer gave a law and ethics presentation to an ATV Safety Class in Isle where the kids were certified for their ATV training. The Officer assisted with processing evidence for a pending case and answered lots of ATV, boating, fishing, and trapping related law questions. Tribal netting was also monitored during the week on Mille Lacs Lake. Questions regarding regulations on some county administered land were answered and a nuisance beaver permit was issued for an area where the beaver were causing damage to a roadway. The Officer also got boats and other related equipment ready for the 2015 Open water fishing season opener. Please remember to check make sure your boats registration is current and to pick up a new fishing license before coming out for the opener next weekend.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a complaint of trespass and take big game out of season. The investigation is still pending. Speldrich checked anglers throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for fish over-limits. Extra patrol in ATV complaint areas was conducted and Speldrich spent time educating boaters about AIS laws.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored fishing, ATV, and boating activities with some suckers and panfish showing up. Numerous fires were also investigated with enforcement action taken for permit violations and careless fire. ATV violations were found to very high with riding on hwy, registration, illegal youth operation, no helmet, no safety certificate, and no Minnesota Driver’s License. Boat owners are reminded to pull the plugs from the boats before transportation, as violations were found already.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked anglers and boaters during the Wisconsin border water fishing opener. Area boat landings were packed and lakes were fairly busy with folks enjoying warm, sunny weather. Fire danger remained high and wildfires continued to be a problem in the entire area.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters throughout the Pine City area. He answered questions about turkey hunting, state forest regulations, and burning regulations. CO Wynn spent time assisting State Patrol with searching for objects thrown during a pursuit, and traffic control on a fire near Beroun. CO Wynn also worked the St. Croix River with the National Park Service checking anglers from Highway 70 up to St. Croix State Park. Fishing was slow according to the anglers contacted on the river, and water levels are low for this time of year.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked a number of fishermen harvesting suckers from area creeks. One group said they annually harvest suckers to make fish patties. Time was spent teaching an ATV class and monitoring treaty harvest on Mille Lacs. While stopped at a local gas station an elderly couple was locked out of their vehicle. A small dog in the vehicle had hit the lock button. Just before getting an apparatus in the vehicle to unlock it the dog decided to hit the unlock button and had a sort of grin on his face. Croatt told the couple that he was just toying with us and wanted to see what we would do.
WREO Rob Haberman continued to check shore fishermen having some success with panfish. WREO Haberman also attended meetings and helped with transferring of equipment. WREO Haberman also saved a snapping turtle from immortal danger while it was trying to cross a busy road. The turtle was helped across the road and continued on its journey to lay its eggs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies also worked in the vacant St. Cloud station. CO Mies also worked on tip calls.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) worked several ATV complaints including illegal juvenile operators, ATV’ers tearing up roads and trespass into a tree farm. Other incidents involved Class 2 ATVs being driven in the traffic lane of public highways instead of on the shoulder where they are supposed to drive. Lake residents were busy getting their boats from storage and water testing them. An individual was cited for no burning permit and open burning of garbage after thinking he didn’t need a permit because it had rained a little.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) took calls in regards to bird flu, nuisance beaver and turkey hunting. The officer last week worked angling and turkey hunters. Officer worked with neighboring officer on one night for bow fishing enforcement and found the following violations on one lake: no license in possession, false application for license, no fishing license, fail to display valid boat registration, no boat registration, insufficient navigational light after sunset, failure to have legal life saving devices on board watercraft, operate watercraft while person riding on gunwales, deck or bow, minor in possession of alcohol, minor consumption of alcohol, and shooting of game fish (crappie, bass and catfish). Enforcement action was also taken for over limit on another case. End of the month administrative task were also completed.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) has received numerous complaints of ATV’s and dirt bikes tearing up roads, running up and down roads and trespassing. A wetland complaint of a person filling a wetland to build a campground was investigated and CO Kuske spoke at the Little Falls Youth firearms safety class and Royalton firearms safety and ATV safety classes. The Little Falls firearms safety group is in need of additional instructors to help put on the annual class. Please contact CO Kuske if you are interested in helping them out.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week working on wetland violations. An AIS work crew was held along the St. Croix River for the border water opener. Enforcement action was taken for no boat registration, fail to remove drain plug, and taking VHS susceptible minnows without the proper permitting.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for the Grey Eagle Firearms Safety class. Bow fishermen were checked. A possible trapping violation was investigated. ATV activity was monitored. Questions about watercraft were answered.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) handled calls of crappie over limit, nuisance beaver, and illegal fires. Angling success is picking up in the area. Many boats and docks went in with the warm weather. Firearms safety talks were given to the Albany and Farming classes. Enforcement action was taken on illegal fires. People are reminded to get a burning permit before burning anything other than a camp fire.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring bowfishing and shore angling activity. Carp and other rough fish were being taken in most local spots. A commercial bait inspection was completed at an area retail store. CO Silgjord assisted with instruction at the Padua Firearms Safety Class where this year brought a large amount of students. Annual training was attended in Marshall and yearly inspections on station equipment were conducted. CO Silgjord monitored area accesses for aquatic invasive species violations, as the nice weather has brought out some boaters. A TIP complaint regarding carp left at a public fishing location was taken and is currently being investigated.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) worked a aquatic invasive enforcement detail in Chisago County with violations found for failure to remove drain plugs. CO Musatov worked Wildlife Management Area rules as a result of complaints from the public including dogs off leash. A fire was investigated that was not permitted or properly extinguished. A youth firearms safety class was attended and calls were received for taking fish out of season and animal complaints.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on a bow fishing complaint. He checked retail minnow dealers. He took a number of nuisance animal complaints. He picked up a dead bald eagle and had it taken to the Raptor Center.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted with a AIS work crew in Chisago County this past weekend with violations for transport with plug left in watercraft and failure to drain live wells. Reller also gave a presentation on Conservation Officers duties for a Law and Order class at Buffalo High School. The weekend was very busy with some lakes having a good crappie bite. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappies, angling with extra lines, no watercraft registration and PFD violations.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend of the St. Croix fishing opener. Many anglers took to the river for the season’s first walleye fishing in the area. With the river water levels lower than usual for this time of year, many anglers found good numbers of walleyes and saugers. CO Langevin also participated in an AIS work crew on the river. Violations included illegal length walleye, no lake service provider permit, fail to remove drain plug and no license in possession.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) Checked anglers during the week. Time was also spent investigating open burning complaints. ATVs were out in force with the nice weather and several complaints were received regarding operating on county roads, highways and damage caused by operators. Assistance was given to the Kanabec County Sherriff’s Office with a canoe race held on Knife Lake. Enforcement action was taken on operating ATVs on state highways and failure to control a permit fire.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters, ATVs and spoke at firearms safety classes. Officer Londgren also worked the opener on the St. Croix, and also checked for invasive species compliance at public accesses. One angler came to the access with not only the plugs still in the watercraft but was also transporting live fish in water in the livewell.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and doing minnow retailer inspections. CO Grewe took several calls on nuisance animal complaints. Violations included no fishing license, expired boat registration and failure to remove boat drain plugs on roadway.
CO Traci Hanson (Minnetonka) checked anglers and boaters around Lake Minnetonka. Hanson assisted with a medical on the bike trail, tended to a dead hawk, a nuisance fox and investigated a complaint of possible fuel leak in a boat gas can leading to possible contamination of the lake. Hanson spoke with the owner of the boat, who cleaned it up and removed the spill with no leaks into the water.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) focused most of her attention on boating and angling enforcement throughout all of Scott County. Many people have gotten their boats and pleasure crafts out on the lakes and have been enjoying the beautiful weather out on the water. Leuthardt checked numerous shoreline and boat anglers and found many anglers having luck reaching their limit of crappies. She responded to complaints of bow fishing in city limits, trespassing, fishing in closed area, and bass fishing out of season. She took enforcement action on take fish in closed season, angling without licenses, angling without license in possession, insufficient PFDs, fail to remove drain plug, no boat registration, and fail to display valid boat registration.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled multiple animal nuisance calls. TIP calls were responded to on Court House Lake on taking trout during closed season and the Crow River on bow fishermen shooting rough fish and throwing them back in the water. State trails and parks were patrolled. Anglers and boaters were checked for AIS violations, fish and boating safety equipment. Multiple violations were found for taking trout during closed season, bow fishermen shooting rough fish and throwing them back in the water, extra lines, unattended lines, wanton waste and litter.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing activity in the Mound station. He worked AIS on Lake Minnetonka and responded to an injured owl. He also did a fishing workshop in Albert Lea for the Asian employees at a local company and returned calls on nuisance animal complaints.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) returned calls regarding a coyote that was following people in Minneapolis, a dead turkey in Edina and a request for possession of a squirrel. He set up a FAS class in Richfield. He also got his boat and related equipment ready for the season and fishing opener.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time working the Wisconsin fishing opener on the St. Croix River and found many anglers that had success. He attended a St. Croix River law enforcement meeting at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and participated in a public safety advertisement for boating. CO Arntzen also assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency with recovering a drowning victim. Violations for the week included angling without a license, no fire extinguisher, PFD violations, no license in possession, registration violations, possession of drug paraphernalia and being in a WMA during closed hours.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers and turkey hunters around Dakota and Washington counties. The St. Croix walleye opener brought many people to the river but very few fish were seen in the box. He picked up accidentally taken otters from a party and attended an enforcement meeting with Wisconsin wardens and deputies, Washington County, and the National Park Service. Enforcement action for the week included fail to display valid watercraft registration, no type 4 PFD, no fire extinguisher and angle with extra lines.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spent the week checking shore anglers and anglers from boats around the Metro lakes and rivers. He responded to TIP complaints of possible fishing violations and a wetland violation in Dakota County and took care of accidental trapped otters in his patrol station. Violations found this week included fishing without a fishing license, fishing without a fishing license in possession, fishing with extra lines, and taking bass in closed area.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the MN-WI border fishing opener with CO Arntzen. They assisted Washington County Water Patrol with the recovery of a missing person in Stillwater. CO Johnson conducted AIS checks at the Boom Site access on the St. Croix River. He investigated an aquatic plant removal complaint on Lake Owasso. He also responded to a trespass violation at Belwin Conservancy in Afton.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also checked anglers on the Mississippi River. Boaters are reminded to check their registration prior to getting out on the water.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) finished a background investigation for a CO applicant. She worked with CO Kulhanek on the St. Croix River for the Wisconsin fishing opener and worked on a deer license case. CO Kruse attended a border water meeting, worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes and the Mississippi River. Violations encountered this week included angling with an extra line, no fishing license, keep bass in pool 2, expired registration, insufficient PFDs and fishing license not in possession.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent most of the week working wetland related activity in Anoka, Washington and Scott counties. Several resource protection notifications were issued along with an amended Restoration Order. WREO Block also attended training held in St. Paul and finished a pre-employment background investigation on a conservation officer applicant.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a meeting in St. Paul. Fishermen and AIS checks were completed on the Minnesota River
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked the Appleton ATV Park and checked fishermen along the Minnesota River. Reports of people catching limits of crappie in the morning and evening are under investigation. Enforcement action was taken for allow illegal operation, fail to display registration, and take walleye out of season.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the majority of last week working fishing, AIS, turkey hunting, and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given with firearms safety classes in Balaton, Milroy, and Tracy as spring classes are finishing up in the area. With the walleye opener a week away questions were answered dealing with boating and AIS laws. He also attended Enforcement division training.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and conduction investigations. Firearms Safety was taught in Worthington. Many invasive species questions were fielded. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines and no licenses.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, ATV, and boating activity during the week. Turkey hunting activity was also monitored. Commercial minnow dealer inspections were completed. Angling violations were encountered.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Burning prohibited materials is continuing to be a problem in the area. The officer followed up on information about northern pike being taken out of season. Damage to a parking area was found near Dead Coon Lake.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and followed up on bow fishing complaints. He located multiple dead northern pike in a local river that appeared to die from single puncture wounds consistent with an arrow. He also educated anglers about the bass season and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking anglers and working boating safety. Training was also attended in Marshall. Klehr assisted the county with closing a road so the fire departments could get a wildfire under control. Bow fishermen were worked at night with many of them requiring enforcement action. Violations detected just from bow fishermen included expired registration, no PFDs, no navigational lights, no angling license, shooting game fish and many other violations. Game fish that were shot included but not limited to crappies, bass, and catfish. There were also groups that were drinking and possessing alcohol while underage.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) continued an investigation of a goose shot out of season. She checked anglers in search of spring crappies and sunfish. Mueller assisted with a vehicle that was abandoned at a lake access and finished up a background investigation. Mueller also attended a youth ATV safety class in Olivia.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports local anglers are having a slow go of it so far this spring. Some crappies and sunfish are being caught but most hope the warm weather will help pick things up. FAS talks were given in Green Isle and Glencoe. Oberg also testified in court on a baiting case from last fall.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated a reported public waters violation and several state park violations. He also attended use of force/firearms training. Nelson spent the remainder of the week on angling, turkey hunting and ATV activities.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing and turkey hunting seasons. Gruhlke hosted an appreciation banquet for Jackson County volunteer instructors and their significant other and completed his radio program discussing topics including AIS and the upcoming inland water fishing opener. He also fielded several questions concerning the AIS (sticker, trailer) law and attended a qualification shoot in Marshall.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
Windom – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to check turkey hunters and anglers. ATV activity was monitored. The officer attended Use of Force training in Marshall.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, recreational vehicle, turkey hunting, and AIS activity. A firearms safety class was attended in Faribault. Commercial inspections were conducted.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working trout angling and turkey hunting enforcement. The 15th annual Trout Day was attended at Forestville State Park. CO Chihak assisted DNR Community Liaison, Tong Vang, and CO Vang Lee with an information and education seminar in Albert Lea. A report of deer carcasses dumped within the easement of a designated trout stream was investigated.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling enforcement this past week. CO Howe also assisted local law enforcement with the search for a missing person, spoke to a Firearms Safety class on laws and ethics, and presented information at Key Cities Conservation Club’s annual Youth Day.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area public water accesses. Officer Ihnen also assisted with efforts in attempting to locate a missing person near the city of LeSueur.
WREO Julie Siems followed up on WCA and Public Waters violations. Assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies as well.
Albert Lea – vacant.
Mankato #1 – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week on the Mississippi River as well as checking some trout fishermen and turkey hunters. The birds appear to be a little more cooperative as of late and success has been improving with both turkey and trout. The big river and some inland lakes are giving up crappies and sunfish. A large bass tournament was held on the river and the success was very good. Some fishing and boating related violations were detected and a couple investigations were worked on.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Lots of people were out fishing and some with good success. Heyn also completed paperwork for alcohol and drug cases.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy week of fishing and turkey hunting. Good weather helped keep people in the field. Angling was fair to good. Most anglers checked had at least one trout and most cases anglers had two to three. Compliance was high. Turkey hunting also has seemed to pick up. Hunters are reporting seeing toms alone late in the day and responses to calling have gotten better. A trespass call was investigated.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports fishing and turkey hunting continue to keep him busy. Panfish and white bass limits were checked on the river while the turkey hunters had mixed success. He checked a PWC without registration. They could not get the PWC to stop. The person on the back was reading the owner’s manual and trying to explain to the driver how to operate the newly purchased machine. Hemker spoke with them and suggested to read the manual along with laws before they ride.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week and weekend checking angling activity. Once again there were hundreds of boats in the area fishing over the weekend. Numerous limits of fish were seen in the bag. Time was also spent checking ATV activity, state forest activity and turkey hunting activity. Some over limit tickets were issued along with numerous other fishing violations.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew training missions with CO Pilot Jensen. Geving also studied waterfowl identification training aids for an upcoming waterfowl survey and attended to maintenance issues.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew fisher and wolf telemetry. Heineman also flew multiple Forest Assessment wetland photos.
NR Pilot Brad Maas(Brainerd) completed the final part of the sandhill crane nesting survey in west central Minnesota. In total, over 420 waypoints were checked for possible nesting sites. Nests with eggs were found in 44 locations. A team of grad students will be attempting to capture adults at these sites and place radio transmitters on the birds to track migration movements for the next 3-4 years. Minnesota’s crane population is a fringe population, centered on central Wisconsin, and has been increasing in number. NR Pilot Maas also continued helicopter training with one pilot.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying some wolf and pine marten telemetry flights. During some of these flights Jensen attempted to locate some ATV complaint areas and also checked some anglers via seaplane. Jensen also flew a U of M researcher to look at cormorant/pelican rookeries in south central Minnesota. Jensen then gave seaplane instruction to another CO pilot and received some training from the same pilot to refine some flight instructor techniques.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent the week flying high altitude wetland photo assessment flights in the southwestern part of the state. Miscellaneous aircraft maintenance issues were also addressed.