Babbitt/Ely: While on a BWCA patrol, CO Bermel watched a group catch and keep 12 walleyes prior to opener. When confronted about starting the season early one member of the group said, “It’s the Friday before opener in the Boundary Waters, what do you expect?” The fish were released but citations and fishing rod seizures were given out.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked late season turkey hunters. One archery hunter reported missing a turkey and hitting his decoy. The tom then attacked his decoy allowing him to get a second successful shot.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports speaking with a frustrated archery turkey hunter. The hunter stated that he finally got a tom to respond to his calls and he was coming in. The hunter prepared himself in his blind. Once the bird got into range the hunter drew his bow and prepared for the shot. At about this time a gust of wind came up, folding in two sides of his blind and in turn collapsing the whole blind. Unfortunately the tom decided not to hang around.
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated an illegal fire that got out of control near Roseau. Assistance was given to US Customs regarding an issue exporting furs. Area WMAs were patrolled. CO Huener attended a meeting with Lake of the Woods resorts, DNR Fisheries, US Border Patrol, and US Coast Guard regarding the upcoming fishing season. Opening weekend on Lake of the Woods was slow to fair with lots of people getting out on the Lake. Violations included possessing illegal length walleye, angling with extra lines, and boating safety violations.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) worked a fairly busy angling opener on Lake of the Woods. Success was not as good as it could have been for most, but some anglers were having great results. Many slot fish were reported being caught. A few anglers were not as careful measuring their fish as they should have been and enforcement action was taken for their illegal length walleyes. Boat and water safety, AIS enforcement, and ATV enforcement was also worked. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, no throwable PFD, various ATV violations, and no valid state park pass.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked with CO Prachar on the Rainy River and on Lake of the Woods conducting angling enforcement and boating safety checks. A meeting was attended with a local resort answering questions from the guides with CO Prachar. A fire investigation was followed up on and CO Woinarowicz assisted the sheriff’s office with a call of orphaned bear cubs. Enforcement action was taken for boating registration and safety equipment violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working a busy fishing opener on Upper Red Lake with Lt. Znajda. Special regulation lakes, monitoring ATV activity on area trails and AIS enforcement occurred throughout the week. Enforcement action included possession of protected slot Upper Red Lake walleye, watercraft registration, and AIS violations.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports continuing work on wildfire cases. Time was also spent working the annual fishing opener. Several boaters and ATV operators were checked. Boaters were reminded about AIS laws. A possible wetland violation site was inspected. Violations encountered included no PFDs, take fish in closed season, angling with extra lines, and fail to display ATV registration.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked leeching, angler, bow fishermen, boaters, and an alteration of a creek. He assisted with a search for a stolen ATV, enforced fire violations and handled a case where the complainant was warned for angler harassment. He attended a sportsman club meeting and a snowmobile club meeting. Wildlife complaints continue. CO Malinowski took calls of an injured eagle, coyote and fox in town giving mange to pets, car kill bear, neighbor feeding bear, and a sow with three cubs living in a drain tile pipe. Please remember spring is time to leave baby animals alone.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers on opener, investigated a WCA complaint and returned found property to an owner’s family.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy walleye opener. Area lakes were extremely busy, but the bite slowed some on Sunday with the rain moving in. Area ATV trails were patrolled as well as closed spawning areas. Closed angling waters in the Bemidji area are now open. CO Vollbrecht completed yearly employee right to know training.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling and ATV activity during the week. A complaint was received regarding an individual in possession of an over limit of crappies. The officer worked a busy fishing opener on area lakes. A good number of anglers were out in Itasca State Park. Time was also spent monitoring public accesses for AIS compliance. Enforcement activity for the week included watercraft registration violations, equipment violations, angling license violations and an over limit of crappies.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a very spotty fishing opener. Most fish had cleared from the rivers and midnight anglers reported very slow fishing with very few walleyes being caught. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, unattended line, insufficient PFDs, and expired watercraft registration. TIP calls were received and are currently under investigation.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to complaints of trespass, worked ATV enforcement and checked fishermen. On opener most anglers reported a slow fish bite, compliance was good.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The fishing opener was busy with the nice weather and fishing success was good. Time was also spent working on shoreline issues, checking turkey hunters and working fishing TIPs.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and boating activity during the fishing opener weekend with most anglers have a tough time finding fish. The public is reminded to take a couple minutes before putting their boat on the water to make sure they have all required safety equipment. AIS checks were performed at public accesses. CO Warren monitored areas for OHM and ATV activity. A call of an injured owl was received and information provided with the owl being transferred to a rehabilitation center.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and turkey hunting activity in the area. Anglers who were anticipating the opening day of walleye season were met with cold temperatures and limited success. Many anglers were found to be a little too excited for the opener and had forgot to bring their licenses or other required boat equipment with. The officer would like to remind people that it is important to make sure you have proper safety equipment with and verify that they are in good working order. The officer would also like to remind people that the throwable PFG needs to be immediately accessible and not buried in a compartment. Calls were answered from the public regarding coyote hunting, avian influenza, and potential wetland violations along public roadways. Several media interviews were also conducted regarding the fishing opener. Violations for the week included insufficient PFDs, no throwable cushion, illegal length crappies, and angling without a license in possession.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on fishing activity around the Becker and Otter Tail county area. The fishing opener was worked around the Detroit Lakes area. Quite a few fish were seen. An AIS training was given to the Otter Tail Sheriff’s Office. Several WCA and PW cases were opened and several others closed out.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports despite cold temperatures many lakes were full of anglers on the opener. Fishing success was generally good with some reports of possible over limits received. River angling also appeared to be very good for walleye on the Ottertail. A dead sturgeon was found with an apparent wound from a bow fisherman. The incident will be pursued and any information will be appreciated.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored sucker spearing activity through the week and worked a busy fishing opener. Many boats and fishermen were checked with good success on walleye. Plautz responded to a TIP complaint of illegal taking of fish. Invasive species education was performed at several public accesses as boats were leaving the lake.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and worked AIS enforcement along with participating in two work crews this past weekend. Additional time was spent handling complaints of fish overlimits in the vacant Wheaton station and Canada goose and skunk depredation. The common violation on the fishing opener was insufficient number of PFDs and no throwable device.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen, bow fishermen, ATVs and worked a wetland drainage complaint. There were numerous people out on Saturday of opener fishing but unfortunately there were numerous people transporting their plugs in boats also. Several questions were answered throughout the week about injured animals, turkey hunting, fishing, boating and ATVs.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy fishing opener weekend in the Alexandria area. High numbers of boaters led to busy lake accesses around the station. Time was also spent working AIS enforcement at a few busy locations with very good compliance. Violations ranged from expired watercraft registration to keeping bass out of season and overlimits of crappie. Two fishermen had their boat capsize on a smaller lake, but were luckily rescued quickly by a nearby fisherman. A reminder to all involved how cold the water is this time of year and how quickly something bad can happen.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing, boating, and AIS activity throughout the week and busy fishing opener weekend. COs Johanson and Lawler responded to an emergency call involving a capsized boat with two people in the water on Lake Vermont in Douglas County. Fortunately, several other boaters were able to assist the people involved and get them out of the water, with no injuries reported. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters, patrolling for ATV and fire activity, investigating possible shoreline violations, and following up on commercial minnow cases.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the inland fishing opener, boating safety and AIS law compliance. COs Anderson and Nelson worked an opening night work crew for anglers in the Morris area. COs Anderson and Baumbarger conducted boat and water safety checks as well as AIS compliance on Lake Minnewaska this past weekend. A TIP complaint was worked about persons possibly taking over limits of fish on the Mustinka River in the vacant Wheaton station. Time was spent assisting other COs with the new RMS system and handling calls from the public regarding a missing dock, nuisance beaver and FAS classes.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports that there were a lot of fishermen out for the walleye opener, but the fishing success was very poor. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent issuing beaver removal permits, and reading and sorting through multiple goose depredation permits.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy walleye opener. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boat equipment violations, angling without a license and no license in possession.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, boaters and ATVers. Officer Hunter received a TIP call and investigated. CO Hunter found that compliance over the opening weekend was good.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked several anglers over the annual fishing opener. Compliance on all aspects of fishing and boating was very good. Assistance was provided to 4th graders at a “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” program. Fires were investigated over the dry conditions. Landowners are encouraged to use caution with fires and to check on burning permit availability before lighting any fires. A wolf complaint was investigated where a wolf was reported near several homes. The wolf turned out to be a loose husky dog.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and ATV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Received a call regarding nuisance beaver; received a complaint of illegal work in public waters.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) enforced AIS and angling laws during the opening fishing weekend. Angling success varied by water body, day, and time. Commercial minnow operations were also inspected. A call of an injured owl was received. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation, transporting lake water, fail to remove boat plug, boat registration, ride on gunwale on a moving boat, PFD violations, and no angling license in possession.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, boating, and spring trapping activity. Angling success was good over the opening weekend; however, weather conditions limited angling activity. CO Broughten spent time checking compliance with AIS laws. CO Broughten investigated complaints of person building a boat house and an illegally possessed bear. CO Broughten also assisted the State Patrol with a tree over the roadway and completed mandatory training.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) assisted with “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” over hundred Staples/Motley 4th graders fished on Lake Shamineau; a great time was had by all. Opening fishing was slower than normal with pan fish being the best bite. A number of bass fishermen took advantage of new law of catch and release early season.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) completed reports and responded to a nuisance bear complaint. Officer rode the trails resulting in investigation of litter, wanton waste and ATV use in a wetland. Violations for allowing illegal juvenile operation and operating ATV without safety certificates
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports busy week with sturgeon harvest season coming to close and people are reminded that harassing sturgeon during spawning is illegal (watch do not touch!). Several public waters issues were looked into in the Lake Kabetogama and Ash River Trail areas. The walleye opener brought lots of people out on Saturday and the wind and cooler temperatures kept most people closer to shore on Sunday. Enforcement activity for week involved failure to validate sturgeon tag, no angling license in possession, insufficient PFD’s, and illegal length walleye.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports a busy weekend for anglers participating in the 2015 fishing opener. Many anglers were seen having some success despite subpar weather conditions and very low water levels on Kabetogama Lake. Overall, anglers were happy to be on the water partaking in the weekend activities even though number of fish per boat was lower than expected. A reminder to the public traveling to the International Falls area lakes, the water levels are extremely low and extra caution should be used when boating in unfamiliar waters. Time was also spent investigating possible water complaints and answering AIS questions from the public. Enforcement action was taken for illegal length fish, no angling license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs, and no Type IV throwable PFD.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports wind, rain and cold temps for the opener, with few anglers, very few campers and generally poor fishing success. Forest roads continue to be monitored as do public water access sites. Watercraft maintenance continues.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported that the early part of the week had a lot of activity and individuals netting/spearing the sucker run. The latter part of the week was spent getting ready for, and attending the Governor’s opener activities. The officer gave a refresher presentation at the Host Banquet, going over regulations, safety issues, and Invasive species concerns. The officer attended the Governor’s picnic, and verified that both Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith had their angling license. The officer assisted with the Governor’s security during his time angling on the water, and attended the shore lunch at Fortune Bay Casino. Time was still found for enforcement duties, and a number of anglers were cited for fishing for walleye before season.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the fishing season opener, a fishing out of season complaint, investigated two complaints of wolves injuring dogs, and concluded a case of felony fleeing a peace officer on an OHM with obtaining an admission to the offense. The case will go to the county attorney for charges. The opening of fishing season saw the lowest number of anglers the officer has seen, even with a decent day of weather. Fishing success was fair for panfish, pike and trout. Enforcement action was taken on littering; no angling license in possession, insufficient PFDs and remove aquatic vegetation from public waters without a permit.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time preparing boating and other equipment for use. ATV and OHM activity still remains high with enforcement action taken for operating unregistered machines as well as other violations. The fishing opener brought out high numbers of people to area lakes. Some anglers tried to get a jump on others by starting early and admitting they were just catch and releasing anything they caught. Those anglers were issued citations. Other anglers neglected to purchase their angling license while others decided 10 crappies weren’t enough and decided to take 12. Enforcement action was taken for the license and over limit violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent the fishing opener working the Governor’s opener on Lake Vermilion. All fishing parties seemed to be enjoying themselves and walleye’s were being cooperative. Sunday fishing was tough conditions with cool breezy northeast winds, only the hardy fishermen were out. Very low water levels have exposed many rock hazards and a few lower units were taken out.
Ray – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent most of the week patrolling inside the BWCA wilderness by canoe. Fishing pressure was low through the week and stepped up sharply just before the walleye opener. Anglers reported slow walleye action Saturday morning but several anglers were having very good luck with large crappies. Violations included angling with an unattended line, and angling with no license in possession.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked the predictably slow fishing opener. The CO saw more fish than people and many popular lakes were completely void of anglers by the second day. The CO did see some nice walleyes in the live wells. Some people skipped the boats and got some suckers from the local streams for everything from pickled fish to fish cakes.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked steelhead anglers and Lake Superior tributaries. Increased bear activity was reported to the officer; no serious damage done. CO Manning patrolled area lakes for early walleye fishing and worked the nicest fishing opener seen in some time; violation rate was low and angling success was mixed. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, failure to display current boat registration and no sound-producing device on boat.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) worked a busy fishing opener. While on a BWCA patrol, CO Bermel watched a group catch and keep 12 walleyes prior to opener. When confronted about starting the season early one member of the group said, “It’s the Friday before opener in the Boundary Waters, what do you expect?” The fish were released but citations and fishing rod seizures were given out. On opener, assistance was given to Ely PD at Vermilion Community College with drunk, belligerent students from a different college on the campus. During the investigation an illegal slot length northern was discovered in their possession taken from White Iron Lake earlier in the day. Enforcement action for the week included many instances of taking walleyes in closed season, extra lines, possession of immeasurable fish from a special regulations lake, illegal slot northern, fail to display watercraft registration, boat plug violations, and under 21 consumption of alcohol.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked fishing opener weekend. Time was spent wrapping up some trapping complaints. CO Schottenbauer also spent time reminding folks of the importance of invasive species regulations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on AIS, boat and water safety and angling activity on area lakes over the opening of fishing weekend. The officer responded to wildlife calls, worked ATV enforcement and preformed equipment maintenance on his patrol boat. Wahlstrom checked steelhead anglers along the north shore streams
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the fishing opener along Lake Superior and interior lakes. Fishing success in the area seemed to be moderate to slow in most areas but several anglers checked had enough for fish diner. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and transporting fish without skin patch attached.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, investigated burning complaints, and worked invasive species regulations. Also, handled calls on a dead eagle, fishing violations, wolves, and turkeys. Enforcement action was taken for burning violations.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked the fishing opener, did small game enforcement, checked anglers, and patrolled state parks, campgrounds, and forests. He investigated an over-limit complaint, handled a road kill deer call, and worked AIS. He also had a CO Prep officer with him for a shift.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, investigated a wolf depredation and worked TIP complaints. The cooler weather made for a slower walleye bite in the area. Enforcement action was taken for possess illegal length walleye, transport water from infested body of water and fail to have navigational lights on after sunset.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) dealt with a couple fires this past week in the area. Conditions remain fairly dry still, even though rain fell over the fishing opener. Anglers were out in full force. She helped out with a complaint of possibly illegal spearing, which turned out to be legal. She responded to a complaint involving a vehicle illegally operating on an ATV trail with enforcement action taken.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week prior to fishing opener. CO Sutherland gave a career talk to three area high school classes explaining the daily job duties of a conservation officer. CO Sutherland took enforcement action over the past week for angling without a license in possession, failing to have legal lifesaving devices on board a watercraft, angling in a restricted area, failing to display valid registration on a watercraft, possessing a slot walleye and possessing more than one walleye over 20 inches.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs and state forest campgrounds. He also handled fishing and trespass complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing, ATV and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for illegal length fish and Boating While Impaired. Wichmann also helped out a stranded boater on an area lake.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) worked ATV’s in complaint areas. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and OHM operators. CO Velsvaag received several animal nuisance complaints on beavers and coyotes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time during the week following up on fire investigations. ATV complaints were investigated and numerous violations were observed and enforcement action was taken. Wildlife complaints continue and bear complaints seemed to be the most common this week. Fishing opener was worked and despite windy and cold weather, anglers were not going to miss out on tradition. The St. Louis River was busy as usual and most anglers were able to land some walleyes. Officer Schmidt assisted Duluth PD with ATV enforcement and operation training.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) worked long hours during the 2015 MN fishing opener. Several calls were fielded such as: fishing before season, over limits, ATV violations, general angling and invasive species questions and more. Many anglers were contacted and inspected for boating safety equipment. Most all anglers were having pretty good success with many mixed bags of fish being seen.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time preparing equipment for the traditional fishing opener. Continued work along the North Shore of Lake Superior checking steelhead fishermen. Enforcement work continued working problem fish run locations for netting and spearing. Several complaints were responded to during the week and time was also spent working ATV, AIS and boating safety enforcement. Officer Duncan also investigated another wolf depredation involving a family dog being killed by wolves.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS, OHV, turkey hunting, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey patrolled in the FDL State Forest and local Wildlife Mgmt. areas. CO Humphrey followed up on compliance with an Aquatic Plant Restoration Order, wild fire and litter investigations. CO Humphrey found mixed results on fishing opener with some nice walleye, pike, and panfish catches being observed. Locally, overall compliance with licensing, boating safety equipment and AIS requirements was very good. Some violations included angling w/o a license, boating equipment, OHV operation, illegal burning, use of an electronic call and invalid turkey license.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued two restoration orders on wetland violations in the area. A complaint of someone poisoning wild animals is being investigated in the area. Fishing opener was busy with a lot of activity to report in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, angle without a license, insufficient life jackets and registration violations. Turkey hunting activity was checked in the area but little activity was found. ATV activity was busy over the past weekend with enforcement action being taken for no safety certificate, operating on the road and registration violations. While checking an area of state forest land where there is frequent littering a group of individuals were contacted and found to be making a skate board park on a paved section of an old road. Concrete ramps and rails were all found on the property. The individuals were identified and the local DNR forestry and trails offices were notified so discussions on how it’s going to be cleaned up could take place.
WREO Michael Scott (NE Region) assisted a local resident with a raccoon that had taken up residency under their deck. Officer Scott checked anglers in the St. Louis County area before the fishing opener who were after crappies. He checked anglers on Fish Lake and Cloquet River during fishing opener. Cooler winds kept many off the main lake but fish were seen being caught with the biggest complaint being they were too big for the slot and had to be released. Enforcement actions were taken for no flotation device on boat, no fire extinguisher and fail to remove drain plug from boat
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent the week working the tributary streams of the North Shore. Time was also spent responding to wildfire calls and maintenance items on squad. Opener was spent along the North Shore and the St. Louis River. The cooler weather and steady northeast winds didn’t seem to hinder the anglers. Enforcement actions were taken for fire related issues, fish and boating violations.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on a ‘normal’ cloudy and cool opener weekend. Many mentioned their happiness at not dealing with the winter-like conditions of the two previous openers. Two anglers checked on a remote lake commented that they had never seen a warden on the lake before. AIS enforcement was worked with rather poor compliance found for transporting watercraft with bilge plugs in place. Enforcement actions were taken for angling, watercraft and AIS violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the earlier part of the week checking smelters, river anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. He also responded to bear in downtown Duluth. The weekend was spent checking some Lake Superior anglers and the walleye anglers on the St. Louis River and area lakes. It was overall pretty good on Saturday with lots of anglers out, but the weather switched on Sunday to cold and rain. The CO also responded to a water emergency, but the child was located safe on land before watercraft was launched. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked the walleye opener on area lakes with good success seen. A TIP call of a possible fish overlimit was followed up on and a report of bow fishermen shooting northern pike was investigated with the assistance of a local sheriff’s deputy who was close by. The deputy was able to get there and get the suspects information before they left the area and provided it to the officer. The suspects were interviewed and violations of bow fishing without a license, taking fish out of season, and wanton waste were determined.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, AIS, ATV and turkey activity throughout the week. Assistance was given to the Aitkin Sheriff’s Department with a drowning/medical incident on Farm Island Lake. Anglers need to better prepare with replacement water for their minnows and leeches. All water, including bait water, even if it hasn’t mixed with lake water, must be drained prior to leaving the lake.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked the busy fishing opener in the lakes area. Numerous folks were out angling with limited success. A crappie bite was monitored and a group that was observed on it for a few days were practicing catch and release. Numerous angling and boating violations were detected over the weekend. A Natural Resources law enforcement student and a DNR intern were also able to experience the fishing opener from a Conservation Officer perspective.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled the Whitefish Chain and other smaller Pine River area lakes over the opening weekend. The majority of lakes were very busy with fishing and boating activity, but the bite was fairly slow. Numerous citations and warnings were issued for a variety of boating and fishing violations.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a busy fishing opener with high numbers of anglers found out on area lakes taking advantage of the best weather on opening day in several years. Numerous limits of rainbow trout were checked on mine pit lakes in the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, while walleye and northern pike action was found to be generally slow on other area lakes. A TIP call investigation earlier in the week resulted in enforcement action against some individuals found targeting game fish in closed season, fishing without license, extra lines, and using game fish for bait. Bow fishermen and sucker spearers were found having success on the Mississippi river and area creeks, with one pair of bow fishers checked with over 300 lbs. of carp in one nights shoot. Numerous enforcement contacts were made over the opening weekend for violations including no trout stamps, overlimit of trout, fishing after license privilege revocation, live well culling of fish, fishing licenses and trout stamps not in possession, consuming alcohol on public access, exceeding posted boating speed limit, and miscellaneous boating safety equipment and registration violations.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out in full force and report the walleye bite is slow. The pan fish have been cooperative and over limit complaints have been investigated. Violations he observed were bow fishing without a license, over limit of crappie and sunfish. Reports of trespassing by shore anglers on Gull were received and warnings issued. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. Most boaters are doing well cleaning, pulling plugs and draining live wells. He checked turkey hunters who are having success and still seeing turkeys.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) worked a busy opener with several anglers around. Most found the bite to be slow but those that were targeting northern pike did well. She patrolled ATV traffic as well as she received several complaints. CO Peterson responded to a call of a canoe that capsized and the two occupants were in the water. One occupant made it to shore and the other was rescued. Both had no serious injuries. With the strong winds and chilly temps this could have gone much worse and it is a good reminder to always wear a life jacket.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the fishing opener where common early season violations included not getting the boat registered, not putting the floatation devices in the boat, and not buying a new license. Boat lights were also a problem due to corroded connections, wires chewed by mice, and forgetting where they are kept. Verkuilen also investigated a shoreline alteration complaint, advised landowners regarding nuisance beavers, and monitored boat traffic for invasive.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) traveled to a fur buyer with a neighboring officer to sell furs confiscated by the state, for the state. Recreational vehicle activity was monitored; trail conditions are great as the occasional rain is keeping the dust down. The officer worked Mille Lacs Lake and other area lakes for fishing opener. Anglers were very positive on Mille Lacs and enjoyed their time catching various species of fish. A large amount of people reported having success catching walleye to include some keepers. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove drain plugs from boats during transportation, failing to remove weeds from boats, expired watercraft registrations and illegal length walleye.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports taking some media personnel out on Mille Lacs Lake for the opener where the number of fishermen was down but most were catching some fish and some even had some keeper walleyes on board. The Officer assisted at training at the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office for Aquatic Invasive Species and also ATV regulations. During the fishing opener lots of boaters were checked for safety related items and fishermen were reminded about the importance of following the Aquatic Invasive Species laws. Lots of fishing, boating and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend and ATV activity was monitored during the week. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, AIS, and boating violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked the fishing opener weekend. Anglers reported a slow bite. Several anglers were happy with the new catch and release bass season. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration issues, no throwable life saving devices, no personal floatation devices and fire extinguisher issues. Speldrich patrolled complaint areas for ATV violations. Enforcement action was taken for no safety certificates and registration issues. She also received complaints of illegal minnow trapping, nuisance coyotes and a solid waste/littering complaint.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on finishing up some fire case work and geared up for opener. Suckers left along the Rum River to rot were also found. This type of behavior is illegal and gives fishermen a bad name. Limits of bluegills and pike were found on some lakes, while the walleyes did cooperate on Mille Lacs. Most boats caught fish with a few keeper walleyes mixed in. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no navigational lights on boat, ATV in a wetland, and ATVs on a roadway.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw a large increase in black bear activity. Quite a few bear were moving around the area, searching for a free meal, and a few car vs. bear accidents were reported. Folks are urged to just leave the bear they see alone and put away food or garbage that may attract unwanted bear. Fishing opener was busy and public accesses were packed throughout the weekend. Most folks reported a slow bite, but many were still able to find enough to get their live wells partially filled with trout, crappies and other pan fish.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking anglers and boaters throughout the Pine City area. He checked state forest areas for activity, answered questions about the no-wake buoys in the Pine City area, burning permit questions, and followed up on a dogs chasing deer complaint. Recent rains have lowered the fire danger in the area. Check the DNR website for more information on when these restrictions will be lifted. Opening weekend found cool weather, and not many fish being caught in the area. CO Wynn and CO Bret Grundmeier assisted a stranded boater off Grindstone Lake, and spent time in the Pine City area checking boaters over the weekend. Enforcement contacts included no licenses in possession, expired watercraft registration, and lack of PFDs.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked late season turkey hunters. One archery hunter reported missing a turkey and hitting his decoy. The tom then attacked his decoy allowing him to get a second successful shot. Fishing opener weather cooperated and a fair amount of fishermen were out and about. Media personnel accompanied Croatt and a neighboring officer while doing checks. Most fishermen reported catching walleye with a few keeper walleye seen. Time was also spent assisting area forester with a fire investigation and invasive species checks.
WREO Rob Haberman conducted AIS compliance checks around the Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas for fishing opener. Many boaters where in compliance but several law enforcement action incidents took place for failure to pull drain plugs and aquatic macrophytes. WREO Haberman also checked fishermen trying their luck on area lakes and rivers. WREO Haberman also stopped two ATVs at a public landing, one for expired registration, and one for no helmet on juvenile passenger. Law enforcement action was taken.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked on complaints regarding bow fishermen. Fishing opener was steady. Some anglers reported marking plenty of fish, but were not able to get them to bite. Other anglers reported success in catching fish they could not keep, either because of slot size or no open season.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) conducted retail minnow inspections during the week. Angling activity was monitored and equipment maintenance was completed. A call regarding nuisance beavers was handled with a special beaver permit being issued. A complaint regarding dumped dog fish at a local access was fielded and is currently under investigation.
WREO Keith Bertram reports one of the busiest opening days in recent memory. Time was spent working AIS checks in Pope, Stearns, and Todd counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, no PFDs, and no angling license.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and boaters over the week. Many people were out on the walleye/northern opener, but poor weather Sunday kept most inside. Aquatic invasive species enforcement was addressed at several accesses, with most people complying with the laws. Enforcement action for the week included transport weeds on boat trailer, no fire extinguisher and no PFD.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) spoke at the Little Falls VFW for the Camp Ripley Disabled Veterans Turkey hunt, handled a trespass complaint on Lindbergh State Park where a neighboring landowner had put up a deer stand and assisted the State Patrol cleaning up deer parts off of the highway. Calls of a deer shot and left in a landowner field and dogs chasing deer complaints came in and CO Kuske had a Central Lakes College Natural Resources/Law Enforcement student ride along.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) worked AIS enforcement at public access sites and found good compliance with only a few folks forgetting to pull the plug on the boat. Fishing opener was slow, more people putting in boats for the first time, working on docks and boat lifts than fishing. CO Kuske continues to find Class 2 ATV owners driving in the traffic lane of county highways instead of on the shoulder. One ATV owner was frustrated to find out that his ATV may look like a class 2 but is actually a class 1, requiring him to drive in the ditch instead of the shoulder.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, turkey hunters and AIS compliance checks. The officer fielded calls concerning non residency question from an out of state warden. The officer also took care of administrative duties.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) last week checked anglers. CO Mies worked an AIS check. CO Mies checked boaters and worked on TIP calls.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers on the fishing opener. Violations were found for no angling license and extra lines. Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement was done with violations found for transport watercraft with drain plug in and transport lake water. A wetland complaint was investigated and several animal complaints were handled. A complaint of bow fishermen dumping dead rough fish at the Sartell Mississippi River access was received. CO Musatov found dead carp/sucker with holes in them lying in the water near the dock, on the landing, and in the outhouse.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area Lakes and River. He took Enforcement action on a number of violations. He worked AIS checks at Sherburne County accesses with good compliance. He did a law talk at the Becker Middle School for a Firearms Safety Class. He followed up on two possible wetland violations. He assisted Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, State Patrol helicopter and the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Staff on a missing person in the Refuge. The person was located very cold, but happy to be picked up by State Patrol helicopter and escorted to the LZ were she was escorted home by the Sherburne County deputy.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) worked with a college student doing an internship with the DNR Division of Enforcement. The opener was very busy with the great weather on Saturday but Sunday was mostly a bust with cooler and rainy weather. Fishing was slow for anglers targeting walleyes, but northern pike and crappies were biting in the area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, transporting live fish, angling with extra lines, litter, transporting watercraft with water and failing to pull the drain plug during transport.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy opening fishing weekend. Since the weather was nice, the area lakes were extremely busy on Saturday of opening weekend. Most local accesses were filled up and parking was spilling out onto city streets. Anglers found good numbers of fish, some walleyes but mostly panfish. Violations included illegal length walleye, no angling license, no license in possession and expired boat registration.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Time was also spent at various accesses conducting AIS checks. Many fish were caught during the weekend and Knife Lake was almost impossible to get a boat into or out of. Weather conditions were great and ATVs were also out in force. Investigations were conducted into litter, sick animals, public water violations, aquatic plant violations and commercial inspections.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and boaters on fishing opener weekend, checked traps, took complaints of hunter harassment and nuisance animals. AIS compliance was also checked for at public accesses over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken on: angling without a license, angling with multiple lines, PFD/Fire extinguisher/registration violations, and burning prohibited materials.
Princeton – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a firearms safety presentation in Mayer and AIS laws presentation to Carver County Sheriff’s Department in Jordan. A St. Croix River bridge detail was worked with CO Kruse. Nuisance coyote, fox and beaver calls were handled. The fishing opener was worked with CO Le finding some success. Enforcement action was taken for fail to display watercraft registration, unregistered watercraft, insufficient number of PFD’s, over limit of catfish and shoot walleye by archery.
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe also attended a regional safety meeting and assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint of a camper in a Wildlife Management Area. Violations included no fishing license, taking bass out of season, no lifejackets/throwable and failing to remove drain plugs.
CO Traci Hanson (Minnetonka) worked anglers, boaters and aquatic invasive species on Lake Minnetonka. Hanson responded to tip complaints on over limits and bass out of season and checked shore fishermen on Crystal, Medicine, Fish and Parker lakes.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week gearing up for the inland waters fishing opener. She patrolled area lakes for shore and boat anglers and received numerous fishing reports leading up to the weekend opener. She found several individuals and families out enjoying their time on the water. She worked with a neighboring CO at midnight to check the first walleye anglers of the open season. Leuthardt attended a media event at Prior Lake that captured stories from the opener and gave an opportunity for our area fisheries to explain the importance of fish habitat and conservation. She took enforcement action on no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, transport aquatic vegetation, fail to remove boat plug, no fire extinguisher on a boat, fail to display valid boat registration, and “no parking” violations.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener with CO Grewe in Hennepin County area lakes and checked trout fishermen at Courthouse Lake. He worked fishing and boating enforcement in the Mound station and responded to nuisance animal complaints. He also took care of equipment maintenance and returned calls to the Hmong community on trout fishing regulations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the 2015 Fishing Opener with CO Walter in Carver County lakes. He patrolled the assigned stations of Bloomington and Fort Snelling State Park for fishing, boating and trail usage activities. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient flotation devices in watercraft and failing to display valid boat registration.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) displayed the Wall of Shame for the Agriculture Open House at Forest Lake High School. He worked area lakes for the fishing opener and handled a nuisance animal complaint. Violations for the week included no fishing license in possession, PFD violations and no fire extinguishers.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked fishing opener weekend and checked several shore anglers around the Metro lakes and rivers. He worked the TIP trailer information booth with a neighboring conservation officer at Forest Lake High School and answered several questions there. CO Pril also responded to TIP complaints of possible fishing violations in Eagan and handled miscellaneous animal calls during the week. Violations found included fishing without a fishing license, fishing with extra lines, taking fish in closed season, no watercraft registration and no fishing license in possession.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the fishing opener checking anglers and conducting AIS checks. Enforcement action was taken for violations including unregistered watercraft, taking Bass during closed season, and unregistered ATV. CO Johnson spoke to firearms safety classes at Cretin-Derham Hall High School and the Oakdale Gun Club. He received reports of Black Bear sightings in Woodbury and Lake Elmo.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working on wetland and shoreline related cases across the metro area. WREO Block also attended a Safety Conference held in Minneapolis and assisted with several media requests regarding the fishing opener. WREO Block also investigated a complaint of water being drawn from a designated trout stream without a permit.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes over the fishing opener. She worked on cases, did equipment maintenance and handled various calls regarding fishing law questions and nuisance animals. CO Kruse worked the St. Croix bridge detail and worked WMA enforcement in Anoka County.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) had a busy fishing opener weekend. Anglers were monitored around Dakota and Washington counties. He patrolled the area for illegal ATV activity and did an orientation ride on the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office airboat. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra lines, no license in possession, operating ATV without valid registration as well as boating safety violations.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer worked the fishing opener in Anoka County and found lots of anglers out with little success. CO Salzer also assisted Anoka County with an accident call.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a meeting at Camp Ripley and worked with the McLeod County Attorney on a WCA violation. Officer Hanson taught an AIS level 1 Inspector Law Enforcement class in Willmar. AIS equipment and education, fishermen and boating safety was focused on over the fishing opener weekend.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. A CO candidate accompanied this officer during the inland fishing opener weekend. This officer was a guest speaker at a Youth Conservation Day event, held at the Bonanza Education Center at Big Stone Lake State Park. The duties of a CO were presented to 150+ sixth grade students. Angling, boating, and OHV violations were encountered.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and conducting investigations. Fish Opener began with a chill. Cold temperatures, fog, wind, and rain hampered most anglers’ efforts. A smattering of a variety of fish species were harvested from area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, unattended lines, and no licenses.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that fishing was overall slow on LqP and the MN River. Some shore anglers were able to catch a few walleye. The anglers targeting catfish had the best success. Violations encountered were fail to remove drain plug, no angling license, and angling with an extra line. There was 100 percent compliance for PFDs on LqP.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported the walleye opener was busy with a lot of eager fishermen. Most expected a good bite but unfortunately only a few lakes produced walleye. Sunday brought windy and rainy conditions which kept most fishermen home for Mother’s Day. AIS continues to be one of the main enforcement focuses. Boat owners are reminded to drain the water out of their live wells before leaving the accesses. Boating safety compliance was good. Time was also spent working ATV, public access, and state park enforcement throughout the week.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. A good walleye bite happened on area lakes with nice 18– 20 inch walleye being caught. Numbers were about two walleye per boat. Enforcement action was taken for several no fishing licenses in possession and no throwable in boats and fire extinguisher. An AIS check point was also conducted on Lake Benton.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked a busy fishing opener with many contacts made with some anglers having luck with panfish and walleyes, but overall fishing success was slow. He spoke about hunting laws and ethics at a Firearms Safety field and range day. He educated boaters about AIS laws and noted many anglers fishing without their license in possession. He also followed up on trespass and shooting complaints.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) started the week following up with enforcement action from a large fire near Litchfield. Time was spent going to check on wetland violations and possible future wetland violations. The fishing open was very busy Saturday with many anglers taking advantage of the nice weather. Most anglers were having luck catching something if it was bass, northern pike, walleye, or trout. Anglers were reminded that they needed licenses, boat registration, and could only use one line. Boating safety and AIS were worked as well during the opener.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a busy Saturday to the fishing opener, while rain and cold weather slowed the activity on Sunday. Missing type IV PFD’s and boat registration issues topped the list for violations. AIS compliance was 100 percent on the opener. During the week she investigated a TIP of a bass taken out of season. Mueller also spoke at a youth shooting sports group about regulations and ethics.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a beautiful opening to the 2015 fishing season. A few lucky anglers were able to add a walleye or northern pike to their creel but most went home with less. The activity on area lakes was the highest it’s been in the last five years, especially on Saturday. Common fishing opener violations were encountered over the weekend.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted a local sheriff’s office with securing the scene at a natural gas leak. He gave instruction at a grade school safety day. Other time was spent on fishing, boating, AIS and ATV enforcement activities.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, boat and water safety enforcement, and turkey hunting seasons. Gruhlke did observe some nice catches of walleye over the weekend, seeing walleye being caught in lakes and in the river.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
Windom – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked turkey hunters and answered several calls concerning trespassing mushroom hunters. A busy fishing opener was worked. The officer also scheduled a youth ATV course.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area lakes. Officer Ihnen also assisted in attempting to locate a drowning victim on the Minnesota River.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working AIS enforcement, boat and water safety, and the walleye / northern pike opener. A trespass complaint was received. CO Chihak continued with commercial license inspections. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and turkey hunters. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations. The officer reports a busy fishing opener with license violations being the most common issue. He attended district training.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week focused on angling and boating activity. Success on opener was mixed, with low activity on Sunday due to weather. Bowfishermen continue to generate complaints, as some are not taking care to dispose of their catch in a responsible manner. CO Howe also assisted local law enforcement for a missing person.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked a busy fishing opener where many anglers were checked and watercraft inspected for AIS compliance.
WREO Julie Siems worked a busy fishing opener. K9 Brady and Officer Siems answered AIS questions at the Governor’s Community Picnic. An AIS law enforcement class was also instructed. Violations include an over limit and no license in possession.
Albert Lea – vacant.
Mankato #1 – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked anglers and watercraft operators in the area. Most were compliant with the rules, enforcement action for over limit crappies and failure to pull the drain plug on watercraft were encountered.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time this past week and weekend checking turkey hunting activity, angling activity and state forest activity. Fishing pressure on the river was slower due to the inland fishing opener. Turkey hunters were struggling to locate birds and very few fish were seen in the bag.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports speaking with a frustrated archery turkey hunter. The hunter stated that he finally got a tom to respond to his calls and he was coming in. The hunter prepared himself in his blind. Once the bird got into range the hunter drew his bow and prepared for the shot. At about this time a gust of wind came up, folding in two sides of his blind and in turn collapsing the whole blind. Unfortunately the tom decided not to hang around. Time was also spent checking trout fishermen. Fishing was fair, but low clear water made angling difficult. Violations encountered were no trout stamp and no license in possession.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Fishing success was mixed, but some did well. Morel hunters were out in force as well.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports morels finally started popping up with the recent rains and warm weather. Mushroom pickers need to remember it’s trespassing and theft if you do not have permission from the landowner. Goslings and young turtles were out this past weekend. Trout streams remain in good shape. River fishing is picking up with most species being caught. It’s that time of the year that folks are finding young birds and animals. Leave them be. They’re not abandoned.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week on the Mississippi River as well as closing out several investigations. The warm week produced a lot of panfish action in the backwaters as well as on inland lakes and the weekend saw many walleye guys having success on the main channel and Lake Pepin. Another outstanding deer case was closed out from the fall along with a turkey case from earlier this spring. Finally, some fishing and boating violations were detected and documented.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) worked the fishing opener in the Faribault area and talked to many fishermen but did not see many fish. He checked one limit of pike but saw only a handful of walleye all day. He investigated turkey and mushroom trespass complaints along with an altering state waters violation. Hemker also attended a career day at a local high school.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on the State Sandhill Crane Survey in the northwest part of the state. Four square kilometer plots are flown and cranes are counted to get approximate population estimate. He also attended flight instructor refresher training.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) conducted nesting waterfowl survey flights out of New Ulm and Alexandria. Geving also attended a district meeting and conducted a photo mission regarding a possible wetland violation.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen reports flying high altitude wetland photo inventory missions and working on equipment maintenance issues, as well as performing post maintenance test flights.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports the start of remote lake fish stocking in far northern St. Louis County. Jensen gave flight instruction to another DNR pilot for a morning too. A possible WCA violation was documented while on a survey and plans for an upcoming swan survey were finalized. Bad weather brought an opportunity to schedule maintenance for aircraft so it is ready for the next flight.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew fisher, marten and wolf telemetry. Heineman also flew three Lake Vermilion creel surveys, a training flight and Forest Assessment wetland photos.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at http://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 http://www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE http://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 http://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.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on safety training items. Patten complete background checks for ATV Trail Ambassadors. Patten worked the fishing opener in District 7. Patten concentrated efforts on shore fishermen throughout the District and contacted fishermen at Little American Falls, Anchor Inn Bridge – Sand Lake, Bowstring Lake Public Access, Cutfoot Sioux Bridge, Jessie Lake Public Access, and Dora Lake Bridge. Enforcement action was taken for; no fishing license in possession, juvenile on ATV without helmets, and fail to display current registration on watercraft.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for upcoming instructor certification training, working on instructor backgrounds, and assisting instructors with field day setup for online students. The Fishing Opener was worked in Sherburne County with the local Conservation Officer. Enforcement contacts were made for no fire extinguisher in motorboat with enclosed gas tank and no fishing license in possession.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended a meeting with ATV Association of Minnesota at DNR central office in St. Paul during the week. RTO Lawrence worked on the youth Firearms safety manual revisions along with instructor training materials. RTO Lawrence received calls about wild turkey in north St. Paul neighborhood chasing residents –the matter was referred to DNR Wildlife staff. Another caller inquired about restrictions regarding fish limits on the St. Croix River. RTO Lawrence work along the St. Croix River checking on angling activity and checked public access areas in Washington County for invasive species prevention.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke conducted a Volunteer Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic at Ahlman Guns in Morristown. He worked on volunteer instructor background checks. RTO Neitzke helped with coordinating upcoming metro district training. He also worked fishing opener with CO Johnson.