FROM THE DNR: Weekly Conservation Officer Report

*Note: The DNR and the Conservation Officers remind everyone to leave newborn fawns alone. The doe will come back. Also, the DNR reports more bears than usual. Please be aware and take the proper precautions to avoid issues.
Highlights: 

(Staples): CO Jeff Halverson handled bear nuisance calls. One bear chased off a guy mowing his yard and then took a bite of his gas can.

(Duluth): One angler was caught using extra lines even though he had hand painted his bobber’s matte gray in an effort to hide them from the CO’s watchful eyes; however, good optic and a steady hand proved to be no match against the poacher’s efforts.

(Brainerd):Officer Guida responded to a watercraft inspectors request for assistance after a boater and his buddy told him that they don’t need to submit to watercraft and equipment inspection prior to launching at a public water access and also to stop harassing him.

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling activity on the Roseau River and at the Northwest Angle. Several calls were taken regarding nuisance bears and people were advised to bring birdseed, garbage, and dog food inside until the bear left the area. A wolf depredation was investigated near Halma.

 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, AIS, angling and ATV enforcement. Calls for service included several nuisance bear reports. Until a food source (i.e., berries and grubs) becomes more easily accessible in the woods, bears will sniff out and indulge in opportune meals such as garbage, cat/dog food and bird feeders. Take away or safeguard the source and the bears will more than likely move on. Enforcement action was taken for the following: open alcoholic beverage container on an ATV, operating an ATV without headlights, possession of an illegal length walleye, accessing a state park without a vehicle permit and no throwable legal life saving device on board a watercraft.

 

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers and boaters on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake, as well as ATVs and OHMs in Beltrami Island State Forest. Ride alongs were provided to two students interested in natural resource law enforcement. Investigation into a TIP complaint was started. Enforcement action taken for angling with an extra line, illegal length walleye, no angling license in possession, over limit of walleye, operate unregistered OHM and ATV, operate ATV with passenger under 18 without helmet, no state park pass, and no throwable PFD.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked Lake of the Woods and Red Lake and reports that both lakes are producing good numbers of walleye. CO Prachar worked with CO Woinarowicz near Waskish and they found several over limits of Red Lake walleye as well as a few drain plug violations. Some area residents have expressed concerns with illegal ATV traffic so CO Prachar monitored the area. CO Prachar made an arrest for operating an ATV while intoxicated and a few nights later recovered a stolen ATV as well as various drugs and drug trafficking equipment.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a gray wolf depredation and worked a detail on Upper Red Lake with COs Cowden and Prachar. The weather was favorable and fishing success was excellent. COs Cowden and Woinarowicz assisted a stranded boater whose batteries had died on his watercraft. Thanks goes out to a neighboring boater that lent out his jumper cables so the COs could jump start the stranded craft.  Enforcement action over the weekend included multiple over limits as anglers were abusing the fact the fish were biting by taking multiple limits in a day. Other enforcement action included boat registration and equipment violations, possess illegal length walleye, fail to remove drain plug, and angle with extra line.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes and Upper Red Lake, AIS enforcement and ATV trail activity throughout the week. Time was spent investigating multiple wolf depredation complaints, nuisance bear complaints, a litter complaint and a report of a county contract trapper which had an accidental catch of a blue heron. Enforcement action for the week included possession of an Upper Red Lake protected slot limit northern pike, angling license violations and boat registration violations.

 

Baudette #2 -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking a shoreline violation site on an area lake. Time was also spent checking ATV operators, watercraft operators, and anglers. An illegal fire was also checked. Boaters were reminded about AIS laws. Calls regarding problem bears and beavers were also received. Violations encountered included several no angling license contacts, false application for a license, and burning prohibited materials.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) had complaints of a possible wetland violation, a dead calf, and youth ATV and OHMs on roads. He worked angling and boating activity and assisted with an ATV class field day. A thank you goes out to the volunteer instructors along with the local snowmobile club that donated the facility and supplied lunch.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and boaters. He also investigated a calf depredation complaint.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. The bite remains good with crappies and sunfish activity improving. CO Vollbrecht investigated a nuisance bear complaint with area wildlife staff that involved a dog being killed. It was unclear if the dog had been killed by the bear or another animal. CO Vollbrecht and CO Holt worked an AIS detail and responded to a call of an individual at an access with zebra mussels on the boat anchor. Proper steps were taken to clean the boat and anchor before it went into any lakes. ATV activity was monitored.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and monitored AIS compliance during the week. Time was spent working in Itasca State Park and checking ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports working on a trespass TIP and assisting neighboring officers with their investigations. Commercial activity was monitored as well as ATV, OHM and boating activity.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ATV enforcement, anglers and commercial enforcement. CO Peterson also handled calls of nuisance bears and beaver.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and working shoreline issues. Time was also spent following up on fishing TIPS, complaint of spraying of a lake by an aerial sprayer and assisted the Moorhead Officer with the recovery of a pontoon that had floated away on the Red River.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity. Areas were monitored for AIS compliance and she also spoke with AIS inspectors. Trails were patrolled for ATV activity. CO Warren answered questions regarding fawns, road right of way access, and miscellaneous angling questions. Follow up was conducted in regards to property being left on a WMA and carp being dumped in different areas.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, AIS, and bow fishing activity in the Clay and Becker county area. Officer Forsberg and Officer Landmark responded to a boat adrift on the Red River and secured it to the shoreline. Angling pressure remains low due to the weather conditions with some anglers finding more fish. The officer collected an injured American kestrel which was brought to the Raptor Center by a devoted volunteer. The officer continues to see juveniles operating ATVs and wants to remind people that anyone born after July 1, 1987 and is older than 12 years old is required to have taken an ATV safety course. Youth under 18 must also wear a helmet when operating an ATV. The officer answered calls from the public regarding the Hawley moose, nuisance beavers, a coyote in the City of Moorhead, and a possible wolf sighting near Hitterdal. Enforcement action was taken for permitting illegal operation of an ATV by juvenile, youth under 18 not wearing a helmet, operating in a ditch in the Agricultural zone, and no ATV safety certificate.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) took reports of orphaned deer and yielded questions on various topics. Richards assisted with an ATV Safety class in Battle Lake and checked anglers throughout the week. Violations encountered were related to angling and boat safety.  Folks are reminded to leave fawns alone when they encounter them.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized an investigation of an illegally taken muskie charging two individuals. Plautz worked over limit of crappie complaints, responded to a wolf kill where a wolf killed a young calf, and multiple bear complaints. Plautz and Richards patrolled a smaller lake checking three boats and writing four citations and one warning on that lake.  Two ATV safety classes were taught certifying 37 students in the surrounding area.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and worked AIS enforcement.  Complaints were handled regarding fences in public waters, oversized docks in lakes and nuisance beaver. Nelson worked with a DNR hydrologist on a waters case and the local sheriff’s office on AIS issues.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs and worked AIS enforcement.  Several calls were handled including the sighting of a bear between Battle Lake and Ashby.  Osborne received a call from a lakeshore owner in Douglas County who cleaned up the shore along his property and had a trailer full of garbage. Most of the litter was from ice fishermen and the lakeshore owner was looking for ways to get the garbage taken to the dump.  Osborne contacted the lake association and put them in contact with the lakeshore owner.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a detail in the BWCA with CO Bermel this past week. Enforcement action included several citations for fishing, camping, and litter.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work primarily fishing, boating, and AIS activity on and around area waterways. Several shoreline and aquatic vegetation issues were looked into and followed up on throughout the week. ATV and fire activity was monitored and assistance was provided to local law enforcement agencies.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, boating safety and AIS law compliance. Anderson worked with the USFWS on a complaint about persons taking minnows in a prohibited area. RMS (record management system) assistance was given to several COs this week. Time was spent issuing minnow transportation permits and calls were fielded from the public regarding lake shore permits and fawn deer.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, and monitoring AIS compliance.  Additional time was spent setting up an upcoming ATV safety class, and taking calls about orphaned animals and dead birds being found in the Westport/Villard area.  People are reminded to leave any fawn deer that they find alone, the mother is close by, and the vast majority of the fawns found are healthy and not abandoned.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, ATV operators and worked Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement. Enforcement action was taken on angling violations, boat and water violations and AIS violations.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATVs. Officer Hunter received a complaint of two dead swans. CO Hunter received information of people fishing with extra lines.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked on an illegally taken muskie case where two individuals were cited. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement with a calf that was unknown if it was shot or attacked by an animal, but was found to have odd medical issues.  Nuisance beaver complaints were handled, as well as nuisance bear calls. An off-highway motorcycle (OHM) endure race was worked with no injuries reported.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and ATV activity, nothing unusual to report. Received a call regarding a pigeon that had a band on its leg, and had a question regarding placement of a loon nesting structure in a lake, the person was referred to non-game.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked AIS, anglers, and boaters. Cool weather seemed to slow the fishing success a bit. Enforcement action was taken for fishing and boating violations

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and boating activity. Angling success was poor. Poor weather conditions limited recreational activity.  CO Broughten completed commercial inspections and handled several nuisance animal calls. Enforcement action included no commercial minnow retailer’s license.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and handled bear complaints; one bear chased off a guy mowing his yard and then took a bite of his gas can. Contacts were made for snagging and trespass. He assisted sheriff’s office on a domestic call.

 

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) monitored and patrolled public trails and forest roads. Other activities included taking wildlife calls of abandoned baby animals and complaints of ATV’s causing damage to the right of way. Several OHM registration issues came to Officer Adam’s attention during patrol and a call from frustrated owner of a used OHM when trying to transfer title. Reminder to obtain a bill of sale and registration card.

 

Remer – vacant.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports busy week with CN Railroad bridge fire and train derailment near Ericsburg, Minn. Public waters complaints were investigated along with area site visits. Remainder of week was spent on fishing, boat & water safety, and invasive species enforcement on Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, and Rainy River.

 

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports monitoring angling and boating activities on Kabetogama Lake. The bite has gone from being extremely slow earlier in the week, to anglers having very good luck later on in the weekend. Several anglers were checked with live wells having great looking walleyes and even some jumbo perch as an added bonus. CO Van Asch also spent time fielding several nuisance animal calls, a possible wolf depredation, and completing needed watercraft maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, fail to remove drain plug, ATV operator under 18 without a helmet, and fail to display valid ATV registration.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) gave a fur presentation to the Tower K-6 students at Bear Head State Park. A large amount of time was spent working invasive species on Lake Vermilion accesses with enforcement action taken on failure to remove drain plug, failure to drain live well, and bait. The officer arrested two anglers for a gross over limit of walleye on Lake Vermilion (50 walleye). The suspect’s walleye, boat, motor, and trailer were seized. The officer also helped out with an ATV work detail, and arrested one for DUI on an ATV.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked angling, boating, state park and invasive species enforcement and investigated a wetland fill complaint. A day of invasive species enforcement was spent on Lake Vermilion accesses. Enforcement action was taken on angling without an angling license, fail to drain water related equipment and unregistered watercraft.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) returned calls from several people who reported finding abandoned deer fawns. Each of the callers did not know that it was common for a doe to leave the fawns alone for periods of time. CO Frericks encourages the public to leave wildlife that they find alone and if they absolutely must do something they should call their local conservation officer first. A large amount of time was spent checking anglers and boaters on Virginia area lakes.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing throughput the week and found a few walleyes and crappie being caught.   Time was spent working AIS at boat launches and night navigation lights.  Deer fawns are being born and like every year people are looking to pick up “abandoned” fawns; leave them be they are not abandoned.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports nuisance bear reports have significantly increased in the past week, both in the Ely area and inside the BWCAW. Officer Williams has been asking residents to be vigilant about properly disposing of garbage, and putting away other attractants like barbecue grills and bird feeders until more natural food sources are available.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) received reports of nuisance bear activity in the BWCAW. Bears might be having a little trouble getting food this early so they are cruising for food packs. Remember to keep all real food items and food smelling items such as honey lip balm, or cherry scented sun screen out of the tent. Hang the food pack immediately when you find a camp so the bear doesn’t run off with it. Once they get food, it can’t be unlearned, so do whatever it takes to keep food from a bear. Ask where the local bear problems have been when you get your permit, and stay miles away from those sites if at all possible.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the blueberry crop is shaping up nicely. On the same subject, bears seem to be everywhere and will provide competition for nature’s bounty. The CO has never seen so many bears and the complaints are starting to roll in. It is long overdue to put the birdseed and garbage away. A snowsquall reminded the CO that summer is not quite here yet. Cedar waxwings are taking over the budding apple trees. Geese are still making their way north and the grouse are still drumming. A couple of wolves came to the shoreline to investigate the noise of a running boat motor.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended tech training in St. Paul. The officer also discovered that a local cat owner decided to beautify area overlooks with grocery bags of used litter anyone with info should contact CO Manning. Officer Manning handled a road kill moose, checked inland anglers and ATV operators, and spoke with boaters about aquatic invasive species.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) conducted a BWCA patrol with CO Lawler.  Plenty of folks were out enjoying the area, with the majority of groups being from out of state.  Some violations were detected including unattended line, no fishing license, litter, cans in the BWCA, and no license in possession.  Lots of rails and black ducks were observed as well as grouse drumming.  Other violations during the week included PFD infractions.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers and boating activity. Time was spent working AIS compliance as well. Complaints of “orphaned fawns” were handled as well. Does will commonly leave a fawn for long periods of time, they are generally close, and return later. This is normal deer behavior so please do not pick up or try to “save” the fawn.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) reports walleye fishing was decent late in the night this past week on a few area lakes. Anglers were happy pulling in ‘eyes and not dealing with the normal swarm of mosquitos due to the cold weather lately. The officer responded to nuisance bear calls and road kill deer. Enforcement action was taken for failure to illuminate navigation lights, insufficient PFDs, license and registration violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity during the week. Cold and rainy weather kept recreation and fishing activity low. Training on new computer tablets and equipment transfers were also accomplished.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS laws, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and answered several calls on animal complaints/concerns.  Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with plug in and transport aquatic vegetation.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, and answered various wildlife calls. He patrolled area lakes and forests. He also attended a training meeting for the upcoming firearms and use of force training.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and responded to nuisance animal complaints. The area walleye bite was on the upside this week. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of northern pike and OHV registration issues.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking local public accesses and talking with boaters about invasive species laws and drain plug removal requirement. She also checked fishing and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and ATV activity over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with no license in possession, operating an ATV without safety certification and angling in a restricted area.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s in state parks, and campgrounds. He also worked AIS and handled fishing and boating complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and boating activity. Wichmann attended a meeting at Camp Ripley to prepare for the upcoming academy. A trespass investigation was also completed with enforcement action taken.

CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) worked several different locations with past ATV complaints. CO Velsvaag also did some AIS enforcement near infested waters. CO Velsvaag received several calls on OHM regulations and youth riders.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on fire investigations in the area. Area lakes and rivers were worked for anglers and boaters. Boating violations continue, with PFD violations being the most common. Schmidt also reports ATV complaints were investigated.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports fish being seen in the live wells of area anglers. Complaints continue of people keeping illegal length fish on one local lake. Several cases were made on people keeping walleyes outside of the slot limit. Measure carefully and if in doubt throw it back rather than having to explain your inaccurate measurement to a Conservation Officer. One angler was caught using extra lines even though he had hand painted his bobber’s matte gray in an effort to hide them from the CO’s watchful eyes; however, good optic and a steady hand proved to be no match against the poacher’s efforts.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work rec vehicles, boating, fishing and AIS enforcement. Many hours were spent on area lakes. Officer Duncan responded to TIP complaints, took calls of new born deer, and assisted local law enforcement. A radio interview focusing on AIS and boating enforcement was also completed.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS, and OHV enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey received calls and complaints on nuisance and injured/orphaned wildlife to include wolf, bear, beaver, deer, ducks, raccoons, and rabbits. CO Humphrey investigated livestock depredation complaints. CO Humphrey assisted in an OHV work detail in the Willow River area and a district wide invasive species detail. Angling, boating, AIS, and OHV violations were encountered.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 training in the metro with K9 Schody and also assisted the sheriff’s office with a search for a burglary suspect that was caught after a K9 warning was given and a track started. A fur committee meeting was attended in Brainerd where laws, rules, and limits were discussed for future seasons. An investigation into a wetland violation is ongoing where a new house is being built. Extra work was conducted on invasive species regulations and compliance in the area.

 

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. Fishing has been OK with walleyes and lots of bluegills seen. He followed up on several WCA cases and with enforcement action taken for not filing a contractor responsibility form before starting work in a wetland. A Conservation Officer candidate from the CO Prep class rode along with Officer Scott learning what the WREO’s work consists of.  Officer Scott attended the 2015 Kolar ALS Walleye Fishing Contest in Duluth talking to those who were participating about AIS issues, general DNR laws and directions for avoiding the underwater structure on Island Lake where water levels were down six feet.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers, boaters and ATV activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for some minor public access violations. Calls were fielded regarding nuisance bear issues and newborn fawns. Callers were reminded to leave new born fawns were you find them; the doe is not far off. They are not abandoned and will be just fine.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and completed follow up on ATV violations in neighboring stations. Assistance was given to the State Patrol with the resolution of a pursuit and securing of suspects. Details were worked out for a grant-funded electronics project on a patrol boat. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working boating, angling, AIS and ATV enforcement. He also attended meetings, did some equipment maintenance and worked on reports.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) investigated a wolf depredation case, presented at an ATV class, and worked ATV traffic as well as AIS around her station. She also checked anglers on area lakes.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and boating activity, responding to miscellaneous nuisance wildlife complaints, and investigating complaints of suspicious fishing activity and vandalism / damage to facilities in the Cuyuna Country SRA. Enforcement contacts were made for fishing with extra lines and boating equipment violations.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is getting better with the walleye and northern being more cooperative. Violations were no license and unattended lines. He worked on complaints of cattail bog cutting on Gull Lake; it is still under investigation. He worked with AIS inspectors on Gull checking boats for violations. Some of the violations observed were aquatic vegetation in the boat and on trailers. Plugs in the boat while in transporting were also found. Complaints of litter and illegal fires in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated. He checked horse riders in the Pillsbury Forest for trail passes and several violations were found. Complaints of black bear in back yards knocking over bird feeders also received some enforcement time.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spoke to the 4th grade elementary class at Pine River schools regarding boat and water safety. CO McGowan also spent time patrolling area lakes for boating and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations, off- highway motorcycle violations, and one person was arrested on a warrant.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with good success being reported by anglers for pan fish. Officer Lee checked compliance with AIS Laws. Overall, pretty good compliance by boaters, but it definitely could get better. Officer Lee also received complaints of bear causing damage to garbage cans and bird feeders. Reporting parties were advised of options to take to prevent further bear issues. Officer Lee attended a meeting at Camp Ripley this past week for planning Emergency Vehicle Operations Training for the upcoming Academy. Officer Lee assisted the State Patrol and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department with a multiple vehicle crash on Hwy 371 with three parties being transported by ambulance from injuries sustained during the crash. Officer Lee also completed investigations into an ATV accident with life threating injuries to a passenger of the ATV.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked All-Terrain Vehicle enforcement, boating enforcement, and AIS education. Officer Guida responded to a watercraft inspectors request for assistance after a boater and his buddy told him that they don’t need to submit to watercraft and equipment inspection prior to launching at a public water access and also to stop harassing him. The angler was identified and issued a citation and now faces fines for the violation. Officer Guida also patrolled area ATV trails and helped clear debris after a wind and rain storm hit the area. Enforcement action was taken on various boating infractions and license violations.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked angling, watercraft and AIS activity during the week. A calf depredation call was investigated and assistance was given to Crow Wing County on a terroristic threats call.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked with neighboring officers on a TIP call of possible fish overlimits and double tripping, checked anglers and ATVers, and answered calls of nuisance bears hanging out in yards looking for food.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including the first week of bass season. Several walleye were observed despite the cool front moving through. Verkuilen also investigated an ATV complaint, assisted with a youth fishing event, and answered questions regarding the upcoming change in the Mille Lacs night ban.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) tended to several calls regarding wildlife. The officer answered and responded to calls regarding nuisance beavers, nuisance bears, wolf harassment, and injured eagle calls. The officer also received a young of the year otter that is barely two weeks old. The otter was tended to over the weekend and transported to an animal hospital for care. An invasive species inspection detail was also attended for the district. Anglers were checked on Mille Lacs Lake and found numerous anglers that were happy with the smallmouth bass bite.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on area lakes and also on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and weekend. Some walleyes and bass were being caught on Mille lacs and some pan fish were biting on area smaller lakes. Several different calls regarding beaver causing damage to roadways were fielded and two permits was issued and a call regarding a waters issued was fielded and is under investigation. The Officer also participated in an Aquatic Invasive Species checkpoint in the Malmo area and worked AIS on the holiday in the Garrison area with other District 10 Officers. Please remember to pull all drain plugs, clean off all weeds and drain all live wells before leaving the access. A call of a calf taken by wolf was investigated and a Federal trapper was called in to trap the nuisance wolves. The Officer also gathered training materials for the local sheriff’s department for their summer boat and water staff. Enforcement action for the week included various AIS violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area state forests for off-highway vehicle use along with other conservation officers during a work detail in her station. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration, failure to display registration, failure to stop at stop signs, no safety certificates, operated on roadways, riding two abreast and off trail travel. Speldrich worked invasive species enforcement. Contacts were made for failing to remove drain plugs. She also assisted with an AIS check station near Mille Lacs Lake. Nuisance beaver permits were issued and assistance was given to the state patrol at motor vehicle accident.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took care of several animal complaint type calls and answered bear concern questions. CO Starr assisted with the annual take a kid fishing event for the Mille Lacs County DARE program and assisted other kids with ATV safety training issues.  Fishing was found to be slow with cold weather. Boat and water safety issues were addressed, as was ATV and dirt bike violations.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time patrolling area ATV trails. A majority of the OHV violations dealt with involved unregistered dirt bikes, driving in restricted areas and careless operation. Black bears continued to keep things interesting by visiting those homes that forget to lock away food and garbage. Bear and their cubs have been seen all over the county messing with garbage and reachable bird feeders. After getting chased into the house by momma bear, a couple of homeowners realized the importance of not messing with cubs that show up looking for food.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week following up on ATV and nuisance bear complaints. He assisted with a work detail on Mille Lacs Lake and another detail in the Willow River area over the weekend. CO Wynn has taken numerous bear calls throughout the week. All are due to garbage, birdfeeders, or barbeque grills being available for the bears to get into. If you have a bear coming in, put these items away for several weeks and the bears will move on. Enforcement contacts included boat registration issues; ATVs operating in closed trails, and failing to remove drain plugs.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended the “Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs” event where children from Isle and Onamia schools were given the opportunity to go fishing with area DNR Conservation Officers, sheriff’s deputies and private individuals. The children caught a variety of fish and had a great time. Mille Lacs Lake anglers seem to be having better luck this catching walleye with more slot fish seen. Time was also spent assisting with a wolf depredation investigation and an invasive species detail.

 

WREO Rob Haberman responded to a call of an AIS inspector who found live zebra mussels in the transom area of an individual’s boat who was going to launch at an access into non-infested water. WREO Haberman was able to locate the individual and issue a citation for transporting a prohibited invasive species and explained to the individual about how serious it is to double check watercraft before leaving and entering any body of water. WREO Haberman also helped conduct an AIS Check Station near Mille Lacs Lake with D10 officers. WREO Haberman also conducted wetland site visits with county staff in Aitkin County.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked anglers and OHV activity. Training was completed. There was minimal to no activity on the holiday. With unpleasant weather conditions, many non-local people left by Sunday.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity following up on phone calls concerning beaver issues. The officer assisted neighboring officers with wildlife calls. Violations included fishing without license in possession and no fishing license.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) joined DNR Fisheries personnel and met with the Lower South Long Lake Association to provide them information on the Tribal fishing harvest that took place on the lake this spring. Members appreciated the factual update which went a long ways to dispel misinformation that had spread around the lake area. CO Kuske worked PA sites in the station and found boaters to be in good compliance with the AIS laws.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and the Mississippi River. Thesing followed up on TIP calls. Enforcement action for the week included no throwable PFD, angle with extra line, and no license in possession.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS activity and conducting follow-up on wetland violations. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, no angling license, extra lines, and litter. WREO Bertram also assisted neighboring officers with investigations.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies also checked boaters along with working AIS. Lastly, CO Mies investigated tip calls and other complaints and dealt with nuisance animal calls.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. CO Musatov investigated a trespass complaint and received several nuisance animal calls. Follow up was done on a trapping issue and illegally posting property.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on a number of litter violations in the Sand Dunes State forest and WMAs. He followed up on a possible illegal swimming raft.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week checking anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers. Reller followed up on several Tip calls and several wildlife calls. Enforcement action was taken on an over-limit case, angling without a license, AIS regulations and ATV violations.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers and boaters in the area. Angling activity picked up on the area lakes and rivers. Anglers saw good numbers of panfish and a few walleyes. CO Langevin also responded to TIP calls of angling with extra lines and illegal length fish. Violations included no license in possession, no horse trail license, angling with extra line, illegal length bass and no state park vehicle permit.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Most live wells and buckets contained pan fish but a few walleyes and pike were seen. Boat and ATV activity was high during the week with the warm weather. Enforcement action was taken on burning prohibited materials, no life jacket, angling without a license and operating an ATV on county road.

 

Princeton – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled several animal nuisance calls on beaver and goose damage. A ride along was given to a person interested in becoming a conservation officer. Training was completed. Calls were returned daily on a variety of questions. Anglers and boaters were checked for boating safety equipment, fish and AIS violations.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week following up with TIP complaints and checking boaters and anglers. CO Grewe spoke at a Rotary Club meeting and worked on station equipment. Violations included license issues.

 

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) has seen steady fishing pressure around Scott County lakes with varying success for anglers. Cooler temperatures and rain slowed down the recreational boating but many people were still out on the water throughout the week. Leuthardt worked on the St. Croix River patrolling around the Stillwater Bridge construction enforcing “no wake” regulations. She also worked the Wheaton station during an annual fishing tournament. Enforcement action was taken on no fishing license in possession, no fishing license, and taking fish by snagging.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) talked to senior group and school kids at the Mound Community Center. He did a presentation at the Community School of Excellence career day in St. Paul and followed up with AIS violations. He also participated in the Asian Outdoors Heritage kids fishing contest at Lake Phalen in St. Paul and worked fishing activity in the Mound station.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) responded to calls for a deer stranded and a beaver problem in Minneapolis. He also answered questions about zebra mussel transportation and emails regarding raccoon removal. Time was spent on administrative work and TIP calls in the Bloomington station.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen worked a detail in the Nemadji State Forest monitoring ATV activity and also assisted on a wetland investigation. Violations for the week included fishing without a license, failure to display registration and trespassing.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he attended the Water Fest at Lake Phalen hosted by the Asian Outdoor Heritage Group. He checked anglers, boaters, and conducted AIS checks during the week. He investigated waters violations in Bayport and Lake Elmo. CO Johnson took calls on fox, deer fawns, and geese.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mainly fishing and boating enforcement around the Metro lakes and rivers. He spent some time on AIS enforcement at Metro lake boat accesses. CO Pril also worked at the Asian Outdoor Heritage event at Phalen Lake in Saint Paul where he answered questions on fishing rules and regulations and taught kids how to cast their fishing lines. Violations included fishing without a fishing license, fishing with extra lines, taking over the limit of fish, failure to display valid boat registration, and no fishing license in possession.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring angling and boating activity around the area. He responded to wild animal calls one resulting in an orphaned fawn being brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. He investigated a sunfish over limit forwarded by a local police department that ended with enforcement action being taken. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra line, over limit of sunfish, and fishing without a license in possession.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer patrolled Pine County for ATV and OHM activity. Several violations were detected and enforcement action was taken. Salzer also dealt with some equipment issues while patrolling for ATV activity.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes. She worked AIS enforcement at area accesses, finding good compliance, and handled nuisance animal and “abandoned” fawn calls. CO Kruse worked on a litter case, had her radios reprogrammed and worked ATV and ORV enforcement in Anoka County.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) focused the week working angling and AIS activities. WREO Block completed an interview with a metro media outlet regarding the use of hydraulic jets in public waters. WREO Block also attended a planning meeting at Camp Ripley for the upcoming CO academy and worked the Stillwater bridge project on the St. Croix River.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) checked fishermen, AIS, ATV activity and boat and water safety in empty stations. Fishing activity has been good around the area with nice size walleye being caught. A site visit was completed on a PW and WCA violation in Lyon Co.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. Walleye fishermen are continuing to see success on area lakes. The Minnesota River and other river levels have gone up in the last few weeks due to heavy rains. Extreme caution needs to be used if you plan on fishing, kayaking, or canoeing the rivers. Education was done with local farmers in reference to the use of ATVs for rock picking.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports there were two fishing tournaments on LqP over the weekend. The cold front slowed fishing from the previous week, but anglers were still able to land some nice walleye. Multiple reports of abandon fawns were reported. Many times these fawns are not abandoned. The doe is typically a short distance away hiding because they see humans. If you encounter a fawn please leave it alone.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. This officer was a guest speaker on Minn-Dak Outdoors, a weekly radio show on KDIO radio. Time was spent patrolling Big Stone and Monson State Parks. Angling and boating violations were encountered.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters. He followed up on a small game case in addition to issuing a nuisance beaver permit. Denz also fielded calls about injured and sick birds.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked anglers and ATV enforcement during the week. During the nice weather boaters are reminded to have all of their safety equipment before going out on the lake. Calls regarding an injured eagle and hawk were handled. Carp shooters were worked as well with many boating safety violations detected.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked ATV, AIS, boating and fishing enforcement during the week. Common issues were not having a fishing license in possession and missing lifejackets, especially the class IV throwable devices required on boat over 16 feet long.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports angling success picked up some this past week. Some near limits of crappies were seen around the area. ATV enforcement was also worked with registration violations being observed. A goose hazing incident was also handled.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding public waters violations, nuisance animals and fishing questions. He also received training for new computer equipment. The remainder of the time was spent on fishing, boating, ATV and invasive species activities.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked AIS enforcement at public accesses and responded to calls of sick and/or injured birds. Calls were referred to the DNR Wildlife Division. A youth ATV Class was attended. Angling activity was also monitored on area lakes and rivers.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking turkey hunters, anglers, boaters, ATV and ORV operators. Time was also spent monitoring area lakes and public water accesses for AIS compliance. In addition Officer Ihnen competed in a pistol match.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week checking boaters and anglers. Angling activity and success varied greatly with the weather. Some boat owners still seem oblivious to the requirements to drain water and leave drain plugs out while transporting watercraft. Since 2015 is the sixth summer for this requirement, it can no longer be described as a “new” law.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking trout anglers, working AIS enforcement, and boat and water safety. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) angling, boating, and recreational vehicle operation was worked this week. The officer checked for AIS violations on local public water accesses.  Wetland issues were addressed.

 

WREO Julie Siems followed up on WCA and Public Waters violations including attending a TEP meeting. A check station was also worked with K9 Brady. Boating and ATV violations were encountered on Memorial Day.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

Mankato #1 – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and rec vehicles during the week. Heyn also worked on finishing up paperwork from cases and worked ongoing cases too. Baby animal calls are coming in as well.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement on the big river, as well as following up on two other investigations. The high water has caused fishermen to change location to find the fish. Some nice walleyes were found along with some pan fish.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports leave new born animals and birds alone. Do not pick them up. The river has risen several feet. The bluegill bite is on and off with daily temperature changes.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports fishing in the area is improving with limits of fish checked. He continues to receive wildlife calls and follow up on ATV and trespass complaints. Hemker also attended an outdoor safety day at a local school and discussed firearms and hunting safety.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling and invasive species activity. Fishing success on the river remains low and the water is still high and getting higher. Time was also spent assisting other agencies with various calls.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking trout anglers and working a boat and water detail. Violations encountered were unregistered watercraft, no PFDs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Time was also spent handling baby animal calls. People are reminded to leave fawns that are found in the wild as their mothers will return to get them. CO Boyum worked ATV complaint areas as well.

 

Rochester #2 – vacant.

 

Training Section

 

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

 

Aviation Section

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) spent the week finishing up flying the spring nesting waterfowl survey out of Brainerd and Bemidji.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) reports working on maintenance issues for several aircraft this week as well as future fleet planning. Several telemetry missions were also flown.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the swan survey and flew the Hoyt Lakes marten telemetry survey.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying wildlife telemetry, watercraft survey and fish stocking flights throughout the week. Jensen also gave some instruction to another NR pilot.


NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on airplane flight training, and helicopter maintenance and administrative tasks.

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