Weekly Conservation Officer Report

Highlight:

Alexandria:One angler launched his boat on the lake at the same time as CO Lawler early one morning. They shared a conversation on the dock about what’s been biting and what lures to use. A half hour later, Lawler contacted the same angler on the water fishing with an extra line; enforcement action was taken.

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, AIS, angling activity. CO Benjamin spent time working ATV enforcement over the 4th of July weekend in and around Warroad. The majority of enforcement action was for passengers on ATVs under the age of 18 without helmets. Regardless if you are operating a Class1 or a Class2 ATV, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear an approved helmet. Crashes involving children on ATVs that have resulted in serious injuries up to fatalities should be a reminder to this. Enforcement action was taken for the following: operating an ATV without headlights, passenger on an ATV under the age of 18 without a helmet, failure to display valid ATV registration, allow illegal operation of an ATV, angling without a license in possession, failure to pull the drain plug on a watercraft while transporting and transport fish without a patch of skin.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) reports having a very busy 4th of July weekend. With an increase of people in the area for the holiday weekend, increases in violations were encountered. The violation rate for ATVs carrying passengers under the age of 18, without helmets was very high. One grandfather who had his 2 granddaughters, one being under 3 years old, in a Class 2 ATV with no seatbelts, no helmets, and had been consuming alcohol prior to leaving his cabin. To top it off, he had an open beer in the cab of the ATV, but did not believe that he deserved a ticket or a warning. Enforcement action was taken on various other angling, ATV, boat and water safety, AIS, and PWC violations. Some violations included over limit of walleye, no PFDs while operating PWC, expired boat registration, and angling with extra lines, amongst others.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy beginning to July. Much of CO Prachar’s time was dedicated to enforcing ATV laws throughout the area. Enforcement action was taken on a DUI on a golf cart, angling without a license, children on ATVs without helmets and an individual driving without a valid driver’s license.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to receive complaints of nuisance bears and worked the Independence Day Holiday weekend on Lake of the Woods with CO’s Cowden and Benjamin. The weather was beautiful and the fishing success was marginal to good. An enforcement detail with multiple COs was worked in the Beltrami Island State Forest focusing on safety equipment for youth and operation of ATV’s in prohibited areas. Enforcement action for the week included boating equipment and registration violations, over limit of walleye, angle without license, illegal length walleye, ATV and OHM registration violations, and multiple contacts for youth without required helmets.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working a very busy Independence Day holiday monitoring ATV, boater AIS compliance, angling and boating activities on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Assistance was given to a stranded RV/motorhome with a flat tire when they realized they did not have a jack to repair the tire. Time was spent making preparations for an upcoming Firearms Safety Class and answering a variety of questions from the public regarding special regulations lakes and Upper Red Lake daily/possession limits. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations and a variety of ATV related violations.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting other conservation officers with a case. Time was also spent working a busy holiday weekend. Several boater/angler contacts were made throughout the weekend. Wetland and aquatic plant complaints were followed up on. Watercraft operators were reminded about various AIS laws.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) completed mandatory training and wolf depredation compensation paperwork. He planned a FAS class and participated in a radio interview. Minnow trapping, ATVs, AIS, boating and angling were monitored. Advice was given concerning problem woodchucks, a special beaver permit was issued and a foster home was located for seven orphaned baby wood ducks. The 4th of July holiday was very active, but everyone seemed to play well together.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked holiday weekend boater and anglers. He also followed up on a complaint from wildlife of campers on WMAs. Finished up a wolf depredation investigation.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity in the Bemidji area. Warm temperatures over the holiday weekend brought a lot of people out to the lakes. Officer worked boating activity with CO Mathy and CO Holt on the Cass Lake Chain on the 4th of July. Numerous boating violations were detected. Time was spent working a detail on Upper Red Lake with CO McGowan where over limits of walleye and illegal length walleye were detected. CO Vollbrecht assisted several COs in an ongoing investigation. An AIS detail was worked in the Bemidji area with CO Holt. ATV activity was monitored. Adults are reminded to have youth operators and riders wearing a DOT approved helmet. Several nuisance animal complaints were received.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked boating, angling and ATV activity. AIS compliance was also monitored throughout the area. Time was spent working a busy 4th of July weekend with other officers on the Cass Chain of Lakes. Officer Holt also participated in an AIS work detail in the Bemidji area. Enforcement activity for the week included angling violations, ATV violations and boat and water safety violations.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with a search warrant, contacting anglers and boaters and commercial inspections. CO Vinton issued several special beaver permits, assisted with a neighbor dispute after aquatic vegetation permit activity. Enforcement action was taken for allowing youth operation of a PWC, failure to display PWC registration, no angling license and no license in possession. ATV operation in the ditch south of Hwy 10 and PFD violations were also dealt with.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a busy holiday weekend with high boat use on area lakes. A higher than normal number of no fishing licenses violations were found over the weekend. Time was also spent working on weed roller violations, aquatic plant violations, suspicious vehicle in state park, and assistance was given to the Moorhead Officer for a TIP call. Patrol was also conducted over the weekend at a floating bar and live band on an area lake.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) CO William Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week checking anglers as well as working boat and water safety, wetland violations, and public water complaints. A TIP call was investigated. A wetland case was investigated where an individual had dug in a wetland and used the soil to fill the remainder of the wetland. The officer investigated a complaint regarding the illegal removal of weeds on Lake Ida and monitored the usage of weed rollers and other machines on the lake. Time was also spent working AIS hours during a designated AIS enforcement detail with the overall compliance being very good. Boat and water safety enforcement was worked with CO Warren during the Detroit Lakes 4th of July celebration.

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS law compliance. Time was spent assisting a neighboring officer with a fish over limit case. Assistance was given on a search warrant. Several WCA and APM cases were worked on and discussed with LGU’s.   Fishing activity and boaters were checked for compliance. CO Stattelman also assisted Becker County on a near drowning on Fox Lake in Becker County.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with a search warrant in a neighboring district for early turtle harvest. Richards spent most of his time on the lakes checking boaters and anglers over the busy 4th of July holiday weekend. Fergus Falls PD requested assistance with a report of a fawn that crashed through a basement window of a residence. The young deer was trapped inside a bathroom before Richards and Fergus Falls PD Officers captured it and released back to the wild.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked the busy holiday weekend with most focus on boating and AIS enforcement. The most common violation was failing to possess fishing licenses. Other violations encountered were fishing without a license, insufficient PFDs, failure to display registration on boat, operate PWC before legal hours, operating a PWC within 150 feet from dock, and no throwable PFD on board. Plautz took a complaint of vandalism of a hunting shack along with theft of numerous deer stands.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen, boaters, as well as ATV and OHM operation. Additional time was spent working AIS enforcement, goose depredation issues and handling calls on abandoned animals.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs, boaters, and worked AIS enforcement. The weather was very nice with little wind on the 4th which made the lakes busy but the violation rate was low. A dead loon call was handled on Clitherall Lake.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) had a busy week on the water with holiday traffic as boaters, PWC operators and fishermen all enjoyed excellent weather. A few fishermen were out trying their luck without buying a 2015 fishing license yet; citations were issued. One angler launched his boat on the lake at the same time as CO Lawler early one morning. They shared a conversation on the dock about what’s been biting and what lures to use. A half hour later, Lawler contacted the same angler on the water fishing with an extra line; enforcement action was taken.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on high boating activity, anglers and AIS law compliance. COs Anderson and Baumbarger worked Lake Minnewaska and Pelican Lake as part of a work crew over the July 4th weekend. Anderson continues to encounter AIS violations at local public access sites. Minnow transportation permits were issued and calls from the public were handled regarding baby ducks and boating/fishing questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports nice weather brought out a lot of fishermen and boaters over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent checking PWC operators and investigating a ground water use complaint.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy 4th of July Holiday weekend. Lost canoers were located. Anglers, watercraft operators and ATVs were checked. Complaints of alcohol use, disorderly conduct and blocking public water accesses were addressed. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations, boat and water violations and ATV violations. He assisted the sheriff’s office with an open container violation and assisted a drug task force with a marijuana growing arrest.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) presented the law portion of a Firearms Safety class.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked boaters during the busy 4th of July holiday weekend. Boaters transporting persons on the bow/gunwale as well as cramming too many people in overloaded boats was a common violation. Angler and AIS checks were also conducted. An AIS inspector reported a boat attempting launch with possible zebra mussel veligers attached.

CO Mathy took a sample of the veligers from the watercraft for further testing and the boat was decontaminated prior to launch. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, careless boating, PWC after hours, boat light violations, overloaded boat, operate boat with person riding on bow/gunwale, insufficient amount of PFDs on boat, and boat registration issues.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and boating activity. CO Broughten reports a very busy 4th of July weekend brought a high violation rate. ATV and boating activity was extremely high while angling success continued to be poor. CO Broughten fielded many ATV and jetski complaints. CO Broughten responded to a boating complaint. When the officer made contact with the suspect he found the operator to be intoxicated. The boat operator was arrested for BWI and careless operation of a watercraft. CO Broughten also assisted the State Patrol with a crash with injuries. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no PFD, no angling license, operate watercraft with persons riding on bow/transom, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, operate ATV on roadway, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, allow illegal operation of an OHM by a juvenile, careless operation of a watercraft, and BWI.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked boating and fishing activity over the holiday weekend. Great weather allowed everyone to enjoy the lakes. Halverson handled car kill bear.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled recreation areas, forest roads and trails. Contacts made for registration violations, failure to stop at road crossings, non-resident trail pass issues and allowing illegal juvenile operations. Holiday weekend weather was picture perfect and many were out taking advantage of the sunshine

Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama has slowed; however, lots of people were out enjoying the nice holiday weekend. Several nuisance animal complaints were handled and enforcement action was taken for transporting unmeasurable fish while on the water.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports working angling, boating, and ATV activity throughout the International Falls and Tower area. CO Van Asch participated in a small work detail on Lake Vermilion with neighboring officers. Many recreational boaters were observed enjoying the holiday weekend. Nuisance animal calls continue to be handled in the area. An arrest was made for an intoxicated boater on Lake Vermilion. Enforcement action included failure to display valid watercraft registration, failure to display valid ATV registration, ATV passenger under 18 without helmet, transport aquatic macrophytes, no angling license in possession, and allowing operation of a motor boat over 75hp by person under 12.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored are lakes with increased boating activity due to the holiday weekend and nice weather. Computer issues and upgrades along data entry continue. Fishing activity remains slow with very poor results noted. Watercraft repairs and upkeep rounded out the week.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported with the holiday weekend recreational activity increased. The officer took a number of complaints of loud boats on Lake Vermilion. Officer took enforcement action on a number of loud boats operating over the weekend. The officer investigated a burning complaint and a non-game species complaint. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, angling without a license, no watercraft registration, failure to display registration, illegal operation in a no-wake zone, and youth water craft violations. The officer also assisted Ely PD with a fight complaint.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, and state park enforcement over the holiday weekend. The officer investigated a wetland fill violation (and issued a Resource Protection Notification) and investigated a calf depredation complaint. The officer also spent time dealing with a computer change over in St. Paul. Working with RTO Patten, the officers came across a rare sight when an angler was encountered angling without a license from a Personal Watercraft. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, no angling license in possession, fail to drain water related equipment, and numerous boating, PWC and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) investigated reports of nuisance bears that were killed by homeowners. Reports of a lakeshore owner altering the shoreline and doing work below the ordinary high water level are also being looked into. Over the extremely busy 4th of July holiday weekend CO Frericks concentrated on boating safety. One boater who received a citation for insufficient PFDs laughed and told CO Frericks it was ironic he was getting a ticket for no PFD because he was just in the Eveleth parade and everyone on their parade float was wearing a PFD.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a busy week with lots of people up enjoying the weather on area lakes.  Fredin started the week by performing a traffic stop on a vehicle that went through a stop sign, driving into opposing lane and speeding.  Approached the expecting an intoxicated driver instead was surprised by finding a 13 year old child behind the wheel. Lots of boating activity was observed with some fishing.  Violations for no angling license in possession, fail to transfer boat title, expired boat registration, and Jet Ski operating at high speeds within 150ft of docks.  Fredin also took care of a bear that was shot by a homeowner and issued nuisance beaver permit.

Cook – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Independence Day holiday was extremely busy and the weekend was spent focusing on areas with high activity in the Ely area. Officer Williams also assisted neighboring Officers on Lake Vermilion. Violations included angling without a license, operating a PWC at greater than no wake in a no wake zone, and operating a watercraft with expired registration.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) attended a training in the metro and worked fishing enforcement in the BWCAW. Fishing had been slow, but seemed to be getting better over the big fourth of July weekend. As a reminder to out of state canoers and those using cedar strip canoes. It is a legal requirement to have a current registration on those watercraft.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports lots of people out over the busy 4th of July holiday weekend.   When encountering a man on a small, quiet, lake, the man asked why the CO was on such a small quiet lake during such a busy weekend.  The CO did some explaining, then got to ask his own question as to why the man was on the lake without life jackets in his boat.  Many others were way too busy to remember to bring their fishing licenses with them.  A nuisance bear call was taken where the bear went into an occupied cabin and grabbed some goodies before heading back out the window it came in.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area ATV trails and state park and  forest campgrounds.  One guest tried to bilk a park by leaving the registration envelope with a fake credit card number in the windshield while visiting the park; a note from the officer mentioning a citation was incentive for the guest to deposit said envelope with proper cash payment at the park office upon departure.  Anglers on Lake Superior and on inland waters were checked and the officer contacted anglers leaving public waters about aquatic invasives

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy holiday weekend working primarily boating, angling, AIS, and ATV enforcement.  AIS compliance was high, everything else wasn’t.  Enforcement action included insufficient PFDs, fishing without a license, no navigational lights after sunset, litter, illegal juvenile ATV operation, expired ATV registration, and cans/bottles in the BWCA.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked a busy 4th of July weekend.  Time was spent on Superior, and the BWCAW.  High activity in both areas.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the busy holiday weekend focusing enforcement efforts on boating and angling activity. Lake Superior was calm and people had some nice lakers in the bag. With the water at 38 degrees surface temperature, people still forgot to have life jackets with them while venturing on the big lake. A BWCAW detail was worked with Officer Schottenbauer. The officer attended training in St. Paul. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling and traffic violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV, angling, and boating activity over the Fourth of July holiday. Fishing success was on the slow side but warm weather made for other enjoyable water activities. Murray responded to a call with other rescue personnel of a young boy falling off a rock ledge into the river at Gooseberry Falls State Park. The boy sustained life threatening injuries and was airlifted by helicopter from the park.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area ATV trails, checked boaters and anglers, attended training and transferred equipment in St. Paul, and handled calls on nuisance animals. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, insufficient PFDs, and operating ATV’s on a public roadway.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, worked ATV activity, and assisted the county with searching for three missing ATV operators. Violations included operate ATV on county roads, equipment violations, no PFDs, no license in possession, and no fire extinguisher.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and worked Boat and Water enforcement this week. The area walleye bite was on the upside. Compliance was good.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. She also worked boating enforcement on area lakes over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations. She also investigated the death and disposal of two snapping turtles, which was illegal. She handled several complaints over the phone concerning miscellaneous wildlife concerns and questions.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked boating and angling activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for operating a jetski within 150 feet of a watercraft and swimmers at above a no wake speed. Enforcement actions were also taken for failing to register a watercraft and angling without a license. The Fourth of July fireworks on Pokegama Lake were worked with other area law enforcement officers. The fireworks went off without any complications and all boaters returned home without incident.

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

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working boating and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered ATVs, no fishing license and no PFDs. Officer Wichmann also assisted with the Hill City fireworks on Hill Lake.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) checked ATVers and OHM operators this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and assisted with a resort check. He received calls on AIS regulations and a party that was overdue from a fishing trip.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working area lakes for angling and boating activity. The holiday weekend along with great weather had lakes full of recreational users. ATV trails and complaint areas were worked. Nuisance animal and injured animal complaints were handled.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported it was very busy 4th of July weekend as the officer focused most of his time on safe boating enforcement. Riding outside of the gunwales, exceeding watercraft capacity, insufficient life jackets, operating a personal watercraft within 150ft of shore were a few of the unsafe operations the officer dealt with. Paddle boards are considered watercraft so that means a life jacket and watercraft registration are required

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing and boating enforcement. Several nights were worked on area lakes focusing on navigation light compliance and alcohol enforcement. Time was also spent working AIS, ATV, and OHM enforcement. Several calls were received and handled.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended and got certified in the regional PD1 trials in Elk River. The hot weather kept area lakes and trails busy in the area. Lots of boating and off-highway vehicle contacts made. Enforcement contacts were made for insufficient PFDs, operating ATV in public waters, operating without a safety certificate, allowing unlawful juvenile operation, and equipment and registration violations. Two anglers were contacted and cited for drug violations after they were observed smoking marijuana along an area river while fishing. Two permits were issued for nuisance beaver removal. Some complaints of nuisance bears are still being received. And as always, most of the problems can be stopped by just removing bird feeders.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) checked boaters and anglers over the holiday weekend on area lakes and rivers. Great weather for the weekend had many out enjoying the lakes boating and fishing. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license and unattended fishing rod. Boating activity was huge for the weekend but folks were good and everyone enjoyed the evening events on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no navigation lights, failure to display registration, no current registration, allowing gunwale riding, towing tubes with boat with no spotter or mirror. A person checked on an area lake with a slot limit for walleyes was found to have three illegal length slot fish in their possession. They stated that they thought the slot limit meant you had to release them that size and could keep the larger ones. The person is new to the area from another state. Fish were seized and donated to local a person who loves fish but cannot get out anymore to fish due to health issues. Scott assisted St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department with a domestic call in the Cotton Area.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) fielded calls on nuisance ear complaints around the Duluth area. Boating enforcement was focused on during the week. The nice weather had many enjoying the holiday weekend. Enforcement actions taken for watercraft registration and equipment issues. Worked the Duluth Harbor during fourth fest and for a concert in Bayfront Park. Olson responded to a call of a kayak that was in distress on Lake Superior, but the kayak turned out to be a large log.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on a warm holiday weekend.  A watercraft safety detail was worked in the St Louis Harbor. Anglers and boaters were checked on inland lakes during other fireworks shows. AIS compliance was good among local and vacationing boaters alike. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) working boating enforcement on Lake Superior and Duluth Harbor over the busy 4th of July Weekend. He assisted with boating safety during concerts and fireworks in the Duluth Harbor. He also had a rider, attended a meeting, checked on a boat that had drifted away in a storm, assisted other agencies, and performed equipment maintenance during the week. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, PWC, and AIS violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked on area lakes over the busy week including the 4th of July. Violations included not enough life jackets, possession of illegal length fish on a special regulation lake, transport aquatic vegetation, watercraft passengers under 10 not wearing life preservers, no angling license, no angling license in possession, operate ATV on a public roadway, and ATV passengers under 18 without helmets.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy 4th of July holiday. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for boating law violations. Some boating operators were tested for intoxication levels. Officer Guida also worked with other area conservation officers and sheriff’s office boat and water deputies keeping the peace around two lake fireworks displays.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked watercraft, AIS, angling and ATV activity throughout the holiday week. Enforcement contacts included crappie over limits, no angling licenses and illegal aquatic plant removal. Contacts were made for illegal burning of weekend garbage.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy 4th of July weekend in Crow Wing County. Time was spent on the Whitefish Chain and Pelican Lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week with sunfish, bass and northerns the most active. The holiday weekend brought out a lot of boaters and PWCs. Boating enforcement and safety occupied most of his time. No lights after sunset, PWCs operating within 150 feet of shore, after hour operation and loud boats violations were detected. He also worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. A complaint of ATVs in the Pillsbury forest was received and investigated.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including a busy holiday weekend focusing on boating and fishing enforcement, patrol of the Cuyuna Country State Recreational area and Crow Wing State Forest for high recreational activity. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for illegal camping, alcohol, fires, parking, and fireworks in the recreational area, miscellaneous boating equipment and registration violations, and illegal off-highway motorcycle and ATV operation. Other activity included responding to numerous nuisance and injured wildlife complaints, suspected drainage of wetland, and damage to a public access.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) worked the busy holiday weekend. Nice weather brought out boats and anglers on the lakes and ATVs on land. She contacted several anglers and boaters with license and registration issues, she contacted PWC operators with reckless operations, and landowners pulling wild rice from around their shorelines without a permit. She also contacted several ATV operators with registration violations, youth without helmets and youth operating illegally. There were also several people out who were doing everything right. CO Peterson made contact with several youth who were wearing life jackets and gave out coupons for doing so.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked holiday weekend activity including a lot of non-resident anglers who only fish when they are on vacation, a regatta of un-registered watercraft which only hit the water “a couple weeks out of the year,” and a fleet of ATVs that “usually just get used around the farm.” Please remember that all watercraft and ATVs need to be registered even if only used a couple times a year. The lacks of PFDs were a problem especially with kayaks and paddle boards. Verkuilen also answered hunting season questions and transported a fledgling loon found high, dry, and alone.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working a busy Fourth of July weekend. There was lots of boating and fishing related traffic on all lakes. The Officer also patrolled for ATV traffic in multiple areas around the Malmo Station. Calls regarding trespassing and boating violations during the week and weekend. AIS enforcement was worked around Mille Lacs Lake and surrounding smaller lakes. A call from an AIS inspector was investigated for a possible violation. Fishing activity was monitored on Mille Lacs Lake and a few bass and perch were seen. Patrol was also done for possible night ban violations on Mille lacs also. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, ATV, AIS and boating related law violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a burning complaint where a permit burn got away from the landowner and burned two small sheds. Speldrich received information from a Pine County watercraft inspector regarding a violation that occurred a few days prior. The watercraft owner was interviewed and admitted to knowing the live wells should have been drained prior to launching the boat but just forgot to check them. Over the 4th of July weekend, Speldrich assisted Pine County deputies with a disturbance in the Nemadji State Forest. An individual was acting irrational and the callers were concerned for their safety. The individual was transported by ambulance for an evaluation. Speldrich responded to multiple ATV complaints, calls of careless watercraft operation and assisted Moose Lake PD with a DUI. The person arrested for DUI had a young child in the vehicle. She also investigated public waters violations and answered nuisance animal questions.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked with tribal officers on boat safety details and some fishing concerns. ATV activity was found to be very high, with registration and youth operation issues addressed. Assistance was also given to the sheriff’s department for two stolen watercraft complaints. CO Starr joined a work detail on Lake Vermilion and found PFD compliance to be excellent. Violations for transporting aquatic vegetation, registration, no fishing license, illegal youth operation of motor boat, and variance ATV violations were also handled. Loud boat complaints were also investigated.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked a very busy 4th of July holiday week. A lot of boating and ATVing complaints were taken and violations found included illegal operation of jet-skis, unregistered watercraft and numerous ATVing violations. Time was also spent in Banning State Park after a hiker slipped off a ledge and fell 20 feet down a cliff, in a remote area of the park. The fall resulted in multiple injuries that included a broken leg. With the help of 20 other first responders from several communities, and ropes and pulleys, the hiker was strapped into a rescue sled and carried out. Other activity included manning the Turn In Poachers Wall of Shame at the Finlayson Fourth of July Celebration.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls during the week of nuisance bears and nuisance beaver. He issued beaver permits, and also spent time with the TIP trailer answering questions in Finlayson for their 4th of July celebration. CO Wynn assisted CO Bret Grundmeier with boat patrol in the Finlayson area with enforcement action taken on Jet Ski operation during restricted hours and boat registration issues. CO Wynn finished up the week checking ATV complaints and monitoring AIS compliance in Pine City.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Many fishermen were reporting catching multiple smaller walleye along with perch and small mouth bass. Time was spent working TIP complaints, area fireworks displays and AIS check point. Fishing and boating activity was high over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken during the week included boating, ATV, and fishing violations.

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement around the Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas. Many boaters were still forgetting to pull drain plugs and remove aquatic vegetation. WREO Haberman also worked boat and water enforcement assisting area officers on the White Fish Chain. WREO Haberman also checked on a wetland drainage and answered questions about blue/green algae.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity. Complaints regarding after hours PWC use were handled with enforcement action being taken. An evening patrol on an area lake resulted in navigation light violations for more than half of the boats participating in a fishing league event. CO Silgjord observed the group of un-lit boats race towards the access, well after sunset, for weigh-in. The action gave the officer serious concern for safety and enforcement action was taken. Assistance was provided to a local sheriff’s office for a possible drowning victim on Big Sauk Lake over the holiday weekend. The subject was later located unharmed at a nearby residence. Many contacts were made over the busy holiday weekend with the most common violation being anglers without their licenses in possession. Other violations included insufficient PFDs, failure to display valid watercraft registration, failure to remove drain plugs and no angling license.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated calls of a calf that was killed with it found to most likely be done by coyotes and investigated a large group of campers camping on an island on the Mississippi River. The campers were found to be legally camping and behaving themselves. The Fourth of July weekend brought out a disturbing trend on area lakes, of many females in kayaks and on paddle boards without any life jackets. Two of the women who were cited for the violation were very upset with the tickets even though the lake was like a washing machine with the heavy boat traffic and they informed CO Kuske that they used to be life guards.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) observed many people enjoying outdoor recreational activities in the beautiful holiday weather. Anglers and watercraft were checked. ATVs were checked. Enforcement action for a variety of violations was taken.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked the holiday weekend. Nice weather had many people out enjoying the water. AIS, boating and angling activity were worked. Enforcement action for the week included no life jacket, no fire extinguisher, transport boat with plug, and no license in possession.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Todd, Morrison, and Isanti counties. Citations were issued for no ATV registration, fail to comply with a wetland restoration order, and AIS violations. Fishermen and turtle trappers were also checked.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found the two most common violations during the 4th of July weekend was lack of PFDs in boats and ATV’s being operated on public highways. The busy holiday weekend resulted in a high number of enforcement contacts most of which were water related. CO Kuske found a paddle boarder on a lake 45 minutes after sunset. The person had no PFD, no signal light and was under the influence of alcohol. After getting the person safely to shore and taking enforcement action for no PFD, the officer was chastised by the person’s friends for being unreasonable. A family on a pontoon boat was anchored about 50 feet from shore. While CO Kuske was talking to them a person operating a jet ski zipped between the shore and pontoon. The operator carrying a juvenile passenger on their lap was quickly stopped, and an excuse was given that they thought it was safer to cut through the narrow gap then going around out into the lake. Citation issued for operating too close to shore and anchored boat. CO Kuske stopped two class 2 ATVs for operating in the lane of traffic on a busy county highway. Both vehicles had juvenile passengers without helmets and not wearing seatbelts, each operator was issued a ticket for the safety violations. CO Kuske received a serious inquiry about Sasquatch being in the area. A kind response was provided, but was followed by another inquiry referencing UFO sightings as the person was scared over the thought of becoming an abductee.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers focusing on AIS and boating enforcement. Officer made contact with paddle boarders and kayakers that did not have personal floatation devices or registration with their equipment. The officer fielded calls concerning beaver and fawn issues.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked boating enforcement on the Independence Day weekend, checking many boaters. He also worked on angling violations last week and handled numerous calls for service. Officer Mies spent time investigating and documenting issues with aquatic plant violations and public waters violations.

St. Cloud – vacant.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boat and water on area lakes. He issued summons and written warning for no throw cushion, no life jackets, expired boat registrations, allowing passenger to ride on a gunwale. failure to display valid boat registration, towing skier without a mirror/observer, operating a PWC without operating sticker, angling without fishing license in possession. He also issued summons and written warning for a large amount of litter dumped in the Sand Dunes State Forest. The violators will also be charged with a civil fine for the cost of cleanup and disposal of the garbage by the area DNR Forestry officd. He followed up on a nuisance beaver issue in Livonia Twp.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy holiday weekend on area lakes.  The warm weather had many recreational boaters enjoying the lakes.  CO Langevin received a complaint of a lakeshore owner marking off an area to prevent boats from anchoring near his beach.  The owner was actually marking a private swimming area adjacent to his home.  Many anglers came out early before the midday heat.  Only bass and sunfish seemed to be biting.  Violations included no license in possession, fail to remove drain plug and transporting aquatic vegetation.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) returned after vacation.  Upon return several phone calls were returned.   Time was spent on area lakes during the 4th of July weekend.  Enforcement action was taken on operating overloaded watercraft and no throw-able device.

CO Londgren (Cambridge) worked boating safety and invasive species enforcement over the holiday weekend. A TIP call of a fish over limit was investigated. Enforcement action was taken on: failure to remove plug, failure to drain water from watercraft, PWC violations, and illegal removal of aquatic vegetation.

Princeton – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked public water access sites for AIS violations. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes and rivers. Several nuisance and injured animal calls were handled. Off road vehicle trespass area near Watertown was patrolled.

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking boaters and anglers. CO Grewe worked busy lake Minnetonka over the 4th of July weekend and provided ride alongs to a couple of news crews wanting information on boating laws. Violations included no lifejackets, operating a PWC after hours and no fishing license.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) work anglers and boaters in the Mound station and Hennepin County area lakes. He investigated a wetland complaint on Lake Minnetonka and took calls on nuisance animal complaints. He also had his truck retro fit in Maple Grove and computer training in central office.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in district’s area lakes and rivers. He worked with Lt. Glaser on Lake Minnetonka over the 4th of July weekend for boating activity. He responded to calls for injured bird and a TIP call. He patrolled his temporary assigned station, Fort Snelling State Park, and learned that by mid-afternoon, there were over 400 vehicles that had visited the park. He took enforcement action for no PFD, dog off-leash while in a State Park, no vehicle permit, angling with extra lines, and failing to display valid boat registration.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer worked the holiday weekend and saw a high number of boaters out on the water over the weekend. Officer Salzer also worked AIS enforcement with several violations observed. Boaters are reminded that they must have the plug removed from their boat while transporting to and from a lake.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) checked anglers and boaters throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, no angling license, and fishing with an extra line. CO Johnson worked with CO Neitzke on the July 4th holiday. They returned a young Peregrine Falcon to the nest box on the 50th floor of the City Center Building. CO Johnson attended computer tablet training and patrolled at Afton State Park.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking boaters, anglers and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen also patrolled area wildlife management areas and handled nuisance animal calls. Violations for the week included PFD violations, no license in possession and failure to remove drain plug.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mainly boating enforcement on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and area lakes. He also checked anglers around the Metro lakes and rivers and spent some time on AIS enforcement and equipment maintenance. Violations included no fishing license, fishing with extra lines, take fish in closed area, no fishing license in possession, no type IV life saving device on board watercraft, and watercraft registration violations.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) continued working on aquatic vegetation cases in Ramsey County. She had a ride along, worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and handled nuisance animal calls. CO Kruse worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes and rivers. Violations encountered included extra lines, keep walleye in pool 2 of Mississippi River, no fishing license, expired boat registration, insufficient number of PFDs and failure to pull drain plug.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and boating enforcement. WREO Block also completed radio and television interviews regarding boating safety. WREO Block also assisted the Scott County Sheriff’s Department with the fireworks show, which was held on the shore of Prior Lake. The show brought many excited boaters to the lake in anticipation of the event.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy holiday weekend checking boaters and anglers on the St Croix and Mississippi rivers. He assisted the sheriff’s office with calls on the water and fireworks security. AIS enforcement was conducted and calls returned to the public. Enforcement action for the week included various boating violations as well as no fishing license and failure to remove plug for transport.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. It was a busy weekend on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets, boat registration, riding on gunwales, PWC within 150 feet of shore, and various other infractions. Shaokatan Lake is showing sign of vegetation growing, so boaters are reminded to check trailers.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted CO Miska on a work detail on Big Stone Lake. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets, failure to have fire extinguisher, and no angling license. Angling on area lakes has slowed down. Fishermen are finding some catfish on the Minnesota River.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that the 4th of July holiday weekend was busy with almost perfect weather. As expected, plenty of recreational boating and fishing activity was seen. Most of the violations encountered dealt with illegal PWC operation and life jacket issues. AIS details were also worked during the holiday weekend. Parents and adults are reminded that anybody born after July 1st 1987 needs to have an ATV safety certificate to operate an ATV on public property.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boat and ATV safety. Independence Day Weekend brought great numbers of boaters to area lakes. Assistance was given Murray County Sheriff’s Department when a complaint was received after some parents dropped their three children off on one side of Lake Sarah, with PFDs, and allowed them to swim across the lake into 30 mph headwinds. The three children were recovered safely by the parents and deputy. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations, no helmet, failure to remove drain plug, and inaccessible PFDs.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. Many enjoyed the 4th of July weekend and the great weather that went with it. This officer was also a guest on the Minn-Dak Outdoors radio show in Ortonville. Angling, boating, OHV violations were encountered.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a defensive driving training in Marshall. RPN’s were issued in Laq Qui Parle County for a WCA violation. Empty stations were worked and enforcement action was taken for fishing license violations, boating safety violations. AIS water related equipment was checked and he assisted with an AIS saturation on Lake Yankton.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time on Green Lake for the 4th of July with another officer. There were multiple violations that were observed many to do with boating safety violations. There were a few accidents and incidents that occurred on the lake where assistance was given to the Kandiyohi deputies.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working boating, ATV, AIS and angling enforcement this past week. ATV issues related to youth passengers were dealt with once again. A TIP call was investigated in Renville County. Boating violations involved PFD issues. AIS compliance was very good in the area.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted residents of Lake Hanska and wildlife rehabilitators catch an eagle with a broken wing. He also worked boating, angling, ATV and AIS enforcement. Catfish angling pressure has increased and some nice flathead and channel catfish were caught last week.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, boat and water enforcement, AIS and ATV enforcement. Gruhlke assisted on Lake Shetek during the holiday weekend. He also completed his radio program discussing topics including area activity and age requirements on PWCs.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boating, angling and invasive species enforcement. Several citations and warnings were issued for boating safety and angling violations. Complaints were investigated for boating conduct. Aquatic vegetation is increasing dramatically with 78 degree surface temperatures and one lake has seen blue-green algae. Boaters are reminded to take the time and inspect their equipment prior to leaving accesses.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked areas for AIS violations. The officer spent time on the water during area firework shows. Fishing and ATV activity was monitored.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement. A busy holiday weekend was reported with a number of AIS violations encountered at local public access sites. The officer assisted local agencies with a swimmer who drowned on the 4th of July.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on boating and angling enforcement. Beautiful summer weather brought out good crowds for the holiday weekend. CO Howe assisted local agencies with security on the water during fireworks displays on Friday and Saturday, and also worked an AIS saturation effort on the holiday weekend.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. CO Ihnen assisted in a district AIS detail checking for compliance on area lakes over the busy holiday weekend. Additional time was also spent responding to various complaints at PWAs.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers, ATV operators, and working AIS enforcement. An illegal dumping case was investigated and resolved. Time was also spent investigating an illegal possession of wild turkey eggs complaint, resulting in enforcement action being taken.

WREO Julie Siems reports working invasive species enforcement over the busy holiday weekend. Plugs continue to be seen in boats arriving at the access.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the past week and weekend checking fishing, boating and ATV activity. Fishing on the river continues to be slow. Boating traffic has picked up to typical summer levels. Time was also spent checking invasive species activity. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy holiday weekend on the Big River. Fishing pressure over the weekend was tremendous with many folks hitting the wing dams with varying degrees of success until the big boat action forced them to the backwaters or up to Lake Pepin. Pepin was giving up a few big walleyes and the sheepshead action kept many folks busy. A few sunfish are beginning to show up on the wing dams along with some catfish and crappies. A couple more investigations were worked on and reports completed. Enforcement action included undersize fish, license, registration, and equipment violations.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy week on the river and ATV areas. He received complaints of illegal camping, littering, and illegal boat operation. While checking fishermen, he spoke with two seasoned hunters within one-half hour of each other. During conversation one said there were no pheasants in the area while the other said there were pheasants everywhere.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports a busy weekend on the Root River. High numbers of tubers, kayaks and canoes were seen. CO Boyum also noticed most groups were policing their trash and picking up trash that they found. Violations were down. No PFDs and failure to display valid registration were violations encountered. CO Boyum also checked local trout streams. Success varied. ATV areas were also patrolled with juvenile violations being most common.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked checking anglers, watercraft operators, and ATV operators. He took calls concerning nuisance animals and license questions. Enforcement action for the holiday weekend included several no PFDs, no angling license, and using extra lines as well as registration issues.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly boaters and anglers during the week. Lots of people were out over the holiday weekend with various boating and fishing violations detected. Overall, fishing is still pretty slow.

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 Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) reports flying a Lake Vermilion Creel Survey, wolf telemetry and an enforcement photo mission. Time was also spent on administrative duties including aircraft maintenance and training.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) continued flying forestry sketch mapping project flights and also conducted some training flight activities.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a telemetry flight for Camp Ripley staff. Jensen also attempted a fisheries survey but was thwarted by thunderstorms. Holiday flights were flown to check anglers and boaters via seaplane on various lakes with heavy usage and vacant patrol areas.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with training in airplanes. He also worked on helicopter maintenance and administrative tasks.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew sketch mapping for Forest Assessment and wolf and marten telemetry. A 50 hour oil change for the Bemidji airplane was also completed.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

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