Minnesota Conservation Officer Report

Highlights of this week’s CO Report:    

-CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis): A male that had been spearing on the ice was found to be driving with a cancelled status (inimical to public safety – a gross misdemeanor offense). During the contact, the male was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and admitted to smoking them both while out in the spear shack. The male was arrested and is facing felony and gross misdemeanor charges.

-CO Matt Frericks (Virginia): In one instance on a remote lake, CO Frericks observed two anglers with eight lines through the ice. One of the anglers, a former Minnesota resident who now resides in Hawaii, didn’t even bother to purchase a license. Both anglers were cited. The following day as CO Frericks was preparing the reports for court he noticed the Hawaiian resident had purchased a resident muzzleloader license earlier in the month. The former resident was cited for a non-resident purchasing a resident license.

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Hayes Lake and Lake Bronson. Snowmobilers were checked around Roseau and Karlstad.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) primarily worked angling and snowmobile enforcement this past week. The lake is coming back to life now that there is sufficient ice in some areas to hold anglers and light equipment, both at the Northwest Angle and along the south shore. It is suggested to stay nearby marked trails as there are still areas with as little as 3 inches of ice or less. A reminder for snowmobilers, your registration expires on June 30th of the sticker year. Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without license in possession, fail to transfer ownership of a snowmobile, operate unregistered snowmobile and fail to display current registration on a snowmobile.

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) checked snowmobilers and anglers on Lake of the Woods and the surrounding areas. Many of the resorts on both the north and south shores are starting to move houses out. Time was also spent on commercial minnow inspections with the assistance of CO Regas and CO Benjamin. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no angling license in possession, fail to display snowmobile and ATV registration, and operate ATV without registration.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports increased ice activity and snowmobiles on trails. Enforcement action was taken on illegal length fish.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored angling and snowmobiling activity in the area. Fresh snow brought out numerous snowmobile riders that found few trails groomed in the area, but still enjoyed the chance to ride. Anglers on the Red Lake River found northern pike eager to bite with a few walleyes taken at dawn and dusk. Enforcement action included no snowmobile registration, excessive speed on snowmobile, fail to stop snowmobile at crossroad, unlawful crossing of divided highway, allow illegal operation of snowmobile by juvenile, no angling license, and no spearing license.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working snowmobiling activity, trapping activity and angling activity throughout the week. Time was spent working on cases from the deer season, issuing car killed deer possession permits, reports of incidental catches of fisher and assisting a neighboring officer with commercial minnow dealer and retailer inspections.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.


District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking ice anglers. More anglers are venturing out onto area lakes with the improving ice conditions. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and small game hunters. Complaints regarding deer stands left in a WMA were also checked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked ice thickness, anglers, and ATV activity. He assisted at a domestic and observed snowmobile traffic start to increase. Calls regarding a car kill deer and coyote attacking a dog were also reported.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) and a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC) patrolled area lakes for ice angling activity and snowmobile activity. More ice houses are showing up on area lakes. Officers followed up on big game violations and commercial license inspections. Enforcement action was taken for over limit, no ATV registration, possession of a controlled substance, and no license in possession.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked area angling and trapping activity during the week. Time was also spent conducting taxidermy inspections with a neighboring officer. Officer Holt continued working on a background investigation on an applicant for the next conservation officer academy.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking pheasant hunters and fishermen. More fishermen are hitting the ice, but conditions still vary. Time was also spent working on access issues, assisting the sheriff’s office with a missing persons and working shining activity.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling/spearing activity on area lakes. Anglers checked reported a slow to fair bite. Time was spent working area trails and waterways for snowmobile activity. Follow up was conducted on a complaint of a fox shot and left where killed and deer carcass disposed of improperly.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling activity, following up on TIP cases, and working snowmobile complaints. People who are planning on ice fishing are encouraged to use extreme caution. Many areas have only been frozen for a few days and there is thin ice present on many bodies of water. The officer also investigated an incident where several crows were shot and left in a ditch. If anyone has any information on this incident please call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.



District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice anglers are starting to get out with more frequency; however, ice conditions remain inconsistent and caution should be exercised. Anglers were checked with very few fish observed. Reports of undressed geese being dumped were received and an incidentally caught fisher was also handled.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues field training of a new hire. Plautz and a COC worked on numerous trapping cases closing one with untagged traps. The officers assisted the Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office locate a lost individual with the aid of an ATV. Fishing activity was monitored but ice conditions are varied throughout the area. Plautz and the COC checked coyote hunters in the area as well.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) reports ice fishing is just getting started on Grant County lakes. Ice conditions are still considered poor. Complaints were worked regarding trespass/cutting a fence and litter. Follow up was completed on deer season cases and a call was handled in the Evansville station.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, pheasant hunters and snowmobilers. With the new snowfall there have been a few more snowmobiles out but trails are still in poor condition. Osborne has seen more wheeled houses on area lakes but advises to be cautious when venturing out on area lakes. Very few fish have been seen in angler’s bags.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored ice fishing activity as conditions slowly improve. Snowmobile trails need more snow even after the recent snowfall. A TIP call is being investigated about some illegal deer hunting called in by a concerned citizen. The week’s enforcement action included possessing small amount of marijuana and litter.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued step 3 field training with a CO recruit. The officers worked fishing/spearing, small game/trapping and snowmobiling activity. Follow up investigation was completed on open deer hunting cases with enforcement action taken on illegal party hunting and lending/borrowing licenses, including deer seizures. Several other deer hunting related cases remain under investigation. A commercial taxidermy inspection was completed and enforcement action was taken on a fire involving prohibited materials. A male that had been spearing on the ice was found to be driving with a cancelled status (inimical to public safety – a gross misdemeanor offense). During the contact, the male was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and admitted to smoking them both while out in the spear shack. The male was arrested and is facing felony and gross misdemeanor charges.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) and a COC spent time checking ice anglers on local lakes. Additional efforts were put towards trapping and ATV enforcement. Both officers assisted in a taxidermy records inspection. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and improper reflective material on an ice shelter. Ice conditions on many local lakes are still poor; many anglers are using portable houses.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Ice conditions are improving but some lakes in the Hubbard County area still have open water. Snowmobilers are out and about but trail conditions are not great.

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, trapping activity and snowmobilers. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations and ice shelter violations.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked ice anglers and bobcat trappers. Ice thickness measured on small lakes has varied from five to seven inches. Large lake ice is thinner and variable. The ice is still unsafe in many areas. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) worked on equipment maintenance issues. She responded to inquires of ATV use on snowmobile trails and general trail use questions. Investigation continues on open/pending files.

Remer – vacant.

Walker – vacant.



District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) spent time monitoring angling, trapping, and snowmobile activity throughout the surrounding areas. Ice anglers are still limited do the poor ice conditions, a few spear fishermen were checked and reported little success. Time was also spent completing pending cases, equipment maintenance, and nuisance wildlife complaints.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports mid-week rain and ice conditions are very poor.
The ground is not frozen in many places. No snowmobile activity was observed. Office and equipment work are on-going.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) continued field training a COC working primarily angling activity. A few snowmobiles were found riding on less than desirable snow depths. Ice thickness continues to be an issue for access to lakes, keeping many people at home, though there were enough anglers out to keep the officers busy. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license in possession, unattended line, and a couple of snowmobile violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time working on and closing out numerous cases from deer season. Ice conditions on area lakes are only slightly improved and anglers are urged to use caution. Of the anglers he checked throughout the week, angling with extra lines seemed to be a violation some anglers were trying to get away with. In one instance on a remote lake, CO Frericks observed two anglers with eight lines through the ice. One of the anglers, a former Minnesota resident who now resides in Hawaii, didn’t even bother to purchase a license. Both anglers were cited. The following day as CO Frericks was preparing the reports for court he noticed the Hawaiian resident had purchased a resident muzzleloader license earlier in the month. The former resident was cited for a non-resident purchasing a resident license.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) noticed a slight increase in ice angling throughout the area but also saw open water on some of the bigger lakes. Some snowmobile activity was observed but due to lack of snow trails area not groomed. Illegal juvenile class 2 ATV violation was addressed and assistance was giving to local law enforcement.

Cook – vacant.

International Falls #2 – vacant.



District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports ice fishing activity has grown over the past week as ice depth become more uniform. Most of the larger lakes in the Ely area earlier had open water which recently froze over, making them dangerous for anyone not familiar with the lake. Violations included, operating an ATV with no Safety certificate, unregistered ATV, and juvenile passenger not wearing a helmet.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked a few fishermen and found that the ice was improving a little. But then the new snow came so the problem with bad and unknown ice thickness persists. If you can’t resist going onto the ice, wear ice picks and a PFD, bring a friend with a rope, and use a chisel bar to check the ice as you go.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked snowmobilers and trapping activity during the week. Anglers that did venture out on the ice found lots of standing water on some of the lakes. Ice depths vary a great deal on some lakes so continue to use caution.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled GIA snowmobile trails and forest roads; most trails are still closed due to brush and downed trees and wet areas. Lake conditions are not looking great with the snow cover insulating the thin ice on many lakes and increasing the amount of slush. Cross country ski trails are looking better and activity on them is picking up; skiers are reminded to get their ski permit before hitting the GIA ski trails like Pincushion.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports checking primarily ice anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. Violations addressed included angling without a license, no headlights on an ATV after dark, no license in possession and fail to register deer as required. Several deer hunting investigations are ongoing. A few more options for fishing are starting to come available. Remember to stay off designated snowmobile trails with all other motor vehicle types, or expect enforcement action.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked on a background investigation. Time was spent working angling activity, and snowmobile activity as well. One snowmobile went in a bog along the trail, and two went into a lake this weekend. Trails are in poor shape even with the new snow and the lakes are not safe for motorized traffic.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking snowmobilers and talking to some eager fishermen contemplating whether to go out on certain lakes. Two snowmobilers went through the ice on an area lake. Ice conditions are still not safe.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and ice angler activity during the week. Some colder weather with snowfall arrived in the area improving ice and trail conditions. However, many lakes are still unsafe for travel and the recent snowfall has once again hidden areas of dangerously thin ice in some areas.



District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked ice fishermen and late season trappers. He spent time patrolling by snowmobile in remote areas. Enforcement action taken for illegal parking at public accesses to lakes. Anglers are reminded that access is limited to the lakes in the wintertime so park in a safe and courteous location.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) trained a COC for the final week of step three. Officers checked ice fishermen and small game hunters. Snowmobilers are starting to use the ditches and trails with more snow in the area.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked trapping enforcement and monitored snowmobile activity. He assisted the County with people walking on the road, not dressed for the conditions. The area lakes have frozen over but ice thickness varies. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking angling activity last week. She received calls from the public about ongoing cases. Time was spent following up on cases from the fall.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) and a COC worked snowmobile activity with added sleds hitting the trails and area ditches. Ice conditions in the area are slowly improving allowing more area lakes to be accessed by anglers. Enforcement action was taken this week for allowing illegal operation of a snowmobile, operating a snowmobile down a county road, operating an unregistered snowmobile and angling without a license in possession.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen and trappers. He patrolled for ATVs and snowmobile users. CO Lefebvre handled two big game complaints during the week.



District 8 – Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) assisted local police with the removal of an unwanted bobcat that somehow found its way into an event auditorium facility. Several calls were received of a deer with an arrow in its head; however, the deer was not located. Permits for car killed deer were issued.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working on a couple deer hunting violations. One investigation resulted with charges for archery hunting deer over bait and another is still ongoing. Recent snow has brought out snowmobile activity with several violation observed of operating on the road. Time was also spent working trapping enforcement, office work, and returning calls from the public.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted the State Patrol with several vehicle accidents on the freeway after snowy weather moved into the area. The weather also brought out some snowmobile activity in the area. Snowmobilers are asked to drive carefully on area trails. Some of the wetland areas have not fully frozen over and there are hazardous conditions in some areas. Very little fishing activity to report in the area. Ice conditions are just starting to firm up on many area lakes and anglers venturing out are asked to use extreme caution.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time during the week checking shore anglers along Lake Superior. During one check this Officer observed a drone flying overhead, pause for a short moment and take off out over Lake Superior, never to be seen again. Some snowmobile activity observed north of Duluth. Check on ice conditions on your area lakes before venturing out.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked a few early ice anglers and prepped winter enforcement equipment. Port Security Grant items were worked on and questions answered regarding ice shelter licensing. With colder weather, better ice is being found on inland lakes.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.



District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling activity during the week. A complaint of shooting too close to dwellings, no license and wanton waste was handled. Assistance was given to the County with a DWI arrest.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) spent time checking a few ice anglers who made their way out on a few inches of ice that has managed to form. The ice is very unpredictable and CO Ladd cautions anglers that if you choose to venture out, have a flotation device and ice picks on. The recent snowfall has not helped and the majority of the ice in the area is unsafe. CO Ladd also followed up on some big game cases and trapping incidents.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) and a COC began to see ice anglers and spearers getting out on the ice, they were successful with northern pike and bluegills. Most lakes had three to four inches, while early ice portions of the river had eight inches. The COs investigated litter already being placed on the ice with enforcement action taken. Due to the early snowfall, trapping activity has increased. Several trappers were observed checking sets for weasel, beaver and bobcat.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) and a COC continued investigations into the previous deer seasons activity. Enforcement action was taken on a trespass complaint regarding a trapper not receiving proper permission. Contact was made with numerous youth anglers over 16 that did not have fishing licenses. Parents are encouraged to make sure their 16 and 17 year old youth have proper licenses when angling. Local ice conditions remain poor as some unfortunate snowmobilers experienced on Partridge Lake. One went through thin ice then the second snowmobiler following parked and attempted to assist. They also went through the ice into the freezing water. Thanks to the Garrison Fire Department and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, the individuals were safely rescued.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers ice fishing on smaller area lakes, came across some hunters out trying for a late season grouse, and continued monitoring the trapping season. Officer Collette investigated an incident where the two family dogs were cornered by a pack of wolves a short distance behind the residence. One dog was killed during what appeared to be a lengthy fight between the dogs and the wolves, and the other managed to crawl back home where it had to be put down due to extensive injuries.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued step 3 field training with Conservation Officer Candidate (COC). CO Lee and COC started to see area lakes with enough ice for anglers to walk on. Anglers are catching a fair number of crappies. CO Lee and COC investigated several cases where bonus tags were used illegally. Enforcement action was taken for angling and big game activities.

Cuyuna SRA – vacant.



District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers that are venturing out a bit further on area lakes. Some people are having some success with spearing and tip-up fishing with pike on Mille Lacs Lake. The recent snow has brought out some snowmobiles. Please ensure that registration is up to date and that you review the most recent regulations prior to operating your snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for spearing without a spearing license, failing to display ATV registration, expired ATV registration and failing to register deer.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked on a background investigation for a potential new hire. She issued car kill deer possession permits and received a complaint regarding a possible trapping violation. The trapping complaint was unfounded. A question regarding operation of ATVs on snowmobile Grant-in-Aid trails was answered.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing activity and followed up on a case from deer season. Court issues were also addressed. A wetlands violation was worked on with the local county zoning department. More ice is developing, but caution should be used.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked a few brave ice anglers that chose to venture out on area lakes. The slight cold snap caused lakes to freeze over and most lakes had an inch or two of ice. A few anglers were found venturing out on the smaller, shallower lakes that had 3 to 4 inches of ice. Snowfall brought out a few snowmobilers and trapping activity continued.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) received calls about nuisance animals and questions about ice conditions in the Pine City area. Some of the first fishermen were seen on the ice over the weekend. Use caution as ice has only recently formed on lakes near Pine City.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes finding fishermen having luck with crappies and northern pike. Ice conditions improved over the weekend with cooler temperatures. Ice conditions are improving but use caution. A few snowmobilers were out testing trails which remain unfrozen across most swamps. Assistance was given to State Patrol and area sheriff’s department with traffic accidents. Enforcement action was taken on various snowmobile violations.



District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies checked deer hunters along with pheasant hunters. CO Mies also worked on a burning complaint along with nuisance animal call.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during monitoring angling activity. Some success was seen but ice conditions were still sketchy at best on most lakes. A Minnesota Darkhouse and Anglers Association meeting was attended with new regulation information being provided. Some limited snowmobile activity has been seen in the station but we are still in need of more snow for better trail conditions.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) finished training step three with a new CO. Officers worked on two wetland cases with enforcement action taken on a contractor who failed to submit proper paperwork prior to working in the wetland. Numerous anglers were checked on area lakes. Ice conditions continued to improve over the week with 4-5 inches being seen on most lakes. Taxidermy and game farm inspections were conducted. Calls of injured animals were handled.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) is starting to see a few lakes with ice good enough to for people to try some ice fishing, but he also saw some people taking some real chances venturing out on ice that was not good. Several lakes still have open areas or bad spots with consistently thin ice. CO Kuske assisted D11 officers with interviews and investigations from deer hunting in an attempt to wrap that season up. An area farmer complained about deer depredation on his corn crop and wanted a shooting permit to address the problem. The matter is under review by the Div. of Wildlife and Enforcement personnel.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) in the course of asking a hunter about the duplicate deer license they had purchased CO Kuske found that the hunter had shot two bucks and had a female that was not hunting at the time tag the first buck with an invalid tag (used the same day it was purchased during firearms deer season). Enforcement action was taken for taking an over limit of deer, hunting with an invalid license and illegal lend/borrow of deer licenses. Investigations continue on hunters illegally using duplicate deer licenses and bonus tags used in lottery permit areas.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) saw angling and spearing activity slowly starting to pick up with ice conditions slowing improving as well. The officer handled calls concerning WMA land pheasant hunting. Furs from accidental catches were sold as well.

St. Cloud – vacant.



District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) responded to a snowmobile accident in Isanti County, completed a background investigation, and investigated trespassing and trapping complaints. Small game hunters, anglers, ATVs and snowmobiles were also checked.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) followed up on deer hunting cases. CO Musatov is still receiving complaints of illegally dumped deer carcasses. Several animal complaints were handled. An investigation was done on an illegally taken fisher.

Center City – vacant.

Princeton – vacant.



District 13 – West Metro area

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week checking small game hunters, trappers and fishermen. A few lakes have been getting accessed by ice fishermen but ice conditions are still questionable in many areas. Leuthardt cautions anyone who is going to venture out on the lakes to exercise extreme caution; no ice is ever safe ice. Leuthardt responded to complaints of dumping in a few WMAs and investigated possible wanton waste. Enforcement action was taken on metro area trespass and no small game license in possession.

Bloomington – vacant.

Ft. Snelling – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Osseo – vacant

Waconia – vacant.



District 14 – East Metro area

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked ice conditions on local lakes with the cold weather. He patrolled at Afton State Park. CO Johnson continued to investigate a dual residency violation. He received a call on an injured deer.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for hunting activity and finished up a few big game investigations. CO Salzer continued work on a background investigation for the current hiring process. CO Salzer also received calls regarding beaver problems.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports checking small game and archery deer hunters. He spent time working on deer cases and handling a TIP call involving a big game violation. CO Arntzen also handled several calls about coyote hunting.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring pheasant hunters in the area, many hunters were observed with success varying greatly. Goose hunting and trapping activity was also observed. Enforcement action for the week included no small game license and no license in possession.

Eagan – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.



District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working pheasant hunters conducting deer investigation. Snowmobile activity has increased dramatically with recent snow. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations, untagged deer; fail to register deer, over limit deer, and unlawful party hunt deer.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice anglers, pheasant hunters, predator hunters and trappers during the week. Ice conditions have somewhat improved and more anglers are have been seen on the ice. Anglers are still urged to use caution when venturing out.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week checking pheasant, archery deer, and coyote hunters. Poor ice conditions are wide spread in the area. A few fishermen were observed venturing out but extreme caution needs to be used. Deer investigations continue to be worked.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.



District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked ice fishermen in the area starting to go out on the lakes. Ice conditions vary greatly and caution is advised. It is a good idea to check the ice frequently while going out on the lakes.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked archery deer, small game, and angling activity. Ice anglers have been trying the ice on some local lakes and are finding up to 4 inches of thickness. Extreme caution is advised.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked sport fishing, small game hunting, and archery deer season. The county received several inches of snow on Friday evening allowing for some snowmobile activity to occur. Area lakes are supporting some portable ice houses and several lakes in the county are being fished. Activity was observed on Clear, Boot and Independence lakes. Some pheasant hunting and field goose hunting is occurring.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended court trial proceedings in Cottonwood County. Small game hunters and trappers were checked. A few anglers are venturing out onto thin ice on some lakes.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

Windom – vacant.



District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked pheasant and deer hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring trapping and other small game hunting activity as well as a number of snowmobilers later in the weekend. Officer Ihnen would also like to advise potential anglers that ice conditions are likely not yet safe and to avoid traversing out onto the ice.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking trappers and coyote hunters. Car killed deer possession permits were issued. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, ATV & snowmobile operators, trappers, small game, and archery deer hunters during the week. The officer assisted other district officers with a big game investigation.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports working big game, small game, and angling activity. Ice is beginning to form on some area lakes. As always, anglers are reminded to exercise caution on early ice. Be sure to bring a buddy and safety equipment along on early-ice outings.

Albert Lea – vacant.

Mankato #1 – vacant.



District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers and following up on cases from the deer season. Time was also spent working on some items for the deer committee. Some ice is starting to reform in the back waters.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the open water fishing continues as boats and ducks are where there are usually ice fishermen. He continues to follow up on complaints from the deer season.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working open water fishing, goose hunting, and following up a few more investigations from the deer season. Ice is starting to form in the backwaters again and with no big warm up in sight we may have fish-able ice. Goose numbers continue to remain high but hunting pressure appears to be down a little. Some late archery hunters were also contacted.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Zumbrota – vacant.





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